Sunday, 30 June 2013

A View of Marburg

Marburg is a lovely town.

It has no industry and was pretty much spared by the war. Walking from the hotel to the old city center one passes the botanical gardens and the Elisabeth church.

Marburg is known as the Elisabethstadt, in honor of the generous Elisabeth of Thuringia, a princess of Hungary.
  She lived from 1207 to 1231 and was married at the age of 14 (and widowed at 20). She used her dowry after her husbands death to build a hospital for children and was known for her charity. She died at a young age 4 years later and was canonized very soon after her death at the age of 24.

They began building the church the year after Elisabeth was made a saint in 1235 and was finished in 1283.

The Elisabeth church is one of the best examples of pure, early gothic German architecture.

In 1605 a lot of the  interior decoration was destroyed by Landgraf Moritz in support of protestantism.

In the 1800s they actually celebrated both Protestant and Catholic services at the same time (havng divided up the church.


Most of the relics have been sent elsewhere, but the golden Elisabethschrein is the churches' most famous artifact.

Outside nextdoor you can see the remnants of other old medieval buildings.

The town center of Marburg is built on a high hill or little mountain. Here you can see some of the inner town from the street below the peak.

There are many many beautiful fachwerk (half-timbered) buildings.

I caught a reflection of the market place in this shop window.

Here is a direct view of what was reflected in the window.

Here is a view down on the Elisabethkirche from the castle on the hill.


One last shot from the hotel Marburger Hof. For some unknown reason there was a picture of Barack Obama on the wall in the lobby. He looks like a typical American business man reading the Wallstreet Journal here.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Way to Marburg

So I got up early and headed out to the train station. The trip involved a change of trains in Kassel, but with ample time to make the change. Since I had more than 40 minuts in teh station, I decided to take a peek at the town. There was a large fortress above the town on the hill and many different kinds of architecture. The train station was very modern.

Just outside there were Jugendstil type buildings (but without as much interesting ornament.)

There was also this ornament from the second world war period.

There were many old, fascinating buildings that I passed on the way to Marburg.

(Also castle ruins on hills).

Unfortunately there was additionally lots of flooding.

When we stopped in Marburg this is one of the first things I saw.

I wheeled my suitcase down the street to the hotel and passed this canal.

When I got to the hotel my room was not yet ready, so I went to the bathroom. (INteresting way to designate it, isn't it?)

And then I left my luggage and tooka walk around the town.  Marburg must be one of the most beautiful German cities Ihave ever seen. My next blog will have lots of Fachwerk houses and the lovely castle area of Marburg.

More Fulda Nutcracker Hotel and Beyond

Before I continue with the Fulda Cathedral, I thought I'd put up some pictures of my Fulda Hotel - a very strange and fantastical Pension that is decorated with dozens of Nutcrackers. Of course it turned out not to be in Fulda,but in a town a couple of kilometers away, but the bus system worked well and you could buy a bus pass for 3 Euros and ride it all day as much as you wanted, so it wasn't a bad place to stay.  The room was quite tastefully decorated although not as spacious as the place in Weimar.

It had all the necessities a bed, tv and a closet (and this time even a phone!)

Here is the view from the other side.

I used my window as a kind of mini-refrigerator and to save money bought some cold cuts and rolls and even lettuce. Here is what I got for about $15. (Some cheese - two kinds of lunch meat, some lettuce, mayonaise and some maribated mushrooms.)

The hall of the pension already had this indication that there would be a few Nutcrackers around. (It was named the Nutcracker even though the nutcracker is actually more of a phenomenon in the eastern part of Germany.)

The breakfast buffet was also wonderful and contained all kinds of stuff for müsli, scrambled eggs and bacon and all the usual cheeses and  cold cuts.

Of course the room is also filled with nutcrackers. (See the shelf around the wall near the ceiling?)  That ain't half the story!


I tended to sit at this table in the back, where there were some serious nutcracker dolls in the window.

Here is a clearer shot from a different angle.

But this is what I saw while I ate breakfast.

And that big green thing in the back of the room that's the hat of yet another nutcracker guarding the buffet.

Also interesting was this collection of photos.  Evidently during Fasching Fulda has big parties and each "end " of the city has a club with a particular theme.

Our host's city partwas Ostende - so they were the Ostindien" group and every year dressed up like Pashas and their consorts. They had gotten lots of prizes (and medals (in the case)) for their participation.


On the way into town I passed many  beautiful buildings as seen below.

I wanted to add some pictures of the cathedral next before showing some of the gorgeous things I saw in the Stadt Schloss museum.

The cathedral itself was buit in the 1700s by Johan Dientzenhofer who had studied in Rome. You'll see pictures of the outside later from the Schloss Museum tower. It is a lovely Barock church with all the required flourishes.

Here's the organ. The original only had 41 registers but the current one now has 72

This is the pulpit.

I was delighted by this little late romanesque/early gothic figure in the midst of all the baroque excess.

Of course the most famous part of the church is the crypt that contains St. Boniface (designated the most important saint for German history.)