Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nürnberg and Franconia

Nürnberg exists within, though it was not historically part of, Franconia.

On Sunday and Monday, Ekke and Gudrun gave us a taste of Franconia when we visited Bad Staffelstein, Lichtenfels, the Convent of Viertzenheiligen and the Kloster (cloister) Banz. Taken all together, these sites make up a major regional cultural and recreation area and are a place that Ekke and Gudrun visit on a weekly basis to take the waters as is common German practice. We accompanied them and in the course of the afternoon got a nice taste of regional history through the two religious sites which featured two lushly baroque/rococo churches as well as the baths.

On Monday Ekke had an appointment in Erlangen, but before going there detoured us to visit Bamberg, a wonderfully intact city that showcases several centuries of southern German architecture and culture. A castle on the site is first mentioned in the early 10th century, though the city rose to prominence with the election of Heinrich II and his queen Kunnigunde to rule Bavaria as part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1007.

On Tuesday, our last day here, we rambled the altstadt of Nürnberg, following the Pegnitz river which bisects the city. Even though Nürnberg was badly bombed in the waning days of World War II, much of its architectural heritage either survives or has been rebuilt, as is often the case in Germany.

Throughout, as is apparent, I had tons of fun with my camera:

The approach to the Vierzehnheiligen (fourteen saints)
This was Sharon's and my first recent taste of the baroque/rococo. Gudrun noted that the style is not to her taste, but that this was a spectacular example. We had to agree.

The valley between the two religious structures. You can just see the twin spires of the fourteen saints convent in the hills. Kloster Banz prohibited photography.

The slopes of Kloster Banz are used on Sundays by hang gliders

On Monday we visited Bamberg

Sharon and Ekke at the entrance of the cathedral in Bamberg.

The Domplatz looks out onto the New Residenz of the city's rulers and a civic rose garden

While the roses were not fully out yet, the garden was lovely and offered some great prospects of the city.

After a brief bus tour, which took us to the altenburg, the old castle, we rambled the streets, headed toward the bahnhof.

These fisherman's houses date back more than two hundred years

We enjoyed a lovely day in Bamberg, surrounded by historic architecture.
On Tuesday, Ekke took us for a through the old city of Nürnberg. With the Pegnitz flowing through the city centre, Nürnberg is a city of bridges, lovely to photograph.

For a few hundred years these buildings have provided public housing

Could not resist taking a picture of this Gogomobil, one of many tiny cars built during Germany's early postwar recovery. The proud owner gave me a thumbs up for my appreciation of his car.
This 1984 fountain depicts relationships. I was drawn to the family in the pelikan, of course.
From here, we embark on the last two stages of this remarkable journey, the English walled city of York, and a final stay with our friends Sylvia and Ray Atkinson outside London.

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