Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grüsse aus Franken

Gertrud and I are currently on our annual "pilgrimage" to Franken, or Franconia in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconia).  It is in the Northern part of the State of Bavaria in Germany and is her heimat\homeland where she still has family and friends.  While this area is not as famous as Munich and the Alps of Upper Bavaria, we think Franconia's medieval cities are much prettier and more interesting than those in the South.  This year we have been joined by American friends Reed and Carol Warnick on visits to Bamberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamberg) which Bill Clinton said was the most beautiful city he had ever visited; the baroque Basilica and impressive Catholic pilgrimage site of the Vierzehnheiligen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_the_Fourteen_Holy_Helpers); reconstructed Nuremberg which was badly bombed and is well known for the Nazi trials held there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg) (http://www.thirdreichruins.com/nuernberg.htm); Bayreuth, famous for its annual festival of Wagnerian Operas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayreuth); Würzburg with a Prince-Bishop Residence dubbed by Napoleon as the nicest parsonage in Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrzburg_Residence); and the UNESCO World Heritage City of Regensburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regensburg) which is not really in Franken but which is nearby and feels like its Franconian.

We also spent two nights at Pastorius Haus (http://www.pastoriushaus.org) in Gertrud's home town of Bad Windsheim.  It is named after Daniel Pastorious, a native of the area and a founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania, one of America's earliest German settlements.  With Bad Windsheim's close proximity to Germany's famous Romantic Road (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_Road) we also visited Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nördlingen and other beautiful villages and towns along it.

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