Sunday, September 16, 2018

Day 2: From Augsburg to Rothenburg

Quite an impressive spread waiting for us for breakfast.

Just enough time to wander around the hotel before heading off to Church.


Jeni found some little friends.

We attended Church with the Augsburg ward, a ward Harold served in when on his mission. It was a different building in a different location than what he remembered but we got there okay.

Harold was wondering if there'd be anyone he knew from his mission so long ago. Well, he talked to two people he knew from his mission and they remembered him too. One of whom is a sister he baptized into the ward 42 years ago! She lives in Nevada now and happened to be visiting Germany, the first time in 25 years.

The people we met were very nice and loved having us visit.

Love the fancy signs outside the shops.

Walking around Augsburg.

The facades on the buildings are so interesting.

Flower boxes outside the windows.

Coming up to the two St. Ulrich churches, which are joined but separate.

First the Evangelic St. Ulrich church (the one on the right).

The name of God in Hebrew in the center of the ceiling.

A large painting of the Last Supper on one wall.

Going into the larger Catholic Basilica of St. Ulrich and Afra.

These stained glass windows are in the very back by the entrance.

The altarpiece of the basilica.

The tomb of St. Ulrich in the crypt below.

Along our 2 hour drive from Augsburg to Rothenburg we saw this up above the road so we stopped to check it out.

Seemed like a nice, scenic place to stop.

There was a path leading up the hill to Harburg Castle.

These goats started us on our journey.

The town below.

The buildings and vegetation are so cute and charming out here.

We arrived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and headed out to the city center.

Rothenburg still has its original medieval walls around the city.

Such interesting details in the architecture.

Rothenburg miniatures.

Big steins and gigantic steins.

I just love the wooden designs outside the buildings.

A Christmas car outside the Christmas store.

Going on the Night Watchman Tour around the city.

This guy was great. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell about Rothenburg's history. No reservations required; just show up in Market Square and pay him at the end of the night.

We heard about the city in medieval times, when they treated their streets like a sewer and kept grain stocked in their storerooms. Well, rats thrived in those conditions, and spread the Black Plague all over Europe.  One of the earliest signs of the disease was sneezing so people would say "God bless you" as a way to invoke God's help to stay the Plague on the person's behalf.  Over the years it has settled into more of a cultural thing to say "bless you" when someone sneezes.

In 1631 a 40,000 Catholic army laid siege to Rothenburg when the city refused to let them come in and take refuge.  During the siege someone from Rothenburg went into the gunpowder storage tower with a torch, which blew up the tower and a good part of their defensive wall. The town was sacked and was poverty-stricken for the next two centuries. As other German towns tore down their medieval walls and modernized, Rothenburg didn't have the money so its walls stayed as is.

In 1945 Rothenburg was partly destroyed by an American bombing raid but the city was spared when the US General John McCloy was able to prevent a planned artillery attack, and the German troops stationed in Rothenburg surrendered to avoid even more destruction in the town.