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October 5, 2008

Written November 2

Dear Friends and Families,


Nördlingen. Another quintessential, cute, on-the-tourist-trail, Bavarian town. And, it has history.

The oldest local event of historical interest happened 15 million years ago when a meteorite hit the neighborhood and formed a crater, called the Reis, 25 kilometers in diameter.

The place was first settled by Romans in the First Century. It was an important trade center throughout the Middle Ages with the Whitsun Fair, roughly a "World's Fair", first celebrated in the early 13th Century.

The circular wall surrounding the old city and its suburbs was built a hundred years later and can still be explored along its entire length.

There. Enough education.

Walking through town,we were struck with perfectly-restored-building after perfectly-restored- building. We now have an idea of the effort required for such work and can't help but wonder "Who in the world would make this mistake over and over?"

Nördlingen also had it's share of monuments. Two of my favorites were fountains: one a modern, slanted affair and the other so "traditional" that its crown seemed to come straight from 1930's propaganda.

Just to keep a perspective, one can also find these small brass plaques in Nördlingen and other German towns, memorials to Jews killed in the 30's and 40's. History is everywhere.

For our own tradition, we had to see a church, castle, or square and we chose "church". St Georg's church was a good choice. Inside the white interior, elaborate details abound. Outside, we passed up the option to climb the 350 stairs to the bell tower, famous enough to have its own name: "Daniel".

Once again, after seeing a church Thanksgiving display, we got hungry. Of course there was a suitable cafe just around the corner.

We hope to have another opportunity to see Nördlingen at Christmas when we plan an assault on Christmas Markets of the region. I look forward to it already.


John and Marianne.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nördlingen

Town website: http://www.noerdlingen.de/ISY/index.php?get=276

Crater Museum:http://www.riescrater-museum.de/


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