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Posts Tagged ‘Baroque’

Benedictine Monastery in Bursfelde

Bursfelde_Kirche_von_SOHalfway on our route to Beverungen we will visit the Benedictine Monastery in Bursfelde and have a look inside. The monastery was founded in 1093 by Heinrich dem Fetten as burial place and place of commemoration through prayer for his family. Even though the monastery was connected to the Imperial Abbey of Corvey nearby, through changes in the political climate and ownership, its relevance declined in the following four centuries to the point that no monks are recorded residing there by 1402. During the reformation process in the 15th and 16th century the catholic-based monastery become even more secluded until the Duchess Elisabeth von Brandenburg – who had converted to Protestantism – ruled for her under-age son and effected major changes regarding the reformation and finances. As the rulers – and their beliefs – changed, the monastery changed confession as well. After the Peace of Westphalia was proclaimed in 1648 the monastery became protestant again and stayed that way until today. No matter under which flag they sailed, the monastery had always been a centre of learning and until today that influence can be seen in the remaining library and modern day activity of the Theological Centre of Bursfelde Abbey.

Bad Karlshafen

Carlsbahn003Shortly before our final destination we will drive through the picturesque town of Bad Karlshafen and get to see the distinctly different style of the reconstructed Huguenot Baroque buildings.

The city was founded in 1699 as an ‘exile city’ to provide a spiritual home for religious refugees during the reformation process in the 17th century in Europe. Here they were mainly Huguenots from France who were welcomed and sheltered by Karl from Hessen-Kassel. In 1730 the Huguenot apothecary Jacques Galland discovered the brine springs which shaped the economic future of the town. Initially used to produce salt, it ultimately led to the town becoming a spa destination for the application of therapeutic brine baths.

As the Baroque architecture was a practical manifestation of the Counter-Reformation and intended to persuade everyone of God’s splendour and the Catholic churches’ magnificence, it will be interesting to observe how that was put into practice in this particular town.

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

 

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Pfarrkirche St.KillianBaroque architecture

Before heading off to Volkach we make a little trip to Theres, a small community that has an interesting selection of buildings from the Baroque period. As this period covered 200 years of building history, the range of designs and decorations are quite remarkable. This can be seen mainly in the numerous churches and wayside shrines in the region. Because a lot of church properties were privatised in the early 19th century, many of them are now privately or commercially owned and operated. Interesting examples to view are on the main road (Bundesstrasse 17)) the Catholic vicarage from 1750, St. Killian church (1728/30)  and along the cycle path the Crucification group attributed to Johann Peter Wagner.

Untertheres_KreuzigungsgruppeTraditional wine growing region

We are now moving into the driest and hottest wine growing region in Germany and will discover what kind of wines this climate can produce. Our trip will take us through the village of Fahr, home of the ‘world famous’ Bocksbeutel. This intriguing bottle shape is protected in Europe and used for only a few specific wines.

The name is of particular interest, as its origin can be referenced to two different words: one denominates a bag to protect prayer or song books (Booksbüdel) while the other implies that it looks like a ram’s scrotum (Bokesbudel). As both explanations can be reasonably proven, it seems that both contributed to its modern day usage.frankenwein

Our destination for today, Volkach, has been the historic wine growing centre of the region since the 17th century and has renewed its fame for making excellent white wines, especially, but not exclusively, Silvaner, whose reputation suffered a bit from the Liebfrauenmilch debacle in the 70’s. Modern wine makers now are using its subtle flavours to produce elegant wines that are easily matched with foods and becoming more and more appreciated. Other varieties that grow well here are Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and Traminer, all very specific and interesting tasting grapes. And for those of you who want to know more specific details about the huge range of wines and grapes here’s a very interesting and informative web site.

Maria_im_WeingartenEven in the Middle Ages Volklach has been a very popular tourist spot due to its numerous food markets, parish fairs and pilgrimages to the local church Maria in the vineyard. This has continued through to the 20th and 21st century with a lot of local wine and food festivals catching the visitors’ eyes and palates. Let your travel guide advise you what’s on special and enjoy the delicacies.

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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Baroque church design

ludwigskirche-102f90fb-bd4b-4a1e-9b85-fc5da0bc8b29

756px-Ludwigsplatz1.svgOn a visit to Saarbrücken you should go and have a look at the Ludwigskirche in the center of town. It is one of three of the most relevant Protestant churches in Germany. It was designed by Friedrich Joachim Stengel and consecrated in 1775. In line with the traditional baroque design of a ‘complete work of art’, the design not only focused on the church itself, but included the surrounding Ludwig’s Square as well. The map illustrates the plans for the surrounding buildings even though not all were completed.

Restoration

1920px-LudwigskircheDuring a bombing in October 1944 the church sustained such major damage that only the surrounding walls remained. Even though rebuilding started in 1949, because of fierce discussions until the 70’s it isn’t finished yet. The discussions were about whether or not to restore the original baroque designs or just keep the exterior and create a modern interior. Eventually the traditionalists succeeded and most of the interior is now finished. Now they just have to decide whether to paint the exterior the original white – which would require regular cleaning and repainting – or not. Also some exterior balustrade figures are still not replaced, but it is nonetheless well worth a visit!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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