Snapshots from Germany
My mother still lives in the house where she grew up, and where I grew up. I've been gone for many years now, and while a lot of things have changed, some dramatically, others have remained the same. The houses in the town center are mostly unchanged due to laws protecting historical buildings. This corner on the edge of the town center, for example, looks the way it did when I was little--and probably long before:
The tower (Wassertor) is one of three in the fortified wall that used to surround the town. The only way to get into town was through the gates in these three towers. Today, only fragments of the wall remain, but the three towers are still standing.
Built in 1602, the Wassertor is probably the best known landmark in Hersbruck, and one of my favorite sights because of its scenic location on the River Pegnitz:
Here is the Wassertor from other side:
The streets in the center of town are cobbled and narrow--built centuries before cars were invented. Many of them are one-way streets now.
The tower you see in the next photo belongs to Hersbruck Castle.
The structure you see today was built in 1517 on the ruins of a much older fortification dating back to before the year 1000. Hersbruck Castle is now the seat of the municipal court.
On Sunday morning, I parked my car at the Castle and walked all over the town center. Even though I grew up here (and couldn't wait to be old enough to leave), I now view Hersbruck through the eyes of a visitor and I fully appreciate its charms that eluded me when I was young.
|One of many houses that are centuries old. According to the inscription, this one was built in 1625.|
|I photographed the same cracked wall 10 years ago. It's still the same.|
|Glimpse of the tower of the Stadtkirche|
|The Stadtkirche is the oldest church in town, dating back to the late 14th century|
|Star Singer blessing for 2017 written in chalk at the top of the door|
|The houses right in the town center don't have gardens. But that's no reason not to have plants!|
|Grapevine climbing up the facade of the house|
|Window boxes are very popular|
|Who says dandelions can't be beautiful?|
|One of the quaintest houses in Hersbruck|
Now we're in heart of town. This is Lower Market Square:
|My favorite building because of its unusual stair-step roof|
|Glimpse of City Hall|
Upper Market Square, dominated by the Rathaus (City Hall) dating to the early 15th century:
This is the Deutsches Hirtenmuseum, Germany's only museum dedicated to shepherding:
In the Middle Ages and beyond, a fortified wall surrounded the entire town center. Today, only a small section is left:
I love walking through this narrow alleyway:
|Outdoor seating area of the Blaues Haus, a restaurant located next to the old wall|
A narrow greenbelt adjacent to the old wall offers a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle:
Proof you can garden in very little space:
The oldest tower is the Spitaltor, originally built in 1425:
The Spitaltor is named after the hospital that was built right next to it in 1400.
The church below is the Spitalkirche, dating to the 15th century as well:
More vignettes of Hersbruck's historic town center:
You don't need to be fancy to beautify your house with flowers:
Weather note: It's unseasonably cool, and everything is a good month behind. Some trees are just now leafing out while others had their buds frozen by a cold snap a few weeks ago. Out of the six days I've been here now, only one has been bright and sunny. I tend to forget how blessed we are with the weather in California! (I looked it up: Hersbruck is zone 6b vs. 9b for Davis, CA.)