In Baroque times, Man wanted to prove his ability to dominate nature. Woods, hedgerows, fields, roads, streams and lakes - everything had to be symmetrically laid out to suit the taste of the ruling classes. Ludwigsburg was no exception. It has a large market square with two churches facing each other, and the roads leading off it and connecting it to the palace were all straight and symmetrical when they were first built.
This makes for a rather unique, large market square, and the layout of our Christmas market follows the rules of Baroque planning.
Not so in many other towns, where timbered and half-timbered houses, hundreds of years older than anything you can see in Ludwigsburg, dominate the narrow cobbled streets, and often, a church lies at the centre instead of a palace.
Bad Wimpfen ("Bad" in German is not the opposite of good, it means spa) has reputedly one of the most beautiful and oldest (if not THE oldest) Christmas Market in Germany. The town is about an hour's drive from Ludwigsburg, and on Friday, two friends and I decided to go there for the day.
The town's administration has wisely provided a large parking area outside the old town - back then, streets were not made to hold anything larger than an ox cart, and even that must have been difficult to navigate at times.
Walking up the hill from the parking lot, the first impression of Bad Wimpfen was this:
It reminded me of Besigheim, a beautiful old town I've shown you here. We stopped for a drink in the rooms to the left underneath that big gate tower.
As you can see, there were many people around, but it wasn't so crowded as to feel uncomfortable.
|This one is especially for Kay!|
|Inside the church, view towards the organ|
We stopped for something to eat and a rest after we had been to have a look inside the very beautiful church on top of the hill. A short walk later, we had covered the entire market and seen every stall (and spent very little money - we were there to look mainly, not to buy).
It had been a pleasant afternoon, spent with friends I don't get to see more than once a year, and where I normally don't go. I am glad I took the day off and did that!