Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Meadows, Trees and Churches: Part II

After our picnic in the meadow close to the wood's edge, it was only a short way to the next village. It was of the relaxed quietness you sometimes find on a Sunday afternoon - it was Thursday, but a holiday. We met one man and his dog, with the dog being rather curious about us, and passed by a house where swallows had built nests under the eaves. They were flitting in and out, and I took pictures, but they came out blurred and so I left them out.








Another village or small town I had never set foot in before, Schornbach, was down in the valley after a relatively long stretch of road. It had some very pretty old houses, like this one:



The church was built in 1471 and is unusual in that the upper part of its bell tower is of wood. Again, we would have liked to have a look inside, but again, it was locked.






Schornbach was not our goal, and we walked on, down into the valley and towards Schorndorf.



Schorndorf (Dorf means village) has made the transition from village to town already as far back as 1250, when the then Earl of Württemberg acquired the place and had it built up with walls. But it had already been a settlement a thousand years before that, when the Romans occupied this part of the world and civilians lived there in the 2nd and 3rd century of our time.

Nowadays, with around 40.000 inhabitants, Schorndorf is a thriving town with a picturesque centre. I had never visited before, but my sister did, and she showed me around before we sat down for refreshing drinks at a street café.



 Old town centre - no cars allowed in this part, what a relief!








The sturdy castle was built in 1538 and withstood any threat that came its way, including a fire in 1634. Nowadays, it houses offices and the civil court.







Building of the church (you can see it in the first picture of the old town centre) began in 1477. And guess what - this one was open! My sister wanted to show me something special, and after a general look round, we arrived in a small side chapel with this unusual ceiling:





It is Jesus' family tree, starting with Jesse, out of whose body grows the root of the tree, then grows on and on, via David all the way to Mary with baby Jesus. The figures all cary bands with their names on them.
The Tree of Jesse is taken directly from the bible and appears not only in sculptures and on pictures in (mostly) medieval churches, but also in a few songs, one of them an old Christmas song still very popular in Germany, but I dare say most of those singing the words do not really think about what they may mean; they sound just beautifully old-fashioned and festive. Well, now you know!
You can find out more here on wikipedia.

Nowadays, with around 40.000 inhabitants, Schorndorf is a thriving town with a picturesque centre. I had never visited before, but my sister did, and she showed me around before we sat down for refreshing drinks at a street café.

By the way, the most famous person from Schorndorf is Gottlieb Daimler, the man who invented the car (it wasn't quite so simple, but you get the general idea). His birth place is now a museum.

22 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful post. You are so lucky to have these walks. They are beautiful - almost like out of a children's story. I'm so happy you share your travels on the blog.

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    1. Thank you, Nan, I am glad you are not getting bored with my frequent posts about walks... and walks... and more walks :-)

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  2. I really enjoy reading your posts about walks. I grew up in a place where there were many paths for walking, but when we lived in Germany I was astonished at what a national pastime it was to walk on the weekend. A wonderful custom and I hope many people are still doing this. That ceiling is perhaps the most interesting part of this post, however. I have never seen one at all like it though I am very familiar with the Jesse tree. Every school morning during Advent we had a long prayer to recite from Isaiah 11... This ceiling is beautiful and fascinating!

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    1. Thank you, Kristi! The ceiling is unusual, not for its choice of motive but for how it is executed. Wikipedia makes specific mention of it in the entry about this church.
      Walking is something our bodys are best prepared for (as opposed to sitting at desks, in cars and in front of TVs all the time...); anyone can do it, it does not cost money, you can start right from your home - and it is the best way to explore a place, giving you so much more detail to discover than if you'd just be whizzing by in a car!
      The German "Wanderlust" has indeed a long tradition. You have just given me an idea for a future post.

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  3. I love all the photos you took of the buildings - last year when in Germany I was amazed by the architecture in the old towns and villages - and everywhere was so neat and clean. Yes, sadly we here in the US don't seem to get out and walk enough - especially the younger people who apparently prefer to frequent gyms. I love the fresh air and of course got plenty as a child in England - we HAD to walk everywhere, my family never owned a car, Daimler or any other make!!!!

    Mary -

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    1. I guess some people prefer gyms because they are so used to being cooped up inside buildings with A/C that they have largely forgotten that there is a world outside!
      Like you, my sister and I walked (nearly) everywhere; school, shops, playground and so on. Our parents had a car but my Dad needed it to get to work every day, so it was not available all the time - and we lived close enough to school anyway, it would have been ridiculous to drive there :-)

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  4. As always I thoroughly enjoyed he walk and particulartly the old buildings.

    On the subject of cars (I am a man after all) I always understood that Carl Benz was the inventor. I'd have to look it up as to how he and Gottlieb Daimler got together to form Daimler-Benz.

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    1. Wikipedia in this article does not exactly say HOW they got together, just THAT they did. I suppose the car as we know it is unthinkable without either of the men.

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  5. This is really a lovely walk, thank you for taking us along. How far did you walk?

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    1. I can not remember exactly what my sister's guide book said, it could have been around 14 km, but it really did not feel far.

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  6. Oh yes, I know about the Jesse Tree! I remember having the kids make one in our Sunday school class when C. was a boy!
    The Jesse tree on the ceiling of the church is something I have never seen in a church, thanks for sharing it here. It's beautiful.
    Love that they don't allow cars in that certain part of the town!
    Daimler...I remember that car from reading English books!

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    1. Funny how you remember Daimler, THE German car, from reading English books :-D
      I was sure you'd like the detail about the Jesse tree!

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  7. Another wonderful walk. Thanks for taking us along with you!

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    1. You are most welcome, Jennifer! (It was still the same walk from the previous post, I only split it in two posts to avoid making it too long.)

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  8. More interesting old buildings - and another maypole! I see now on this one that there is a tree on top of it. That I have never seen here in Sweden. So therefore the combination looks odd to me, like a Christmas tree on top of a midsummer pole! Or is the pole in fact a tall tree with the branches at the top left on? (Because here, the pole is usually a bare pole, which is then decorated with leaves and flowers. Probably just as odd, when one starts thinking about it - it's really all about what one is used to...)

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    1. The maypole in O.K.'s village also has a tree on top, like a Christmas tree (btw I thought the same when I first saw it). The maypoles I have seen here so far are all bare poles with the trees set on top, not actual trees with their crown left on.
      Usually, as they are maypoles, they are set up just in time for the 1st of May, like on the 30th of April or maybe in some places on the day itself.

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  9. I wish no cars were allowed in our town! You can't imagine the congestion. It's a small city but the number of cars is unbelievable!

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    1. I can imagine, Francesca... I've been to Sicily a lot, remember :-)
      Many German towns and cities have a car-free zone. My home town has a relatively large car-free zone, where all the shops and many restaurants are. This came up in the 1970s; I very vaguely remember a time when there were still cars on that road where we can now walk without having to watch out for traffic.

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  10. Schorndorf looks absolutely charming, I'm surprised it is not better known - at least here. What a lovely place to end your journey.

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    1. Jenny, it was my first visit there, too, in spite of me having lived in the greater Stuttgart area nearly all my life!
      By the way, good to see you - I was getting a little worried as your last blog post was quite some time ago.

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  11. What a beautiful place. I would love to wander around those streets and examine the pretty houses, which look so different to what we usually see here in the UK.

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    1. It is a picturesque town, and wandering and exploring was truly enjoyable that day.

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