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.
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
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 carry 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.
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.