Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nördlingen, Schwabia Germany

Several years ago I was fortunate to be introduced to the town of Nördlingen Germany located in the northern State of Bavaria.  This is the Swabian part of Bavaria so it is about an hour north of München. While it is Bavaria the dialect spoken is one of the three major dialects of Bavaira.  Swabisch is spoken there.
This town is along the Romantic road so it isn’t all that difficult to miss.  Depending on the time of year tourist traffic can be sparse.  The last time I was there was for the Christmas Market of 2009.  It was cold.  It was one of the coldest winters in decades.  But it was well worth getting cold to see the Christmas Market and be with friends again.
There are some very distinct things about the old town.  This part of Germany is farm land and Hopps is one of the crops grown in the area.  During War 2 this region was saved from being bombed because it didn’t produce any vital war materials.  This resulted in the town remaining intact.  Somewhere along the way the enterprising people converted the moat into a parking lot.  While this provided some additional parking there is still a shortage of parking places.
There is plenty of history here and oddly enough American Astronauts received part of their training here for the moon landing because of the crater called the Nördlinger Reis.  You can visit the museum and see moon rocks brought back by the Astronauts.
The town was over run in the 30 years war and the area was desolate until the 1900’s.  If you manage to visit the old city you will see some houses built into the wall.  These were actually barracks for troops that were there to defend the city.  This way they could leave their quarters and report to their fighting positions on the wall quickly.
Someday I intend to return and spend some time in the old city.  I managed to spend a couple afternoons in the town and saw some very nice sights.  I particularly enjoyed the museum located in the Löpsinger Gate Tower (Löpsingertorturm ).  It means you have to climb up into the wall but the climb is well worth the effort.  Walking around the wall is very interesting also.  Be sure to check out the dates on some of the houses.  You’ll be surprised at how old some of them are.

Here is a link to Nördlingen though this one is in German.  If you do a search you will find several links that have information about Nördlingen.

Here is Daniel seen from the wall.  You notice it dominates the skyline from the wall and even outside the city.

One of the displays depicting the town at around the time of the 30 Year War.

Here is a portion of the city wall seen from Löpsinger Tor Turm

the small house on the right was once a barracks for troops manning the wall.

Photo of the inside of Daniel

Reimlinger Tor on the south side of old town

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