Germany 2004

Germany 2004

In June 2004, Karen, my mother Carol (maiden name Stickles) and I took a three week trip to Europe. We also spent a week in Venice, Italy (see separate bullet for this part of the trip).   The main purpose of the trip was to trace some of our German heritage.  In the photo here of the "guilty" parties, we are drinking beer in the famous Hofbrauhaus in Munich. 

We started with two days in Wertheim along the River Main.  Karen's dad had been there before tracing ancestors.  The WIESSLER name is fairly common in Germany.  We stayed at the Hotel Schawn owned by a family named Wiessler.  Not sure about being related - but hotelier Mr. Wiessler offer no discounts - ha !

Then on to Fischbachau, a lovely town of about 1,000 people centrally located (about 45 miles south of Munich) for our day trips to various parts of Southern Germany and Western Austria.  We rented the downstairs of an old farmhouse about a mile out of town; the couple from whom we rented lived in the upstairs and were VERY cordial and helpful. 

We used this base to go to Munich, Salzburg, Fussen (Disney castle), Berchtesgaden (home of the Eagle's Nest - Hitler's retreat) and other places.

Later we moved our location to the small town of Schopfloch with about 300 inhabitants; it is the town from which my ancestors immigrated to the USA in 1833.  We successfully found several additional ancestors listed in the church record books with the help of the church pastor and secretary.  This was a very moving experience, particularly for my mother.

Enjoy the Baker's Dozen photos !

Wertheim Castle in the river town of Wertheim at the confluence of the rivers Tauber and Main.  The castle was built in the 12th Century and further developed in the 17th Century.  It is in the process of being restored.   Typical German Cemetery - this one is in Fishbachau, near our vacation farmhouse.  The cemeteries were beautifully kept throughout the portions of Germany we traveled.
Pastures and Woodlands at the eastern edge of the Black Forest in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

One of the five King Ludwig castles - his childhood home - built by his father Maximilian II of Bavaria in the 19th Century.  This one is called "Hohenschwangau" and is not nearly as famous as the nearby Neuschwanstein, the "Disney" castle, that sadly was fogged in and I could not get a good photo of it.


Salzburg (Salt Castle), Austria was first settle in the 5th Century BC. The Hohensalzburg Castle was started as a fortress in 1077 !!  Salzburg is the birth home of Mozart.


The beautiful St. Bartholomew church on the Konigssee (King's Lake) near the Berchtesgaden Alps.  First built in 1200's and remodeled in the Baroque style starting around 1700 AD.  It can be accessed only by ship (or a very long hike!).


Central Munich with the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady) and the Neuses Rathaus (New Town Hall).  Note the Glockenspiel on the tower of the town hall - it consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures.  


Hitler's Ghost ??  This photo was taken in the tunnel half way up the mountain leading to an elevator which takes you to Hitler's Eagles Nest, his hide-away - a 50th birthday present commissioned by Martin Bormann.  I took two photos in this tunnel looking toward the outside - the first was a "landscape" photo - very clear.  The second one I took a few seconds later in a "portrait" style and - WOW !  I don't really believe in the paranormal, but I can't explain this apparition !!!!


Roman arch of the 1000 year old church from which my relatives immigrated, per the church's records, to "Nordamerika" in 1833. We were able to "find" other relatives in the church back to 1750.


Eagle's Nest as the fogs was rolling in.  Hitler's mountain-top hideaway played a prominent role as the main unit objective in the mini-series about WWII - "Band of Brothers".


Theatine Church (commonly referred to as the Yellow Church) in central Munich.  Started in the 1600's, it is an Italian high-Baroque style in a yellowish stucco finish.


Gothic/Renaissance style church (1600 AD) in central Freudenstadt, a town in the southeast German state of Baden-Wurttemberg.  This town in near the smaller towns of my descendents.  Unpaid models - Karen and Carol.


The beautiful university town of Heidleberg (5th Century) on the Neckar River.  The castle was started in 1400's and the bridge in the 1780's.  I have this photo (but with Karen and me in the foreground) in our living room at home.


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