Saturday, March 9, 2013

churches of germany

 one of the things that has struck me all over germany, is the church towers.   i love the older ones.   they are beautiful.   when you drive around germany, there are a lot of little towns dotting the country.   cities don't usually grow together like in the states.   one of the great things about these little towns, is it's individual church.   as you drive around, you pass towns and can see the main church bell tower sticking up out into the skyline.   you can always see the church tower.   larger cities grow up and over them, but the towns, always have this high point in their skyline.  

here's another piece of interesting history.   i noticed that in our town, there are a lot of large crucifixes on the road side.   just driving down the road, there is a 4-8 ft tall crucifix.  a friend of mine was finally able to explain it.   germany has had freedom of religion for a very long time.   but back in the "old days" this meant that you could be protestant or catholic.   many towns, especially small ones, divided into those religions.   you could not be a protestant and live in a catholic town.   so catholic towns had the familiar crucifixes erected all over the town.   if you watch as you drive around, some towns have them, others not.   the ones without, were one of 3 things: a protestant town, a mixed town, or a newer town.   the town we live in celebrated it's 850th birthday last year!   yeah, seriously!   the tallest thing in this town, is the catholic church, there are crucifixes all over the town.   it was a catholic town.   it now has an evangelistic church in it as well.    
 this is a more modern church tower in a little town near us.  all of the old churches have church towers.   there were not many new churches until recently history.   but now, modern churches almost feel incomplete without a bell tower.   a friend of mine was telling me about her church 's fund raisers and excitement over getting a small bell tower for their church.
 this is actually the bell tower of the bruchsal palace.   it's not actually very old because it has been destroyed and then rebuilt from wars.
 this is another bell tower in bruchsal.   obviously an older one. 

another beautiful church in bruchsal

 this is michealsberg church.  it sits up on a hill and overlooks the whole valley under it.  it is a favorite picnic and evening walk spot.   we walked up part of the hill one time.   it was a really long walk.   the view is amazing!   there is actually a stone with a plaque pointing out in all directions to all of the various towns you can spot from there.   it's pretty cool.
this is actually a little, and i mean tiny, church tucked into a back road on the way up the hill to michealsberg.



 some of these, are just pictures that reflect my church tower obsession.   i have drug my kids though a few of them.  most have just been snapshots while running through the town for some other reason.




 this is actually the church in our town.   when we first got here, i took a video of the church bells.  here's a quick description of what that's all about.   church bells traditionally were the way to keep the town on time.   they still ring every quarter hour.   most have a specific way to ring so you know if it's 15 after, 15 til etc.   our bells are a basic ding ding dong for each 15 minutes and then at the hour, it tolls once for each hour.   the cool thing is at certain times of the day when the bells signal special things.   this was the original wake up call.   at 6 am, the bells toll like i show in the video.   then they do it again at noon to call lunch time and again at 8 pm to signal the end of the day.   obviously, this was traditionally meant for the farmers and towns people before the time of every household having a clock.

the other time these bells toll like this is at the time of someone's death, birth, or marriage.   they also toll on sundays to call people to services and on other special occasions.
i will add pictures as i find or take more.   i also want to put in some from inside.   the inside of these places are amazing to me.   just stay tuned.   same bat time, same bat channel . . .hee hee, batman and the bell towers.