Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Miltenberg May 6, 2014

This pretty little medieval town was our stop today. Many of the houses are half timbered above street level, though it flooded so often that it was decreed that all houses should be of more substantial stuff at street level, such as stone or brick. These days they have arrangements to close access through the river walls to prevent flooding in the town itself.

The place is famous for a priest who, in 1960, rang the full peals of bells for 20 minutes to drown out a rally of the far right National League. Charged with preventing freedom of expression, he was eventually found guilty and fined, but the villagers paid his fine and he was “removed” from his parish to become assistant bishop.

From the city gate at one end of the main street, through the narrow town hemmed in by river on one side and hills on the other, to the church and market square at the far end is probably no more than a kilometer and almost every place is ancient and gorgeous.

Entry gate
Main street

There are, of course, the ubiquitous signs advertising the goods sold below. Some of the oldest are on the shop fronts themselves, a double headed axe for the butcher for example. I don’t know the significance of the inclusion of the Star of David on the two hotel signs.

sign-1_edited-1_thumb3 sign-2_edited-1_thumb3

The statues on facades and corners have been lovingly restored and the date of original construction is often shown.

Virgin and child

There is a large hotel in town. Legend has it that the builder asked the local bishop for 100 trees to build it and it has a curious resemblance to a ship. Our guide thinks it was built by a shipbuilder, perhaps put out of work by the fall of the Armada. It has housed kings from time to time, the last being Elvis, who visited for a drink when stationed nearby.

Note the curved line of the building
and the rear looking like the back of a galleon

The market place has a fine well and several magnificent houses, as well as the unprepossessing church. Many important buildings were in a local red stone (quarry owned by the bishop of course) and it is a not particularly attractive look; rather dark and dour as seen in the bridge.

Market square houses
The gatehouse and bridge


Next stop: Rudesheim, cruising the Rhine gorge and a Castle for a dining spot.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you've certainly had a very scenic cruise to some lovely places. Enjoy Amsterdam! Tour