This town is the most intact that we have visited. Unlike the previous towns that were substantially bombed in WWII and since have rebuilt this town has the buildings that have lined these streets since the 1400’s and 1500’s.
There is a pub in the street level of a hotel, which has operated as a pub since it was built in 1411. It has large doors that were built to allow carriages to enter into the front and leave thru the back so that the patrons would never have to touch their clothes to the filth in the streets. (The first drive thru) It made the history books when Elvis, being in the Army, was stationed close by and would come to this pub and the local girls would swoon.
Land within the city walls has always been the most expensive to own and they found ways to make the most of the space. The first floor would be smaller in square footage then the second floor, the third larger than the second.
Homes were built with a Madonna and child over the front door to indicate that the owners were Catholic (as the majority of the citizens were, and are).
Many of the buildings have the date they were constructed on the building or over the door.
On or around many doors there are letters and numbers written in chalk. What are they? What do they mean? In Germany, and especially in Catholic areas, January 6th is Adoration day (or Three King’s Day). Groups of church singers, especially children will dress in costumes and go door to door singing and asking for donations. When given one they write these symbols on the door. The numbers form the number of the current year. These markings are left up all year as an omen of good fortune.
There is sandstone in abundance in this area. Most of the buildings have the stone as well as timber. To have a home that is all stone was an indication of great wealth and since the property owners were taxed on the number of windows their homes had the owners were displaying their wealth by having many windows.
The Main Street of town is a cobblestone road which was their highway from east and west. It was the route that was used by traders. The townspeople saw an opportunity to earn revenue from these people that depended on this road and would charge a toll within the city walls. They marked the toll road with towers on each end.
High atop the hill sat the castle. The castle has been repurposed into a museum.
The ruins of the castle lend themselves to to a fabulous viewing area of the surrounding countryside.
It was a lovely Autumn day in a lovely ancient city.