Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip - Germany

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section:
September 16, Wednesday – Road between Giessen and Munich, Germany
After breakfast went to bank and exchanged money.  Left Giessen and got back on autobahn.  Drove by Frankfurt, took a side trip to see the Rhine River, then ate lunch in Heidelburg.  Got back on highway and drove by Stuttgart, Ulm, and Dachau to Munich.  Had hotel rooms,* thank goodness.  Saw a huge convoy of American Army trucks on road, one wreck, and the Rhein-Main airfield.  Went through part of the Black Forest and also saw part of Bavaria.  The day was quite long.

* According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Wolff Hotel in Munich, Germany.

This was a long day of travel!  I had to split the map to make the towns visible.  This was also the day where Mom visited some places that I visited 29 years later, on my trip to Germany in April 1982.  Thus, I'm going to use some of my photographs as illustrations in this post.

Below is the famous eastern side of the 
Römerberg (a plaza) in the Altstadt (old town) of Frankfurt.  The buildings are the Alt-Limpurg house, the Römer, which is the city hall, and the Haus Löwenstein.  These medieval buildings were heavily damaged by bombing in World War II but were rebuilt.  I wasn't sure if the reconstruction was completed by 1953 (it definitely was by 1955), but I did find a reference to the "return ... of the registry office ... in the fall of 1953" that indicates it might have looked like this by then:

Alt Limpurg, Römer, and Haus Löwenstein, Frankfurt, Germany, 5 April 1982 / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Heidelberg, looking towards the Neckar River, 16 April 1982 / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Above is a picture of Heidelberg, looking towards the Neckar River, with the Karl-Theodor-Brücke (Karl-Theodor Bridge), better known as the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), to the right.

At left is a photo (by Amanda Pape, 16 April 1982 CC BY-NC-ND 4.0of the Brückentor (bridge towers) on the Alte Brücke. The towers (without the caps) were originally constructed in the 15th century as part of the town's walls.  The Alte Brücke was damaged in World War II, but was quickly repaired (by 1947).

Mom mentioned that she "went through part of the Black Forest."  It's likely that the route from Heidelberg to Stuttgart took her through Pforzheim, a major city at the northern end of this region.  Below is a photo of a house built in the style of a traditional Schwarzwälder (Black Forest) farmhouse. 

Traditional Schwarzwälder-style farmhouse, Black Forest,  Germany, 15 April 1982 / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Mom also said she "saw part of Bavaria."  Munich and Dachau are of course a part of that area, but she probably also went through Augsburg.  An interesting feature there is the Fuggerei. This is the world's oldest social housing complex still in use, founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger the Younger (aka "Jakob Fugger the Rich").  The photo at right (by Amanda Pape, 13 April 1982 CC BY-NC-ND 4.0is of the Seiteneingang (side entrance).  Much of the Fuggerei was heavily damaged in World War II bombing, but it was quickly rebuilt.

This is the 40th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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