Sonntag, 27. März 2016

Holy Saturday Socks and Tour


Following is what I was trying to write on Holy Saturday. So you get it a day late. We are home now.


For our family's celebration in this Holy Week, we drove numbers of hours across three countries (only corners of them, but still three...) to a church retreat at a Jugendherberge (youth hostel) in the mountains of Bavaria. The building is an old stone structure with exposed wood beams and painted antique furniture. The Internet Connection is awful and the air around here turns all my words into German words with capitals on all nouns. But the Setting is pretty - forested mountains by a lake,  when said setting peeks though the fog.
This was the weather on Arrival.

Arrival at the old hostel.

Wrought iron fixtures

Folk art painted furnishings

A wall

The Setting by a lake with the merest glimpse of the Background mountains

Spring was springing

For down time, Maria brought along her knitting. Around Bible study class and meals and choir practice, she finished a pair of socks in Easter Colors, and then handed them over: "For you, Mom." So sweet. And pretty. Thank you, Maria.

In Progress....

And.... finished.

Easter Socks

Tour of Mittenwald

In the afternoon of Saturday, our Group got a guided tour of a nearby town, called Mittenwald, meaning "in the middle of the forest." Some forest does remain, but the most spectacular features of the valley, are the mountains that surround the the town. It is in the middle is the Bavarian Alps. The Karwendel range is on one side and the Wetterstein range on the other. Marvelous. The valley between is called the Upper Isar valley, for the river of that name that runs through the valley.

A Portion of the town showing the nearby mountains

History: The town started in the second century as a Roman outpost along a trade route from Venice over the Brenner Pass through the Inn valley to Augsburg, the most important Roman fort in Southern Germany. Mittenwald was a prominent trade Center when, as the guide said," Munich was just a pig farm." Luther went through the town on his pilgrimage to Rome. Hitler built barracks there that are used today for Training the elite mountain troops. The town became world-famous for its violin and stringed instument makers in previous centuries, and revived in modern times. After the railroads came through, so did tourists, so the town changed from manufacturing to tourism, which was good for a while, but is subject to economic Forces. Also, tourism doesn't offer enough employment opportuities for the Young People sometimes, so the town is losing many of its Young People to the bigger cities - like Münich, which has long since surpassed little Mittenwald in size (Population 7200) and importance.

The town is also known for its fresco painters. Many, many buildings, both public and private, in Bavaria are decorated on their exteriors with large murals or illusionistic ornamentation. The frescos used to be done in the old style of painting in wet plaster with earth pigments that chemically bonded with the plaster. Now  the frescos are done as paintings on dry surfaces with modern pigments. The old ones are remarkably resilient to weather and weathering and may be several hundred years old and still in good shape.

Note the beam work too.

The pedestrian Center of the town

This is actual plaster work Reliefs, with painting to the left side
Here is a fresco - guess who was sketching away and taking notes as the tour progressed...

Painted elements, relief plaster work, wrought iron  shop signs, and wooden balcony

A beautiful facade with plaster work and painting, and a lovely shadow.

The door of the same building above, with the sign shadow

A further view from the front

One of many entry decorations

An ornamented window

A very old building fully frescoed. The various figures are apostles  and the Virgin, all leading the eye to the Trinity in heaven.

The church - this Version built in the 1700's, though earlier ones were present for centuries before. It is the Peter and Paul church as depicted on the bell Tower. (Peter always holds keys - to remit and retain sins, and Paul a sword - of the Word.)

Music makers in the fresco

Apostles, close up, from the building shown above.

A violin maker's shop

A more recent style of painting


The Monument to the first violin maker who brought the craft to the town.

The violin maker, by the church.

The local violin Museum with very old frescoes in earth-based pigments.

The Baroque interior of the church, arrayed for Easter. After the 30 Years War ended in 1648, the German People were so worn by the privations and Devastation and plagues of the previous decades, that they eagerly adopted the Baroque style of decoration (originated in Italy in the Counter-Reformation, though German Baroque was somewhat different from the Italian form). Almost every village in all of Germany has Baroque churches and chapels. The style was intended to show glimpses of heaven now and here on earth for the war-weary People.

The ceiling painting looks like a vaulted dome, but is actually on a flat Surface - a well done Illusion. The organ - seen in the balcony - is Swiss-made, and organists come from all over the world to Play it in the excellent acoustics of the church.

In one Transept of the church, the creche stays up for half the church year (the Festival half), with changing Scenes from Advent to Pentecost. This Shows the Easter scene of the Resurrected Lord. The figures are almost  a foot tall.

This Shows the other side of the Scene with the City, and background painting.

All the pews are hand-carved solid Wood.

We were delighted that the weather forecast for rain did not materialize - God smiled on the whole Weekend with clear skies and wonderful views.
Behold wonderful views.

And bright sunshine on the street-side flowers. (All these town photos are by Florian.)

A very large mug of local beer.

A Schweinhaxen and Knodel platter. That's pork shank and potato dumpling.

A "Butterschnitzel."

Apfel Struedel with vanilla Sauce.

That was Saturday. Tomorrow I hope we see many eggs. ....And maybe your Easter festivities.

Sickly Machine 

This may or may not post - my computer seems to be sickly presently. If you sent Egg entries, I will get to them as soon as this machine is working properly. Thank you, All.
Remember : All EGG entries due in by the end of tomorrow, your time.

Blessed Easter to All.


  1. Mittenwald was absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to go back by motorcycle for a couple days this summer. So much history and handcraft surrounded by Germany's most beautiful mountains, and the people still go out in traditional dress - it's just a great place.

    In regard to the socks - what I actually said was, "Here, I'll trade you socks for some nougat." Because Mom was holding nougat and I'd just happened to have finished the socks.

  2. So much beauty! It's just stunning. Makes me sigh a little...

  3. So much beauty! It's just stunning. Makes me sigh a little...