Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 13
This last day we visited fairy tale castles.  Heading south toward the Alps our first visit was to the most famous castle built by Mad King Ludwig—Neuschwanstein.  Construction was started in 1869 and was incomplete when Ludwig died under mysterious circumstances in 1886.  It is a major revenue producer for this part of Germany.   

We also visited Ludwig’s hunting lodge—the Linderhoff.  

Those of us who wanted to be dropped off in Munich went to the Hoffbrau Haus for dinner.  

After dinner we took the subway to our hotel.  
July 12 
This morning we left Rothenburg and drove to Augsburg.  Augsburg was founded in 15 BC by the Romans.  For centuries it has been a university town and a center of trade as well.  It was here in 1518 where Luther had met the papal legate who demanded Luther to submit to the pope.  It is most famous as the location where the doctrinal statement of the new Lutheran Church, the Augsburg Confession, was presented to the Imperial Diet in 1530. 

 We had a guided tour which included the Fuggerie where we had lunch. The Fuggerei is the world's oldest social housing complex still in use. It is a walledenclave within the city of Augusburg.  It takes its name from the Fugger family as a place where the needy citizens of Augsburg could be housed. By 1523, 52 houses had been built, and in the coming years the area expanded with various streets, small squares and a church. The gates were locked at night, so the Fuggerei was, in its own right, very similar to a small independent medieval town. It is still inhabited today, affording it the status of being the oldest social housing project in the world. The cost to live there is about $1 per year.

 Late this afternoon we will drove to Munich.  We will had a tour of the city including the famous Marienplatz and watched the mechanical figures of the Glockenspiel.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11 
After our relaxing day yesterday this morning we boarded the bus to head out to the fabled town of Heidelberg.  Heidelberg is the home of Germany’s oldest university and the ancient capital of the Palantine.  This charming city was a stronghold of the Protestants beginning as early as 1560.  Overlooking the Neckar River is one of the most impressive landmarks in all of Germany—the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle.  It is a combination of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque German architecture and was built beginning in 1214 with clear evidence of the later additions.  We had a guided tour through this lovely town which included a visit to the Church of the Holy Spirit 

 After lunch break we went  to Worms.  During a walking tour we saw the biggest Luther monument marking the place where Martin Luther made his famous “Here I stand” declaration.  

 It was in 1521 that Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic world when he declared that unless he could be proved to be in error from Scripture he could not and would not recant.  It was also in Worms that the English reformer, William Tyndale, completed the printing of the English version of the New Testament in 1525.   

We will returned to Rothenburg and saw the impressive Dom of Speyer on our way back.