Day 8: I Take a Down Day

We docked at Würzburg, where there is a royal palace that rivals Versailles. I was feeling a bit worn down, not having slept well the night before. I also realized I was getting a bit snappish, which is a sign I am tired, and it isn’t very nice for other people. So I stayed on board, blogging and reading a trashy novel.

Tom contacted me from the town when they returned from admiring what sounds like a truly amazing palace, complete with Tiepolo frescoed ceilings and amazing three-dimensional plaster work. I did not regret my choice. All palaces are different—and they are all weirdly alike, the obscene excrescences of a previous generation’s multi-billionaires who spent their money indulging their lust for self-aggrandizement and power instead of, say, feeding people. Their only redeeming value is their patronage of the arts, and I am glad these monstrous monuments to ego are now available for the commoners to enjoy.

So I walked as instructed to a large bridge, met Tom, and met up with our friends. Würzburg is a modern city with many older buildings and an huge cathedral. For how I feel about huge cathedrals, please see my remarks on palaces. However, this cathedral was rather interesting. The bones of the building are Romanesque, with Roman arches built in alternating red and white stones, giving it that distinctive look. Inside, the bones are clean, but the apse has been elaborate statues of popes and saints facing the austere columns. Many of the windows must have been shattered during WWII, and have been replaced with clear glass in modern designs. Two altars to either side of the sanctuary feature overwrought and gilded altar displays in the baroque style. Interspersed between the more Renaissance and Baroque works are several modern statues. The sanctuary light is housed in an abstract, towering sculpture.

Smaller chapels to either side feature gothic arches and what looks like original stained glass. And at the foot of the main aisle stands a monumental menorah. It is an altogether unique cathedral that reflects the ages it has endured.

And that is all I really remember of Würzburg—except for a delicious tomato and cheese sandwich in a perfectly delicious roll baked with many different seeds and saffron. The bread in Europe is not just something to hold your sandwich together, it adds to the pleasure of the meal.

So I will share some photos I think are interesting that I haven’t shared before. Enjoy.

Woven nsragon feom the T@iland exhibition at the Floriade.
Floriade exhibit.

Lovelocks on a bridge in Cologne. The idea is the lovers turn the key in the lock to secure undying love and then throw the key in the river below. The river must be crowded with keys. I have no idea how much these things must weigh.
Interior shot, Cologne Cathedral.
Gigantic hilltop fort in Würzburg, the capital of Lower Franconia. Which is actually upper Bavaria.
Red sandstone carving on the side of an old house in Rothenburg. It says, “Fool, do not gossip about the ladies and gentlemen.”
There are wildflowers everywhere. I love the red poppies. These were in the Netherlands.
The “Dwarf Well” in Cologne. It depicts a fairy tale very similar to the shoemaker and the elves. The well in each town closest to the church was considered to have the purest water. This well is outside the cathedral, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking from it.
One of the many hilltop castles along the Rhine.

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