On Wednesday our hosts Werner and Elke took us to Friedberg, near Giessen and Marbach. It is much much older as it did not suffer as much bombing during the war, as Giessen did. The city is beautiful and dates back centuries. In the middle of the main thoroughfare an archeological excavation is ongoing, where earlier streets and buildings were found closer together, and then even much earlier where the buildings were so close it is but merely a large pathway. It was Wednesday, and the day for the market vendors, and some there were more like our food trucks in Saint Charles, while others had the older style tents.
The street was lined with shops and cafés and led up to the old castle, where the Lord and owner once lived. Inside is the old Friedberg, which is beautiful and well maintained. There is the old church, and houses of the villagers, inside the ramparts. As you walk you come to the top, which has a beautiful view which overlooks the valley and neighboring villages.
On the way home we went through Trier, and past old ruins of medieval castles from the Middle Ages. There was a mill, and the water course reminded me of George Muench’s mill in Dutzow. It must be only a smaller version yet exactly like Muench’s, with the old sluice gate. We passed an old monastery which today is used as a hotel and restaurant. (Great adaptive re-use!) The villages are so old and beautiful and help one to picture how it must have been when Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius lived here. It must have been so hard to leave.
The weather and the landscape are similar to Missouri. And while it is cooler right now, like Missouri it changes from day to day, and sometimes in a day. The grass is still green, but the trees are changing. This must have only added to the homesickness of the emigrants. Sometimes I think how similar things are. It is only in the architecture of the buildings that it is so different. I know Muench bought Blumner’s log cabin in 1834, and lived out his life there.
After such a difficult move as to immigrate, perhaps that is why he chose to never move again.