A Slight Christmas Story and a Short Trip to Bavaria
Perhaps, this is too late, but still I would like to greet you all: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you all have a wonderful year ahead, filled with joy, happiness and a renewed spirit.
December was a hectic months for me, but I did have quality times with the people I love. During Christmas, I stayed for four (4) days with my German parents in Seevetal, 30 minutes from Hamburg (I had talked about them some time ago in my previous post). Just as we did last year, the family members gathered at home and went to church together on Christmas Eve, and having supper together afterwards. The supper was done in what they mentioned as a very traditional way to celebrate Christmas Eve, where foods were all to be melted, or what is best-best known as Raclette.
Moving forwards, I shifted to the second largest city in Bavaria, Nürnberg, visiting an Indonesian Pastor and her husband, who is a German and a Pastor as well. They work for Evangelisch-Luterische Kirche in Bayern, and I enjoyed very much spending time with them –with great discussions. I stayed there for two nights, and in the second day I was brought to have a glimpse about the (great) history of the city.
First, we went to the cemetery nearby (St. Johannisfriedhof), which is located outside of the wall of the city. It was mentioned that in former times, those people who were buried around that cemetery must be just ordinary people or not important in society, but later on, even the grave of German famous philosopher and anthropologist who wrote the book “The Essence of Christianity”, Ludwig Feuerbach, also lays there. The cemetery is also known as “the Rose Cemetery” for its myriad decorative rosebushes, where can be found on each grave. There are also angels put on some graves, which as symbols that they are accompanying the dead persons, that they are lamenting on them, but also as symbols of hope (some of the angels are also holding roses in their hands).
After that, we walked for some minutes to reach one of the most important places in German history, the Nuremberg Castle (Kaiserburg Nürnberg). This Castle is located inside the city wall, but that was so fascinating to see that it is built on the sandstone rock, high above. From there, one can easily see the beautiful scenery of the city of Nürnberg. But, what is the most important part of that Castle?
Well, Nürnberg was seen by Hitler and the Nazis as a potential city for their Party’s rallies. It happened because of its relevance to the Imperial City of Nürnberg, where it was considered as the “most German of German cities”, and since the Middle Ages, the Castle in it has represented the glory and importance of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, and became the place where court assemblies and Imperial Diets were held (I was surprised that this was part of my lecture during the last Summer Term, in the class of Religions, Churches and Theology in Europe and the Western World, so I tried to recall the things I have studied about).
Due to its connection to the Nazis, the city was therefore dreadfully damaged through the bombing raids during the Second World War, and it was then captured by U.S. troops. Today, some associate Nürnberg as one of Hitler’s beloved cities. Yet, history is history. People of the today’s world just need to look back at it and learn from it, and that our steps have to always moving ahead. However the history was, Nürnberg is today still a great city with its great history, and that the castle is still gallantly standing there (after being rebuilt), becomes one of the most likeable places to visit in Germany, particularly in Bavaria.