Thursday, February 27, 2014

More Münster Churches: Part 2

Today's Münster churches come to you with a very special twist!  It so happens that 'M', Philine's best friend in Münster, joined us on Saturday (back on February 8th) to show us some masterpieces of her father's handiwork in stained glass and mosaics.

First of all, let me introduce you to Ludwig Baur:
August 26, 1904 - September 8, 1977 (with further bio)
He was a devote catholic who dedicated his life to his art.
Lucky for us, we got to visit 3 churches where we viewed his craftsmanship.

 We drove first to the Catholic Church of St. Joseph, built in 1894.

See the glass work with only hints of color?  It's his work, all of it, from 1950.
(the details are explained here)

But it's the Madonna and Child alcove that set this church apart for me.
His mosaic work is intricate and colorful, with doves of peace flying overhead.

A huge pillar stands nearby with these 2 guardians.
I so wanted to know what they were there for!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From St. Joseph's we drove to the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, built in 1928.
There was actually a contest for the architectural design as well as for the interior glass and art.
 Guess who won the contest for the latter!
(the details are explained here)

Can you imagine looking at this scene above the altar each Sunday!

'M' used her trusty book to describe everything to us.
She was so calm, cool and collected.  I would have been popping my buttons with pride!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From that point we drove 10km outside of Münster, to Telgte, where 'M' grew up with her parents and 2 siblings.  It's a town of just under 20K inhabitants, best known for its annual pilgrimage dedicated to the Black Madonna, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It's Germany's second largest pilgrimage.

We were in for a real treat!

 As we entered the town from the parking lot, we passed this mosaic marker.
Guess who did the mosaic work!
(Pay attention to the Black Madonna and the Chapel, coming up.)

 But first things first.  It was time for the Alter Gasthof Seiling.
If you want real German food, that's the place to eat, 'M' said.

 And because it was right there on the town square, we walked around afterwards.
Did you ever hear about the town crier...and about not looking a gift-horse in the mouth?
And see that delightful Markt Café (top-left)?
(hold that thought....

...while we first check out the markers all over the square's coblestones)

That's where we had koffie to follow up our real German lunch!
Yes, we ate lunch in one place and then walked across the square for koffie and dessert.
Don't you love how the Europeans do these things!

THEN we were ready to see the Chapel of the Black Madonna (Gnadenkapelle).
This chapel, at the doorstep of the St. Clemens church, was built expressly for her in 1654.

Small.  Intimate.  Cozy.  Built for the pilgrimage.  
This Sorrowful Mother (Black Madonna) is from 1370, 
connected to Mother Earth and the ancient goddesses.

Right next door is the Catholic Church of St. Clemens, built in 1522 on the River Ems.
(you can see how close it is to the chapel in the top-right image above)

Everything means something with these churches, of course.
It would take a lot of digging to unearth it all, I'm sure.

But THIS is what we were there to see.  The stained-glass masterpeices of Lugwig Baur from 1947-52!
Those right-bottom images are for separate municipalities in the area.
Only the bottom-center tower window is not his, from 1878.
(the details are explained here)

Another magnificent church made special because of a personal connection!

And since we were right there, we walked across the street to see the River Ems
and Dümmert Park on the other side of the bridge...with LOVE PADLOCKS!
"Thanks for 40 years."  Isn't that sweet!

Walking through the park on our way back to the car, we saw the fish dams
and the statue of the Judas Kiss....and the new crocusses starting to bloom.

Back at the parking lot, who could miss this work of art!  Bucheum:
It apparently drives around Münsterland with fairy tales and stories for children of all ages.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Later that evening, after we all had a rest, we drove over to 'M's lovely home...

...for a "lite" supper and fellowship that took us long into the evening.
And while we had dined with her there 3+ years before, this was different.
This was the pure cementing of a friend for life, made more special because of her father!

'M' is one year my senior.  We could be sisters.  We ARE sisters.
And now I know for sure our dads would just love getting to know each other!
My dad, the Preacher.
Her dad, the Church Painter.
Oh, and Astrid's dad, the Trumpeter/Musician.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Some Münster Churches: Part 1

This part of our recent weekend in Münsterland, Germany, will be in two parts because...well...because there really are two parts.  Today's part is about the churches we saw while only with Philine.  Part 2 will be of churches with friend Mechtild, whose father was the artist of stained-glass windows and mosaics in other churches around Münster.

So, there really is rhyme and reason with this!

Between Friday and Saturday, here are the churches we saw while with Philine:

First of all, there were several churches we saw only from the outside:
top row:  Die Clemenskirche (1745).
center row:  Die Martini Kirche (1180) and Die Ludgeri-Kirche (1173).
bottom row:  Die Überwasserkirche (1460).

The first church we entered was, appropriately, Philine's church, Die Apostelkirche.
It's Münster's main protestant church, built in the second half of the 13th century.
I love how open and light it is.

The Euthymia Center honors the St. Clemens nun who was beatified in 2001.
A St. Clemens sister was delighted to tell us more about Euthymia, who lived from 1914-1955.

 This quaint Servatii Kirche is from 1230, one of the oldest churches in Münster.
It has a very cozy feel to it and was probably my favorite.

The St. Johannes Kapelle near Philine's home is also very cozy, from the 14th century.
It holds aprroximately 100 church-goers and is often used for weddings.

Then, of course, there's the Dom, Münster's cathedral from 1225.
When we entered this time there was a chapel service in session, so we didn't stay long.

All of the above churches were within walking distance from Philine's apartment in city center.
Late Saturday afternoon, while driving out-n-about, we drove 15 miles to Freckenhorst,
to see the Collegiate Church of St. Boniface.

The Collegiate Church was first a monastery founded in 854.

The open square at the church entrance includes a mammouth tree and a St. Boniface statue.
And lots of wonderful architecture!

We arrived in enough time before a service to take pictures inside.

The elements for Holy Communion were already set out.

The baptismal font in a side alcove is considered to be the most important baptismal
of the 12th century in Germany.

We left because of the service but could have stayed to see so much more.

What a charming town of circa 8K residents!
We were not disappointed.

 Moseying right along....(to be continued).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Münster, Germany, 2014

In celebration of our 4-year wedding anniversary (February 5), Astrid and I drove to Münster, Germany, 2  weekends ago, to spend a 3-day weekend with good friend, Philine.  She's the one who visited us here in Gorinchem this past November and who we visited in 2010.  Thus the 2014 in my title!

Not only did we put Silverleaf to a long-distance test (we drove 580 km total = 360 miles, most of it in rain and heavy wind), we got our bearings again where Philine lives, expanding our relationship with her delightful part of the world.

This post is about Münster proper and our special time with Philine, much of which took place Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  The rest of the time--churches and castles--will come later.

It's a 2.5-hour drive to Münster from our apartment, and Philine wanted us to arrive in time for lunch.  
We stayed at a neighborhood hotel 5 min.-walk away, right near the Martini Kirche.
As you may remember, Philine is one of those delightful friends who talks with her whole body!
We love her to death.

 After lunch, we started walking throughout the city.  You know me and architecture!
At the end of the day, before supper, we even saw the city's palace from 1767...all lit up.

Almost before we really got started, we stopped for koffie.
HA!  No complaints from us.
(Astrid and I love our latte macchiatos!)

Then we walked part of the promenade that surrounds the old town, 
similar to our citadel walk here in Gorinchem.

And to show how much Philine knows us (!), she took us to this schoolyard where we could play.
Of course, Astrid is the pilot!

In that same schoolyard is the pacifier tree.
When pacifiers "graduate" away from their children, guess where they end up?!
How cute is that!

We actually stopped inside a couple churches that afternoon, which I'm saving for my next post.
But here are some skyline views that we got from top floors of a hospital and senior center.

Whenever we rode an elevator with mirrors, yup, we played!  (Astrid's pics, my processing)
Philine is such a good sport, pretending to be so stoic.

That evening for supper we met up with Philine's brother and a friend at Le Feu for flammkuchen.
If it reminds you of our Dutch pannenkoeken, you're on the same page.
We even ended with sweet cream, apple slices, cinnamon and sugar, flambéed with Calvados!

There were 5 of us so we ordered 5 different flammkuchen and shared them.
Astrid and I both chose the König Ludwig beer before discovering he was Bavaria's gay king.
And guess what:  he died on June 13, 1886 (my birthday is June 13).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

That was Friday.  We then had Saturday morning with Philine before spending the rest of the weekend joined by friend Mechtild.

We walked from our hotel to Philine's for breakfast on a sunny Saturday morning.
The weathervane is just down the street from her apartment.

After breakfast we walked towards the St. Paulus Dom for the market.
So much to see everywhere you go, of course!

As we neared the Dom, a priest stopped to chat after finishing confession.
Philine is a stranger to no one...and she's not even Roman Catholic.

Here's the St. Paulus Dom, Münster's main church.

And here's the market on the main square, outside the Dom, every Wednesday and Saturday.
In this regard, Germany and Dutchland are similar.

Some things stick out like sore thumbs for me.  Have you noticed?

Fruits and vegetables.  Take your pick.

And more Dutch tulips in Germany than we've seen thus far in Dutchland!
Don't you just love the market.

And while walking here-n-there, we're always stopping, you know.

Impressions.  Impressions.  Impressions.

And reminders everywhere that Germany is really our sister country,
in spite of any history that may rankle the natives!

(to be continued....)