October 14, 2011

Things I learned in Prague and Germany

Prague in the Czech Republic, the City of 100 Spires

There must be a church on every street corner in Prague.
They were  beautiful, ornate, and empty. 
It seemed the only people there were tourists.
Most churches in Prague today are used for concerts or tourists attractions.

I did a little research about this.  I found that.....

The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations anywhere. Historically, the Czech people have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion". From 1991 to 2001, the number of people identifying with no religion increased by 19.1%, or two million people, representing the largest group increase. Adherence to Christianity decreased by over one million persons. ( Wikipedia)

But the churches were certainly attractions!
They have beautiful stained-glass windows
and magnificent altars.
This baby Jesus had quite a wardrobe.
There was a display case filled with his robes.
His clothes matched the liturgical colors.


Nuremberg is most often associated with the Nuremberg trials
which took place after World War II.
You could visit the room where the trials took place.

However, we visited the site where
most of Hitler's Nazi rallies were held.
You would recognize it from the news reels
showing the rise in power of Adolf Hitler.

This is how the site of Nazi party rallies looks today.
Image Detail
The Nazi party rally grounds between 1933-1938
was a huge site with monumental buildings
where the party rallies were held. 
The Hitler Youth and Hitler's military troops
had their parades on these grounds.

The never finished Congress Hall, known as Colosseum of Nuremberg in Germany, was meant to be the focal point for Hitler's rallies.  It was planned to be larger than   Rome's Colosseum. It was never completed because of the end of the war.  Nowadays it houses the documentation center, where you can see many pictures of Nuremberg in the time of Nazis.

Image Detail
A reminder for us all....

Somewhere in Germany along
the Main and Rhine Rivers

Altar Guild lady is getting the church ready for Sunday services.
I did a little research about this, too.

Most of Germany practices Christianity.
The two major denominations in Germany today are the Lutheran Church and Roman Catholicism.
The Lutheran Church is the largest denomination in Germany. (Wikipedia)
That makes sense.  Remember Martin Luther was German.

A castle or a palace???

A castle is built on a hill as a fortress.

A palace is built in a valley as a residence.

Sometimes palaces have cute guards!

Castle or a Palace???
I'm not sure!

We learned why rows in vineyards are planted vertically.
Makes picking the grapes easier....

Sometimes you can even sample wine from the vineyards.
This was at the home of a real live prince.
It must have been a palace!

 The Locks

Navigating the rivers would be impossible
without a system of locks.

On this trip we went through 34 different sets of locks.

A lock makes it possible to move from
one level of water to another.
It reminds me of a big bathtub.

Look at the difference in the water level
on each side of the lock.
Going down a river without a lock
would be "white-water rafting" for sure.

I don't want to scare you but
I took a total of 482 pictures.
I promise I won't post them all!

I had to pay my children to watch them!

But....Next time I want to tell you about
the food, flowers, fables, and fun things
that we saw in Germany.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could both be
 right there right now
enjoying a caffe?


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