Monday, January 21, 2008

Castle in Germany

Near Baumholder is this castle. It is being restored by the state government and they seem to be doing a morvelous job.

The castle is Burg Lichtenberg.
Burg = fortified castle.
Lichten = treeless.
berg = hill. (Thanks, Judy)

This imposing structure seems to have an interesting set of defensive holes good for shooting arrows out while leaving the smallest profile for the shooter. And too small for anyone to get through.

Here is the moat. Notice it is just the space between an inner and outer wall. No water was run betwixt these walls. No, just a defensive position to kill off a few more maruaders before inviting them in for stew.

Here is the keep. It is the zone of last retreat. A stair or access platform is made of wood that can easily be withdrawn or burned to prevent the enemy from getting to you. A doorway on a 2nd or 3rd story is the only way in and out. So, you stay in the keep until help arrives. Keep plenty of pb&j on hand and some rasberry soda, maybe, it might have happened like that... Even so, it shows a mentality of conflict and preparations for war. Can one imagine how long it took to make these preparations for a future armed conflict? I think it would make a great B&B; great view, no traffic noise, good exercise; instead of it being a flat, its a tall...

This was an entryway into the castle. Note the cobblestone paving and the stone construction. Tremendous workmanship, I think.
One of the towers in an area converted to a restuarant. I don't know if all the touches on this structure are period, but what a beautiful and imposing structure.

I wasn't able to get an overall photo of this complex. It streaches along the hilltop in a long and narrow walled embattlement. It had areas for outdoor shops, stables, residences and stores. It is difficult without doing more reading how a structure like this defined the life and enconomy of the region. This complex now serves as a tourist site, a youth hostile and memories of a bygone era. I am sure it found uses throughout the ages. It is difficult to imagine it burned out and abandoned. The restoration effort is a testiment to the vision of the state to preserve a real jem of a monument to the past.

all for now... Mark

More on Germany

Hello from Germany. Everywhere you look in the countryside, there are windfarms. I also saw a solar farm. The newer windmill bases are more open. I am told this is to provide less wind resistance... Sounds plausable.

Back to the tour... We visited Constantine's throne room, an ancient roman building. You can tell it's Roman by the narrow brick used. The pink building is more recent, but the brick building being obscured is the roman building. See the narrow brick?

The statuary was something else. For example, this may remind you of a strong woman. I think they were on to something.

And for handles, this was a true handle.

I think disney had this to base the dongeon dog on. What do you think? This was the door into the basicillia. Amazing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Roman in Germany

Welcome to our blog! This is my premier entry into this blog. I am starting this entry from my wife's cousin's home in Baumholder, Germany. The first photo posted here is in front of a Roman gate in the historic City of Trier which is a famous site off Constantine's second throne in the Dom. This structure you see behind Jim Graham and me is one off the gates through the walled city. We visited the cathedral where the robe Christ wore (one piece) (without hem or tear) is kept. Apparently they bring this out to display once every 20 years or so. I think some t-shirt companies liked the idea and have employed it well over the years. We saw remnants of Roman baths and ate in a basement restaurant where I had a pork cutlet (jager schnitzel). The second photo is o a roman statue showing the local wine workers moving their wares down river in a barge. The barge to the right is me.

I am over in Germany for a visit from Reading in England where I am working with a local utility company, Thames Water with some improvements to their 350 waste water treatment plants.
Here are some interesting characters we found in Constantine's throne room... Note the predominance of bearded wonders~

The Grahams have a lovely home here in Germany. The have been gracious enough to ferry me around in search of the holy Grail... the perfect photo opportunity.
Tomorrow, we are going to a nearby castle and lunch as a Greek restaurant. We couldn't get Italian ice cream because the shop was closed for the winter. But we had great bread from a local market with our clam chowder for supper. Yum yum.

Now, since I am, after all, an engineer...  
here is some stuff found in Trier that might interest an engineer.  First, this is a manhole cover in a cobblestone street.  It has the image of a saint holding a key to the city.  

What beautiful work in front of a bishop's square.  If there is one profession that hasn't gone out of need here it is bricklayers.   Wow!  What a wonder.   

They even provided for drainage.  

Her is some brickwork in a cemetery area at the cathedral.  

This was a view out of the roman gate into the city.  Note the beautiful tile work and the lightening protection...

Now, that we are speaking about roofs, here is a scupper...   You had to be there...

Now, they not only tell you where to go, they tell you what do do when you get there...

More later.  Be well and go with God.  Mark