Mannheim Palace

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Thousands of students come and go, probably without giving any thought to the fact that the offices of Mannheim University inhabit the finest residence to grace the banks of the Rhine River in the 18th century. Monumental in size, it dominates the modern townscape with its grid like street layout. In Germany, when you see straight roads […]

Krämer Bridge in Erfurt

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     The Krämer Bridge in Erfurt is an old medieval bridge over the Gera River covered by  thirty-eight inhabited half-timber houses and popular stores with a pedestrian zone running down the center and a church on either end.  It is called the Krämerbrücke in German: Krämer (alternately spelled Kraemer) means Merchant or Seller of Small Goods and Brücke (Bruecke) means Bridge.  So the Krämerbrückemeans Merchant’s Bridge. And true […]

Religious Variety in 18th Century Frankfurt

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Religious variety reflected the composition of the population.  The Jews led their own religious life within their ghetto (200 houses and a synagogue), whose two gates were shut every night until 1796.  The three Christian denominations of the Holy Roman Empire were all prominent, though in different ways.  It was popularly said, that in Frankfurt, the Catholics had […]

Rastatt Castle Schloss Rastatt

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  A proud series of baroque residences were built along the upper Rhine River.  Rastatt Castle was the first, founded by the Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden (1655 – 1707), nicknamed “Turk Louis“ by locals due to his spectacular military success in the recent Turkish wars. The oldest baroque residential palace on the Upper Rhine still receives its guests much as […]