There is, in Germany, a little tourist magnet called cleverly “the Romantic Street”. It is loosely based on the route the Romans took crossing that part of the continent and runs from Wurzburg in almost the centre of Germany down to Fussen on the Austrian border. The premise is that it is full of romantic castles, medieval houses, palaces and that kind of thing.
The route starts at this point. This modest semi detached in Wurzburg was built by a “Sea” of Bishops so that they would have somewhere comfortable to relax after a hard day’s Bishoping.
Here is one of them showing just how demanding the job was way back then in 1720. None of these endless committee meetings you get nowadays. If a job needed doing you just wrapped yourself up in the living room curtains, Grabbed your pointiest hat and sharpest sword and got on with a bit of slaying or whatever was needed.
There are of course lots of more modest houses and public buildings all along the route. Most of them are extremely well maintained and make a wonderful background to the towns and cities along the way.
We spent several days covering the northern half of the Romantic Route but were not alone on the roads. This man couldn’t decide whether to ride his motorbike or his skateboard so took both on the road.
Other forms of transport, were of course accompanying us.
The interiors of German churches and cathedrals are incredibly ornate and seem to be made almost entirely of gold.
No surface is left unadorned, whether by gilding, carving or by painting, not least of all the ceilings 30 metres up where no one without a decent camera and long lens can see the detail.
The symbolism used is slightly different wherever you go but wherever you look you are left with a distinct feeling of awe.
St. Aqualin, a locally born bishop seemed to have met a rather violent end and is celebrate with this statue in Wurzburg Cathedral.
We left the cathedral by a side door leading to a small courtyard where we saw many people eating pretzel and drinking wine whilst listening to an “Oom Pa Pa” brass band.
Never had we seen a musician more suited to his instrument than this tubist.
We mingled long enough to be handed two half pint glasses of “Muller Thurgau” wine and a couple of pretzels so had an entertaining and free lunch.
We took a bit of a detour part way through the Romantic Strasse and went to Regensburg on the Danube river where we saw the “Walhalla” a neo classical hall of fame created by this chap:
Good old Crown Prince Ludwig in about 1807. This impressive building houses dozens of busts of distinguished Germans (or those honoured by the German people.) Here are a few that I cobbled together:
The Walhalla is a most impressive structure both inside and out.
Here is Sheila waving from the top of the steps whilst I walk right down the bottom just to take this photo.
The view from the top of the steps across the Danube (Donau in German) is also quite spectacular.
Most towns and villages in this area have a “Maibaum” or maypole. Not a simple pole and ribbon affair often seen in Britain, but an enormously tall and elaborately decorated tree trunk erected on the 1st of May in the village square, clearly a hark back to pre Christian fertility rites.
Each pole is decorated with symbols representing different aspects of the community.
Now comes the “Romantic” bit:
And the end of the Romantic Strasse is the mist enshrouded fairytale castle in Fussen if you can make your way past the fields of Japanese tourists!