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CastleHeidelberg: Heidelberg lies on the river Neckar at the point where it leaves its narrow, steep valley in the Odenwald to flow into the Rhine valley where, 20 kilometres (12 mi) Northwest of Heidelberg, it joins the river Rhine at Mannheim. Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the Rhein-Neckar-Triangle. Approximately 1,000,000 years ago, the "Heidelberg Man", whose jaw-bone was discovered in 1907, the earliest evidence of human life in Europe, died at nearby Mauer. In the 5th century BC there was a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of worship on the Heiligenberg, or "Mountain of Saints." Both places can be identified still. The castle that overlooks the city-centre represents a mix of styles from Gothic to Renaissance. Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398–1410) erected the first representative building in the inner courtyard as a regal residence. The ruin seen today stems from a lightening strike; the King's Hall and world's largest barrel were added later. Take the funicular (Konigstuhl Funicular (Bergbahn)) only one stop to see these sights, then it is a steep but short walk downhill to the old city.

In 40AD a fort was built and occupied by the 24th Roman cohort and the 2nd Cyrenaican cohort (CCG XXIIII and CCH II CYR). The Romans built and maintained castra (permanent camps) and a signaling tower on the bank of the Neckar and built a bridge with wooden top on stone pillars across the river Neckar. The first civilian settlements would develop under the protection of the camp. The Romans remained until 260, when the camp was conquered by German tribes. Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the 5th century when the village Bergheim ("Mountain Home") is first mentioned in documents dated to 769. Bergheim now lies in the middle of Heidelberg (Altstadt). In 863 the monastery of St. Michael was founded on the Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic fortress, and around 1130 the Neuberg Monastery was founded in the Neckar valley. At the same time the bishopric of Worms extended its influence into the valley, founding Schönau Abbey in 1142.

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Predictably, Heidelberg's history mirrors much of this area of Germany, with death and destruction for about 500 years, except that the oldstadt had no damage from allied bombing, because it had no industry. The US would use the city as its headquarters for the American zone. Picture of the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg gilt als eine der schönsten Städte Deutschlands. Das harmonische Ensemble von Schloss, Altstadt und Fluss inmitten der Berge inspirierte ... has inspired romantic writers and artists alike ...

KilianskircheHeilbronn: Heilbronn (Neckar basin) is located adjacent to the Schwäbisch-Fränkischer Wald State Park, made famous for the vineyards that surround it. Viticulture has a long tradition in Heilbronn and is an important part of its economy to this day. Roman Emperor Domitian (AD 81–96) extended the Romans influence eastward away from the Rhine. Thereafter, the outer boundary of the Roman Empire was set at the Neckar-Odenwald-Limes. A castle in today's borough of Böckingen was part of that lime system, and nearby numerous Roman villas were built and plantations flourished. Around 260AD, the Romans surrendered the fortifications, and the Alamanni became rulers of the Neckar basin. Between the 4th and 7th centuries, the area became part of the Frankish Empire, and the first settlement was built in the general vicinity of the current town-centre. The oldest traces of humans in and around Heilbronn date back to the Old Stone Age (30,000 BC). The fertile Neckar floodplains in the Heilbronn basin aided early settlement by farmers and ranchers. The city limits of present-day Heilbronn contain many sites of Bronze Age finds. Later on, but still more than 2000 years ago, the Keltoi already mined here for salt from brine. Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (the former Südsalz GmbH) carries on that tradition, as it has for over 100 years, with food grade as well as industrial salt products. Extraction had extended the Heilbronn mine far to the west so that in 2004 a new shaft, Konradsberg, was added. Heilbronn is a sister city to Béziers in France since 1965.

But let us speak of poetry -- At age twenty-one Goethe (a famous German writer-philosopher) went to Strasburg (Austria) in order to continue legal studies. Already he was planning his first work that would give him fame -- the tragedy of Götz von Berlichingen (who spent three years in "knightly custody" in Heilbronn starting in 1519 and even spent a night in the tower of the bastion -- he died during the outset of the Peasants' War (see information about the Heilbronn-Böckingen pub owner Jäcklein Rohrbach). During the seclusion of Goethe's illness, he occupied himself chiefly with alchemy and mystic speculation; however, the seeds of the future work Faust were being planted, and it was not long before it began to germinate.

The Franks under Chlodwig displaced the natives who had lived under Roman rule and the newcomers settled throughout the Neckar region around 500AD. The area has been predominantly Christian since that time. There are several biographies of him. The oldest texts which refer to him are an 8th century necrology at Würzburg and the notice by Hrabanus Maurus in his martyrology. According to Maurus, Kilian was a native of Ireland, who with eleven companions went to eastern Franconia and Thüringia. After having preached the Gospel in Würzburg, he succeeded in converting to Christianity the local lord, Duke Gozbert, and much of the population. The Duke eventually had him executed while preach, along with two companions. The elevation of the relics of the three martyrs was performed by Burchard, the first Bishop of Würzburg. Their skulls, inlaid with precious stones, have been preserved to this day. On St Kilian's day (July 8th), a glass case containing the three skulls is removed from a crypt, paraded through the streets before large crowds, and put on display in Würzburg Cathedral (dedicated to Kilian). Statues of these three saints (among others) line the famous Saints' Bridge across the River Main. Saint Killian is the Patron Saint for sufferers of rheumatism.

When Heilbronn was first mentioned in an official document (in 741) Christian Michael's Basilica (present day Kilianskirche) was identified along with the city. The league of Teutonic Knights constructed its church from the 13th century. Both structures were continually expanded. While Heilbronn was part of the Diocese of Würzburg, the independent villages of Böckingen, Neckargartach and Frankenbach were attached to the Diocese of Worms. From 1514 on the Heilbronn native Johann Lachmann was caretaker of the parish in St. Kilian, in 1521 he became its preacher, in 1524 he converted to Lutheranism and proceeded to teach and lead the Reformation in Heilbronn against the wishes of both dioceses. After the Protestant reformation of Heilbronn was complete the city remained Lutheran for centuries and the council and citizens accepted the Augsburg Confession without dissent.

September 27 and 28, 1692: In 1504, Ötisheim (due east of Karlsruhe and 20 miles SW of Heilbronn), which had been in the Palatine region of Germany, came under Württemberg control. The town church, predates this time, but has undergone extensive changes. The town was sacked on September 27 and 28, 1692, so that church records do not go back any earlier. The reason for the sacking was France's "Sun King", Louis XIV, trying to claim the inheritance of his sister-in-law Lieselotte. In so doing, Louis launched a war of succession that in a few years time left southwestern Germany lying in rubble. One of the war's decisive battles was fought near Ötisheim at which the Duke-Administrator Karl von Württemberg was taken captive by the French. Ötisheim was burned down leaving only the church, town hall and monastery administration building still standing. In 1744, looking back on that time, pastor Christian Gottfried Nicolai wrote "the inhabitants were all dispersed, everything plundered and the village sat in complete ruin." Only nine inhabitants lived in the ruins in 1697. It is for this reason that the Waldensers (religious followers of Peter Waldo) were granted the right to move straight into this depopulated neighborhood. See also

So John and Ursula BROYLES (Johannes BREYHEL and Ursula RUOP) ended up moving here, marrying and raising a family They most certainly worshipped at the town church before they left for the new world and Pennsylvania. This family was part of the Second Germanna Colony - circa 1717. The colonists were all Lutherans from the Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg regions of Germany. This family ended up in Virginia as indentured servants for Gov. Spottswood at the Germanna Colony (west of today's Fredricksburg) !! More about the Protestant reformation's impact on American immigrants is HERE.

StiftskircheStuttgart: Stuttgart lies about an hour from the Black Forest and a similar distance from the Swabian Jura mountains. The city=centre lies in the lush Neckar River Valley, close by the river, nestled between vineyards and thick woods. The first known setlement of Stuttgart dates from the end of the 1st century AD. The Romans established a fort on the banks of the river in what is today's modern district of Bad Cannstatt. The Romans withdrew in around 260 AD following the invasion of the Alamanni from the north. Although nothing is known about Cannstatt during the period of barbarian invasion, it is believed that the area remained inhabited. It is mentioned in Abbey of St. Gall archives dating back to 700 AD. Modern archæological evidence indicates that the city area was home to Merovingian farmers, when the city was officially founded about 950AD. Around 350 years later, Stuttgart became the residence of the Counts of Württemberg, who expanded the growing settlement into the capital of that territory.

Wine-growing in the area goes back to 1108 when, according to State archives, Blaubeuren Abbey was given vineyards in Stuttgart as a gift from "Monk Ulrich". In the 17th century the city was the third largest German wine-growing community in the Holy Roman Empire. Wine remained Stuttgart's leading source of income well into the 19th century. Stuttgart is still one of Germany's largest wine-growing cities, thanks in main to its location at the centre of the "Württemberg Wine Growing Area" (110.3 km², one of 13 official areas captured under German Wine law). The continuing importance of wine to the local economy is marked every year at the annual wine festival (Weindorf). Stuttgart also has several famous breweries such as Stuttgarter Hofbräu, Dinkelacker as well as Schwaben Bräu.

A peculiarity of Stuttgart is the Zahnradbahn, a cog-driven railway, that is powered by electricity. It operates between Marienplatz in the Stuttgart South district of the city and Degerloch. It is the only urban railway in Germany with this type of locomotion. Stuttgart also has a Standseilbahn, a funicular railway that operates in the Heslach area of Stuttgart South and the forest cemetery (Waldfriedhof). In Killesberg Park, on a prominent hill overlooking the city, one may find the miniature railway run by diesel (and on weekends with steam) Stuttgart's sister city in France is Strasbourg (Straßburg). And dare we forget, Gottlieb Daimler, an inventor, discovered the motorbike and automobile, founded what would become Mercedes-Benz. He was born in a pretty little village near Stuttgart.

Stuttgart is the seat of a Protestant bishop (Protestant State Church of Württemberg) and one of the two co-seats of the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. The Stuttgart-based pentecostal Biblische Glaubens-Gemeinde is the largest place of worship and has the greatest congregation (sometimes called a megachurch in the USA) in Germany. Although the city centre was heavily damaged during World War II, many important buildings have been reconstructed and the city boasts some exceptional examples of modern post-war architecture. Also of interest, at the end of the First World War the Württemberg monarchy ended when William II of Württemberg refused the crown (but also refused to abdicate under pressure from revolutionaries who stormed the Wilhelm Palace). The Free State of Württemberg became part of the Weimar Republic. Stuttgart was proclaimed the capital of the freetate. In 1920 Stuttgart became the temporary home of the German National Government, after the Weimar administration fled from Berlin during the so-called Kapp Putsch.

St-GeorgTübingen: Tübingen, a traditional university town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is situated 30 km (19 miles) upstream of Stuttgart (15 miles southwest of Stuttgart's International Airport), on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. Tübingen itself dates from the 6th or 7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni. There are even some sugestions that the Battle of Solicinium between the Romans and Alemania took place at Spitzberg, a mountain in Tübingen (AD 367), although no evidence yet supports this theory (Candidates: Sulz am Neckar, Heidelberg, Schwetzingen, Rottenburg (Sülchen), Glauberg oder der Tübinger Spitzber.). Tübingen's Altstadt (old town) survived the Second World War due to the city's lack of heavy industry. The result is a growing domestic tourism business as visitors come to wander through one of the few completely intact historic Altstädte in Germany. The highlights of Tübingen include its crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair alleyways picking their way through the hilly terrain, streets lined with canals and well-maintained traditional half-timbered houses.

The altstadt (Olde-town) landmarks include the Rathaus (City Hall) on Marktplatz (Market Square) and the castle, Schloß Hohentübingen, now part of the University of Tübingen. The central landmark is the Stiftskirche (a Collegiate Church) dedicated to Saint George. This Stiftskirche was one of the first to become a Protestant church in the time of Martin Luther. It is a late gothic-style structure built by Peter von Koblenz in 1470. The stained glass windows, designed by Peter Hemmel of Andlau remain. He also produced windows in Ulm, Augsburg, Nürnberg, München and Straßburg. It still maintains (and carefully defends) several porions of its Roman Catholic heritage, such as monuments to patron saints. Such traditions were removed from memory in many denominations that grew out of the European Reformation. Joseph Alois Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) held a chair in dogmatic theology at the University. Aix-en-Provence is its French sister-city, along with Durham in Northumbria and Ann Arbor in Michigan.übingen One of the routes of „St. James“ runs through Tuebingen. This was the famous middle-age (and before) pilgrimage trail that ran through France into Spain. -- Walk about the city {link here for essays about the city history}

Modern Map to go Here

A few German Cities: Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Mainz -- Trier and Aachen -- Frankfurt -- Köln / Cologne -- Dresden -- Essen -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Düren, Bonn und Koblenz -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg -- Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Dessau und Leipzig -- Münster -- Lübeck, Kiel, Rostock und Schwerin -- Fulda, Kassel und Erfurt -- Lorch (Württemberg), Schwäbisch_Gmünd, Ulm, Augsburg, Ingolstadt und Regensburg -- Bad Schussenried -- Switzerland: Geneva -- Bern, Basel and Zürich

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons

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