Blog

Bavaria, Southern Germany

The Bavarian Coat of Arms is a combination of medieval symbols

There is a lot of symbolism on the Bavarian Coat of Arms...have you ever wondered what it all means? It is a combination of medieval symbols held by the two lions that have been used since the 14th century. On the top left is a Golden Lion representing the Upper Palatinate. That golden lion was… Continue reading The Bavarian Coat of Arms is a combination of medieval symbols

History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Marienburg Castle is the largest fortress ever built in Europe

...with walls 27 ft high and 7 feet thick...and with outermost castle walls that enclose 52 acres. For perspective, that is four times the enclosed area of Windsor Castle. Amazingly, this huge German medieval structure still exists... it has survived the ages and is now 743 years old, although it is no longer located within… Continue reading Marienburg Castle is the largest fortress ever built in Europe

Notes on German Culture

Precious family photos that survived WWII

Königsberg, 1937 The photo above was taken in 1937 in Königsberg, the beautiful 700 year old medieval city that was once the capital of East Prussia. In that peaceful and optimistic year, none of the residents could foresee the terror that would befall them only seven years later. Summer 1940. My parents lived in Königsberg… Continue reading Precious family photos that survived WWII

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany

This map shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements

This Map of German Language Areas was produced after a 1910 census. It shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements, either by self-motivation or in many cases by invitation of foreign rulers who valued their skills and industriousness. This is an unusual… Continue reading This map shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements

First Reich...800 to 1806, History Highlights

The First Reich, or first German Empire, lasted 1000 years. It was established in 800 AD, was reconfirmed in 962 AD and dissolved in 1806. Officially it was known as the Holy Roman Empire.

This image shown here is the double headed Eagle of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, adopted in 1440 to replace the original single headed eagle used since 800 AD. The hand-colored woodcut, showing the states of the Holy Roman Empire in 1510, was produced in Augsburg by Hans Burgkmair and Jost de… Continue reading The First Reich, or first German Empire, lasted 1000 years. It was established in 800 AD, was reconfirmed in 962 AD and dissolved in 1806. Officially it was known as the Holy Roman Empire.

Famous Artists, History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Pomp and ceremony in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle

This finely detailed painting by Adolph von Menzel depicts the 1861 Coronation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle. Only a short 10 years later, this King of Prussia will successfully re-unite most of the states of the former German Holy Roman Empire... an Empire that lasted a thousand… Continue reading Pomp and ceremony in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle

German American, Notes on German Culture

People with German Heritage…where did 100 million Germans live in 1930?

This vintage world map shows the wide dispersion of 100 million Germans around the world. Of course most, 83 million, lived in Germany...at that time a much larger country than the Germany of today... but the remaining 17 million were widely spread out all over the globe... in the U.S. (9 million), Brazil (620,000), Canada… Continue reading People with German Heritage…where did 100 million Germans live in 1930?

History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Much of German history is not well known …for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years

Much of German history is not well known ...for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years and the largest castle ever built in Europe was a German crusader castle, the Marienburg. There once existed a German state, governed by Warrior Monks, that ruled over all the lands along the… Continue reading Much of German history is not well known …for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years

German American, Notes on German Culture

Some interesting facts pertaining to German-Americans.

The first thing to know is that German Americans comprise about 50 million people, making them the largest self-reported ancestry group in the US…more than English Americans (26 million), more than Irish Americans (33 million), and more than African Americans (42 million). Distribution of German Americans according to the 2000 Census… California, Texas and Pennsylvania… Continue reading Some interesting facts pertaining to German-Americans.

History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

Germany launched an era of prosperity in 1871 when almost all German states merged into one new nation. The synergy that was unleashed... plus 47 years of peace in Europe...lead to a German Empire that was an industrial, technological, and scientific giant. For example, Germany received more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country… Continue reading For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

History Highlights

In 1814 German Field Marshal Blücher briefly occupied Paris and recovered the stolen Brandenburg Gate Statue

Two hundred years ago was a joyous time in Germany as the people celebrated the end of French dominance in Europe and the beginning of a long period of peace ahead. They also celebrated the return of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate statue of Victoria on a four horse dtawn chariot. 1814...Berlin celebrated the return of Berlin's… Continue reading In 1814 German Field Marshal Blücher briefly occupied Paris and recovered the stolen Brandenburg Gate Statue

Famous Artists, History Highlights

Frederick the Great playing the flute, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach

This candlelit scene depicts an 18th century “Flute Concert at Sanssouci”. It’s a painting by Adolph von Menzel, showing Frederick II of Prussia, known to history as Frederick the Great, playing the flute in his music room at Sanssouci, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach on the harpsichord.  As a musician, Frederick wrote 4 symphonies… Continue reading Frederick the Great playing the flute, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

If the East Prussian moose antler symbol could speak it would say: Germany, forget me not!

My message with this image is that today's Germans should remember and honor the history of East Prussia. This relatively small part of old Germany, the easternmost part of Germany once mentioned in the national anthem, played an oversized role in history. But the descendants of these East Prussians are now dispersed all over the… Continue reading If the East Prussian moose antler symbol could speak it would say: Germany, forget me not!

Notes on German Culture

The story of Kaiser Friedrich III is a tale that ended sadly in 1888, “The year of three Emperors”

1871...Crown Prince Friedrich with his father Kaiser Wilhelm I at Versailles Palace As the Crown Prince of Prussia, Friedrich was popular with the British royal family and in return he was fond of them and their more liberal policies. It makes me wonder what would have happened in 1914 if Friedrich had lived to be… Continue reading The story of Kaiser Friedrich III is a tale that ended sadly in 1888, “The year of three Emperors”

Notes on German Culture

Heralds were the MC’s at Tournaments and experts in military matters, diplomacy, coats of arms and genealogy

Jörg Rugen, master of ceremonies at Jousting Tournaments https://www.redbubble.com/people/edsimoneit/works/40594795-bavarian-herald-landshuter-hochzeit-1475?p=canvas-print&ref=similar_products The wand held by Jörg Rugen was an important tool, used by Heralds to gain attention and make grand gestures. His tabard with the white-and-blue lozenges design, was originally the coat of arms of the Counts of Bogen, adopted in 1247 by the House of Wittelsbach, rulers… Continue reading Heralds were the MC’s at Tournaments and experts in military matters, diplomacy, coats of arms and genealogy

Notes on German Culture

Living with Mohawk Indians in America was only one adventure in the life of this German-American

This image of Conrad Weiser is from a vintage cigar box and portrays Weiser along with his home in Reading, an old Pennsylvania crest, a scene with Indians and the coat of arms of the Duchy of Württemberg in Germany where he was born and raised. Conrad Weiser image from a vintage cigar box From… Continue reading Living with Mohawk Indians in America was only one adventure in the life of this German-American

History Highlights

Frederick Muhlenberg, First Speaker of the House, came from a remarkable family of German-Americans

The first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789 was a German-American, Frederick Muhlenberg. In Joseph Wright’s 1790 portrait of Frederick Muhlenberg, the Speaker's likeness bears out contemporary descriptions of Muhlenberg’s rosy complexion and ample dimensions. Frederick Muhlenberg , a German-American, in 1790 https://www.zazzle.com/z/lnmqb?rf=238867431996750251 Although born in Pennsylvania, his immigrant father made sure… Continue reading Frederick Muhlenberg, First Speaker of the House, came from a remarkable family of German-Americans

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

When you look at a modern map, you see Berlin is oddly situated right next to the eastern border. It doesn’t seem right

Current map of Germany with Berlin at eastern border On a map the German Empire in 1871, you can see that Berlin was once located in the center of Germany. The location of Berlin within German borders is the most glaring difference between old and modern Germany. When you look at a modern map, you… Continue reading When you look at a modern map, you see Berlin is oddly situated right next to the eastern border. It doesn’t seem right

Notes on German Culture

This incredibly ornate statuette is an example of German Goldsmith Art, circa 1586

This incredibly ornate Bavarian-made Statuette of St George was commissioned in 1586 and completed 11 years later in 1597. The materials used to create the 20 inch tall statuette Include gold, enamel, silver-gilt, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opals, agate, chalcedony, rock crystal and other precious stones and pearls The statuette was made to house a relic… Continue reading This incredibly ornate statuette is an example of German Goldsmith Art, circa 1586

Famous Artists, Notes on German Culture

Caspar Friedrich’s “Lebensstufen”…stages of life

Caspar Friedrich’s "Lebensstufen", a painting from the German Romantic Era of the early 19th century, representing our various Life Stages by the distances of ships on the vast sea of life. Once again Friedrich uses the so-called Rückenfigur …a prominently placed figure shown entirely from the back … which is a commentary on the Romantic… Continue reading Caspar Friedrich’s “Lebensstufen”…stages of life