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

This photo was taken in 1934, at a portrait studio 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 ten years later. Summer 1940...Ellen Tschutter just before her… 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.

The German Second Reich prospered from the synergy of almost all German states merged into one new nation in 1871 and from the 47 years of peace that followed in Europe...leading to a German Empire that was an industrial, technological, and scientific giant. Germany gained more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia, and… Continue reading For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

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

The German area of Alsace Lorraine was once again given to France

Alsace-Lorraine was territory west of the Rhine River that was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.. For over 700 years It was known as Elsass-Lothringen... from the 10th to the 17th century... populated with people who for the most part spoke Alemannic German dialects. However, France long desired their eastern border… Continue reading The German area of Alsace Lorraine was once again given to France

History Highlights

Henry the Lion submits to Frederick Barbarossa, 1181 in Erfurt

Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion) was one of the most powerful German princes of his time… but he lost it all when he angered Kaiser Friedrich I, Barbarossa (Frederick Barbarossa). The image here depicts the moment that Henry the Lion submits to Frederick Barbarossa, 1181 in Erfurt. The painting is by Peter Janssen, 1882,… Continue reading Henry the Lion submits to Frederick Barbarossa, 1181 in Erfurt

Notes on German Culture, Old Germany...lost territory

Pictorial map of East and West Prussia

This pictorial map of East and West Prussia was produced in 1937. All of the major towns are pictorially represented on the map, notably with images of signature buildings, while the coat of arms of the towns line the edges of the printwork.  The body of water on top of map is named Ostsee which… Continue reading Pictorial map of East and West Prussia

Bavaria, Notes on German Culture

The Christkindl gift bringer tradition was first introduced by Martin Luther

Martin Luther influenced our German Christmas traditions, in both northern and southern Germany. In general, the Christkindl …or Christ-child… always seemed to be the tradition in Catholic southern Germany and the Weihnachtsmann seemed to be the Lutheran tradition in northern Germany. But it was not always so…early in the 16th century there was no Christkindl… Continue reading The Christkindl gift bringer tradition was first introduced by Martin Luther

Notes on German Culture

Images from the past…10 traditional women’s folk costumes of old Germany

These Trachten, or folk costumes, represent 10 areas of old Germany... these images were used on a series of postage stamps issued early in the 20th century. East Prussia...or Ostpreussen...was the easternmost part of northern Germany, founded by Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. It was removed from Germany after WWII and is now part… Continue reading Images from the past…10 traditional women’s folk costumes of old Germany

History Highlights, prussia

This map of Germany shows Prussia at the height of its power

This map of Germany during the Second Reich, 1871 to 1918, shows Prussia at the height of its power. Prussian states are shown in green, all other German states are shown in yellow. It is interesting to see the map in this simple two color presentation because you don't lose the forest for the trees...Prussia… Continue reading This map of Germany shows Prussia at the height of its power

History Highlights, prussia

Prussian General Ludwig Yorck was a very brave man who seized a moment in time

General Yorck and his Prussian troops had been compelled to augment Napoleon’s Grande Armée during the ill-fated invasion of Russia in 1812. This kind of cooperation was mandated by the Treaty of Tilsit, signed five years earlier after Napoleon defeated Prussia and all of Germany was under French control. General Yorck and German patriots everywhere… Continue reading Prussian General Ludwig Yorck was a very brave man who seized a moment in time

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

German Eagles…single head 640 years, double-headed 366 years, then single head ever since 1871.

The double-headed eagle symbol of the Holy Roman Empire started in 1440, while the name change “of the German Nation” was added in 1512. The double headed eagle was introduced in 1440 to emphasize the religious and secular nature of the empire, and it replaced the single headed eagle that was used by the Empire… Continue reading German Eagles…single head 640 years, double-headed 366 years, then single head ever since 1871.

History Highlights, prussia, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

Should Austria or Prussia be the leader of Germany?

The question of who should lead a future united Germany, Prussia or Austria, was answered in 1866. In this first image, Prussian King Wilhelm is congratulating his son, Crown Prince Friedrich III, on the battlefield after their victory over the Austrian Empire. Prussia’s leadership was now assured but would mean the hoped for “Greater Germany”… Continue reading Should Austria or Prussia be the leader of Germany?

Notes on German Culture

Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe

Herbst in Wiesbaden (Autumn in Wiesbaden) Travel Poster, vintage Germany 1930's. The image portrays a fashionable lady of the era, holding a bunch of flowers with seagulls flying overhead, painted in watercolor by the master of advertising art, Ludwig Hohlwein.  Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Its name translates to "meadow… Continue reading Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe