Sunday, December 08, 2013

St. Georg Church, Ruhpoldling!

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Imagine the warmth and comfort of a quiet bed, a comfy down duvet pulled up --- telling yourself you are just going to rest for “a bit” but passing out for close to 2 hours all the same!

That was my day yesterday, and after the travel all day before, I needed it.  Naps are bliss!

I awoke at a bit past 4pm – daylight was coming to an end, and yet I still had 2-1/2 hours before we were gathering for dinner.

The little voice inside my head said “Don’t waste the last of this magical day – get out and see what there is to see!

This is the view from my hotel room window ---isn’t it beautiful?

I bundled up –it’s cold outside, and gently snowing. Down jacket, over turtle neck sweater, scarf wrapped around my neck to keep the evening breeze from biting.  Got gloves? Check!  Camera? Check!

My new hiking boots bought just a week a go and broken in by daily use while up at the cabin fit my feet like gloves, the tread gripping the snow crusted pavement and keeping me from slipping head-over-tea kettle as I climbed the road to St Georges church:

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St George Church up on the hill!

I love the bulbous silhouette of the onion shaped domes upon many of the churches we have driven past today on our drive to this part of Bavaria.  Up and up I hike to get closer.

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Huffing and puffing I stop to take this photo.

Getting closer, but still a ways to climb!

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How is it possible that one day I’m at home in North Carolina, and the next I am here?

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This little chapel/shrine is at the top of the hill at the bend in the road, just before reaching the church.

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And here I am!

Though I couldn’t get inside, I found the following on a web search here:
Construction of this hilltop church began in 1738, though it was not consecrated by Bishop Franz Truchsess of Chiemsee until 1754.
Gunezrhainer, the court’s master architect, kept the exterior façade simple. Yet everyone is certain to be touched by the harmony which radiates from the interior of this house of worship, by the monumental power of the high altar and by the artistic beauty of the carved saintly figures.
The crowning glory of the shimmering golden Rococo interior of St. George's is undoubtedly on the left side of the chancel, a feature unmatched anywhere else in Bavaria. The golden case of the right-hand side altar houses the church’s most significant sculpture, the Romanesque Madonna from the 12th century. Its creator and origins are unknown.
If I can get inside during our time here, I sure will.  Today is Sunday, perhaps in the afternoon I can go back?

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The church is locked up tight –so my only option was to continue to explore the grounds before it got too dark and it was time to head on back down the hill toward town and warm hotel and dinner with fellow travelers.

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Around the back of the church are stairs leading to a cemetery.

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Loved ones remembered, and watched over by surrounding mountains.

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Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

The one Christmas hymn I know in German comes to mind.

I am thinking of my German heritage on my mom’s side.  I wish I knew these people, my ancestors.

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Up and up the terraced sections toward the shrine on top

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Advent in Bavaria.

There are many wreaths and lit candles burning atop the resting places of those gone before us.

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Families kept close in hearts

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From the top of the cemetery I turn to take in the mountains around me, the church spire standing sentinel through the centuries, mostly unchanged over time--

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My last glance as I turn back towards town before it gets to dark to find my way – my new friends are waiting!

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Lights are coming on all over town ---

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Up the street and around the corner I go ---

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Our home, Hotel zur Post, dating back to the 1100’s!

In fact, the name "Ruhpolding" originates from the Bavarian word Rupoltingin and means "the people of the strong famous one". The town is mentioned as Ruhpoldingen for the first time in 1193, about the time that this hotel was first founded--

This inn was functional 500 years before St Georg church was founded.  Just think about it.  Doesn't that blow your mind? I know it does mine.

We will be here for three more nights ---our excursions taking us out and around this area.

This morning, following breakfast, we board our motor coach and drive to Lake Chiemsee, board a boat that will take us across the lake to Herrenschiemsee Castle.

And our adventure in Germany continues!

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  1. So beautiful, I can hear the stille nacht.

  2. It looks like a Fairy Tale. Thanks Bonnie.

  3. I experienced that same feeling when I went to Europe this fall...I had that thought of - Yesterday I was in Michigan and I am in Europe today..... Amazing opportunities for travel! Enjoy your trip!

  4. Thank You for this adventure, I too am part German, lived there when I was 6 and my dad was in the army, I can tell that I am truly going to enjoy this adventure, Thank You and Enjoy!

  5. Bonnie, I love, love, these trips I go on with you as my guide. Beautiful! And to think, I can sit right here in the warmth of my home, and not have to get out in the cold! Enjoy your trip, happy sewing~

  6. thanks for sharing! wish I could have been one to go with you :)

  7. Ah, now I can place where you are. Near Chiemsee. The loveliest part of all Germany! Sigh!

  8. Thank you Bonnie for the beautiful pictures and stories about them. I feel like I'm there with you, (and wish I was!). I am 3/4 German and hope someday to travel to see where we came from. Looks just wonderful!! Thanks again.

  9. This reminds me of my days stationed in Germany and visiting this area. So beautiful this time of year.

  10. thank you for the tour beautiful

  11. I am so enjoying the pictures and commentary of your trip. Enjoy your stay.

  12. So beautiful and the cemetery is so peaceful and obviously full of love and memories. Thank you.

  13. So lovely to see this church in your post! I stayed for a week near Ruhpolding in june this year, and late december 2011. That week we went skiing. So nice to see the snow! Enjoy your stay. groetjes, Gerda

  14. These pictures are beautiful. Winter in Germany looks so lovely. Thanks so much for taking us tree through blog land:)

  15. Aren't you glad you went for that walk! It is fun to make a secret discovery all your own. What a beautiful area! Stay warm!

  16. How pretty! Thanks for sharing you adventure with us.

  17. Beautiful church and a lovely cemetery. My grandparents' last name is Rudolph; maybe it means strong? Their family were Russian Jews who emigrated to the US in the late 1800s.
    Thank you for sharing so much!

  18. You make a lovely tour guide!! So descriptive I almost feel like I am there with you (wish I was). The funny thing is though, I haven't seen any other people in any of your photographs. Are you the only people there? It must be very quiet if you are. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to keep us up to date.

  19. It is so beautiful! Enjoy your time there, and please be careful. I know you will, but we can't have anything happening to you! What would we do? LOL

  20. Oh so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I am sooo enjoying your vacation. :)

  21. You are in my dream spot. My ancestors are from Bavaria and some day I still hope to get there and, at the very least, find traces of them in cemetaries. Thanks for sharing such lovely photos!

  22. All my ancestors came from Schleswig Holstein & Insel Fehmarn, Germany, off the Baltic Coast. I imagine a lot of the architecture and traditions would be the same. I enjoy seeing what you are seeing through your blog.

  23. Anonymous1:58 PM EST

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and experiences. It brings back very fond memories of the year my husband & I spent in Ingolstadt, Bavaria many years ago when he was stationed there. I've been back once but in summer and if I go again, I'd really like to go in the winter time to celebrate the holidays! Enjoy and keep us updated!!

  24. Such beauty all around thanks for sharing. Hope you're having an awesome time. 40 more units for step 1 king then on to 2.

  25. I enjoyed your walk while sitting in a warm & cozy house in front of the Christmas tree. Please show us a picture of those fantastic hiking boots you are so in love with that helped get you up that hill and back down safely. You are a very adventureous person the way you feel so comfortable going for walks alone in unfamilar places. I would get lost walking around the block. Have fun and keep warm, it looks cold.

  26. Tracey Honig10:48 PM EST

    my boyfriend perked up when I was asking him about that castle you where going to. It looks like a trip I am going to have to put on my "bucket list"... I hope you have a grand time, and enjoy as much as possible. Looking forward to more wonderful stories and pics!! :D

  27. The history in Europe and old buildings are amazing.

  28. What a beautiful place. What a fun way to experience the magic this world offers.

  29. Thank you for the story and pics. Lovely to read. Looking forward to the next episode. Wish I was there. :-)


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