SEEING EUROPE WITH FAMOUS AUTHORS, VOLUME V
GERMANY, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, AND SWITZERLAND, PART ONE
Selected and Edited, with Introductions, etc., by
FRANCIS W. HALSEY
Editor of "Great Epochs in American History" Associate Editor of "The World's Famous Orations" and of "The Best of the World's Classics," etc.
IN TEN VOLUMES
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUMES V AND VI
Germany, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland
The tourist's direct route to Germany is by ships that go to the two great German ports—Bremen and Hamburg, whence fast steamer trains proceed to Berlin and other interior cities. One may also land at Antwerp or Rotterdam, and proceed thence by fast train into Germany. Either of these routes continued takes one to Austria. Ships by the Mediterranean route landing at Genoa or Trieste, provide another way for reaching either country. In order to reach Switzerland, the tourist has many well-worn routes available.
As with England and France, so with Germany—our earliest information comes from a Roman writer, Julius Caesar; but in the case of Germany, this information has been greatly amplified by a later and noble treatise from the pen of Tacitus. Tacitus paints a splendid picture of the domestic virtues and personal valor of these tribes, holding them up as examples that might well be useful to his countrymen. Caesar found many Teutonic tribes, not only in the Rhine Valley, but well established in lands further west and already Gallic.
By the third century, German tribes had formed themselves into federations—the Franks, Alemanni, Frisians and Saxons. The Rhine Valley, after long subjection to the Romans, had acquired houses, temples, fortresses and roads such as the Romans always built. Caesar had found many evidences of an advanced state of society. Antiquarians of our day, exploring German graves, discover signs of it in splendid weapons of war and domestic utensils buried with the dead. Monolithic sarcophagi have been found which give eloquent testimony of the absorption by them of Roman culture. Western Germany, in fact, had become, in the third century, a well-ordered and civilized land. Christianity was well established there. In general the country compared favorably with Roman England, but it was less advanced than Roman Gaul. Centers of that Romanized German civilization, that were destined ever afterward to remain important centers of German life, are Augsburg, Strasburg, Worms, Speyer, Bonn and Cologne.
It was after the formation of the tribal federations that the great migratory movement from Germany set in. This gave to Gaul a powerful race in the Franks, from whom came Clovis and the other Merovingians; to Gaul also it gave Burgundians, and to England perhaps the strongest element in her future stock of men—the Saxons. Further east soon set in another world-famous migration, which threatened at times to dominate all Teutonic people—the Goths, Huns and Vandals of the Black and Caspian Sea regions. Thence they prest on to Italy and Spain, where the Goths founded and long maintained new and thriving states on the ruins of the old.
Surviving these migrations, and serving to restore something like order to Central Europe, there now rose into power in France, under Clovis and Charlemagne, and spread their sway far across the Rhine, the great Merovingian and Carlovingian dynasties. Charlemagne's empire came to embrace in central Europe a region extending east of the Rhine as far as Hungary, and from north to south from the German ocean to the Alps. When Charlemagne, in 800, received from the Pope that imperial crown, which was to pass in continuous line to his successors for a thousand years, Germany and France were component parts of the same state, a condition never again to exist, except in part, and briefly, under Napoleon.
The tangled and attenuated thread of German history from Charlemagne's time until now can not be unfolded here, but it makes one of the great chronicles in human history, with its Conrads and Henrys, its Maximilian, its Barbarossa, its Charles V., its Thirty Years' War, its great Frederick of Prussia, its struggle with Napoleon, its rise through Prussia under Bismarck, its war of 1870 with France, its new Empire, different alike in structure and in reality from the one called Holy and called Roman, and the wonderful commercial and industrial progress of our century.
Out of Charlemagne's empire came the empire of Austria. Before his time, the history of the Austro-Hungarian lands is one of early tribal life, followed by conquest under the later Roman emperors, and then the migratory movements of its own people and of other people across its territory, between the days of Attila and the Merovingians. Its very name (Oesterreich) indicates its origin as a frontier territory, an outpost in the east for the great empire Charlemagne had built up. Not until the sixteenth century did Austria become a power of first rank in Europe. Hapsburgs had long ruled it, as they still do, and as they have done for more than six centuries, but the greatest of all their additions to power and dominion came through Mary of Burgundy, who, seeking refuge from Louis XI. of France, after her father's death, married Maximilian of Austria. Out of that marriage came, in two generations, possession by Austria of the Netherlands, through Mary's grandson, Charles V., Holy Roman emperor and king of Spain. For years afterward, the Hapsburgs remained the most illustrious house in Europe. The empire's later fortunes are a story of grim struggle with Protestants, Frederick the Great, the Ottoman Turks, Napoleon, the revolutionists of 1848, and Prussia.
The story of Switzerland in its beginnings is not unlike that of other European lands north of Italy. The Romans civilized the country—built houses, fortresses and roads. Roman roads crossed the Alps, one of them going, as it still goes, over the Great St. Bernard. Then came the invaders—Burgundians, Alemanni, Ostrogoths and Huns. North Switzerland became the permanent home of Alemanni, or Germans, whose descendants still survive there, around Zuerich. Burgundians settled in the western part which still remains French in speech, and a part of it French politically, including Chamouni and half of Mont Blanc. Ostrogoths founded homes in the southern parts, and descendants of theirs still remain there, speaking Italian, or a sort of surviving Latin called Romansch.
After these immigrations most parts of the country were subdued by the Merovingian Franks, by whom Christianity was introduced and monasteries founded. With the break-up of Charlemagne's empire, a part of Switzerland was added to a German duchy, and another part to Burgundy. Its later history is a long and moving record of grim struggles by a brave and valiant people. In our day the Swiss have become industrially one of the world's successful races, and their country the one in which wealth is probably more equally distributed than anywhere else in Europe, if not in America.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME V
Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Switzerland—Part One
I. THE RHINE VALLEY
INTRODUCTION TO VOLS. V AND VI—By the Editor
IN HISTORY AND ROMANCE—By Victor Hugo
FROM BONN TO MAYENCE—By Bayard Taylor
COLOGNE—By Victor Hugo
ROUND ABOUT COBLENZ—By Lady Blanche Murphy
BINGEN AND MAYENCE—By Victor Hugo
FRANKFORT-ON-MAIN—By Bayard Taylor
HEIDELBERG—By Bayard Taylor
STRASBURG—By Harriet Beecher Stowe
FREIBURG AND THE BLACK FOREST—By Bayard Taylor
AS A MEDIEVAL CITY—By Cecil Headlam
ITS CHURCHES AND THE CITADEL—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
NUREMBERG TO-DAY—By Cecil Headlarn
WALLS AND OTHER FORTIFICATIONS—By Cecil Headlam
ALBERT DUERER—By Cecil Headlam
III. OTHER BAVARIAN CITIES
MUNICH—By Bayard Taylor
AUGSBURG—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
RATISBON—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
IV. BERLIN AND ELSEWHERE
A LOOK AT THE GERMAN CAPITAL—By Theophile Gautier
CHARLOTTENBURG—By Harriet Beecher Stowe
LEIPZIG AND DRESDEN—By Bayard Taylor
WEIMAR IN GOETHE'S DAY—By Madame De Stael
ULM—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
AIX-LA-CHAPELLE AND CHARLEMAGNE'S TOMB—By Victor Hugo
THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE—By James Howell
HAMBURG—By Theophile Gautier
SCHLESWIG—By Theophile Gautier
LUEBECK—By Theophile Gautier
HELIGOLAND—By William George Black
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAPITAL—By Bayard Taylor
ST. STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
THE BELVEDERE PALACE—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
SCHOENBRUNN AND THE PRATER—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
A GLANCE AT THE COUNTRY—By H. Tornai de Koever
BUDAPEST—By H. Tornai de Koever
(Hungary continued in Vol. VI)
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A PANORAMA OF BERLIN FROM THE TOWN HALL
COLOGNE CATHEDRAL BEFORE THE SPIRES WERE COMPLETED
STOLZENFELS CASTLE ON THE RHINE
DOOR OF STRASBURG CATHEDRAL
GOETHE'S HOUSE, WEIMAR
SCHILLER'S HOUSE, WEIMAR
BERLIN: UNTER DEN LINDEN
BERLIN: THE BRANDENBURG GATE
BERLIN: THE ROYAL CASTLE AND EMPEROR WILLIAM BRIDGE
BERLIN: THE WHITE HALL IN THE ROYAL CASTLE
BERLIN: THE NATIONAL GALLERY AND FREDERICK'S BRIDGE
BERLIN: THE GENDARMENMARKT
THE COLUMN OF VICTORY, BERLIN
THE MAUSOLEUM AT CHARLOTTENBURG
THE NEW PALACE AT POTSDAM
THE CASTLE OF SANS SOUCI, POTSDAM
THE CATHEDRAL OF AIX-LA-CHAPELLE—TOMB OF CHARLEMAGNE
THE RHINE VALLEY
IN HISTORY AND ROMANCE[A]
BY VICTOR HUGO
Of all rivers, I prefer the Rhine. It is now a year, when passing the bridge of boats at Kehl, since I first saw it. I remember that I felt a certain respect, a sort of adoration, for this old, this classic stream. I never think of rivers—those great works of Nature, which are also great in History—without emotion.
I remember the Rhone at Valserine; I saw it in 1825, in a pleasant excursion to Switzerland, which is one of the sweet, happy recollections of my early life. I remember with what noise, with what ferocious bellowing, the Rhone precipitated itself into the gulf while the frail bridge upon which I was standing was shaking beneath my feet. Ah well! since that time, the Rhone brings to my mind the idea of a tiger—the Rhine, that of a lion.
The evening on which I saw the Rhine for the first time, I was imprest with the same idea. For several minutes I stood contemplating this proud and noble river—violent, but not furious; wild, but still majestic. It was swollen, and was magnificent in appearance, and was washing with its yellow mane, or, as Boileau says, its "slimy beard," the bridge of boats. Its two banks were lost in the twilight, and tho its roaring was loud, still there was tranquillity.
The Rhine is unique: it combines the qualities of every river. Like the Rhone, it is rapid; broad like the Loire; encased, like the Meuse; serpentine, like the Seine; limpid and green, like the Somme; historical, like the Tiber; royal like the Danube; mysterious, like the Nile; spangled with gold, like an American river; and like a river of Asia, abounding with fantoms and fables.
From historical records we find that the first people who took possession of the banks of the Rhine were the half-savage Celts, who were afterward named Gauls by the Romans. When Rome was in its glory, Caesar crossed the Rhine, and shortly afterward the whole of the river was under the jurisdiction of his empire. When the Twenty-second Legion returned from the siege of Jerusalem, Titus sent it to the banks of the Rhine, where it continued the work of Martius Agrippa. After Trajan and Hadrian came Julian, who erected a fortress upon the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle; then Valentinian, who built a number of castles. Thus, in a few centuries, Roman colonies, like an immense chain, linked the whole of the Rhine.
At length the time arrived when Rome was to assume another aspect. The incursions of the northern hordes were eventually too frequent and too powerful for Rome; so, about the sixth century, the banks of the Rhine were strewed with Roman ruins, as at present with feudal ones.
Charlemagne cleared away the rubbish, built fortresses, and opposed the German hordes; but, notwithstanding all that he did, notwithstanding his desire to do more, Rome died, and the physiognomy of the Rhine was changed.
The sixteenth century approached; in the fourteenth the Rhine witnessed the invention of artillery; and on its bank, at Strassburg, a printing-office was first established. In 1400 the famous cannon, fourteen feet in length, was cast at Cologne; and in 1472 Vindelin de Spire printed his Bible. A new world was making its appearance; and, strange to say, it was upon the banks of the Rhine that those two mysterious tools with which God unceasingly works out the civilization of man—the catapult and the book—war and thought—took a new form.
The Rhine, in the destinies of Europe, has a sort of providential signification. It is the great moat which divides the north from the south. The Rhine for thirty ages, has seen the forms and reflected the shadows of almost all the warriors who tilled the old continent with that share which they call sword. Caesar crossed the Rhine in going from the south; Attila crossed it when descending from the north. It was here that Clovis gained the battle of Tolbiac; and that Charlemagne and Napoleon figured. Frederick Barbarossa, Rudolph of Hapsburg, and Frederick the First, were great, victorious, and formidable when here. For the thinker, who is conversant with history, two great eagles are perpetually hovering ever the Rhine—that of the Roman legions, and the eagle of the French regiments.
The Rhine—that noble flood, which the Romans named "Superb," bore at one time upon its surface bridges of boats, over which the armies of Italy, Spain, and France poured into Germany, and which, at a later date, were made use of by the hordes of barbarians when rushing into the ancient Roman world; at another, on its surface it floated peaceably the fir-trees of Murg and of Saint Gall, the porphyry and the marble of Bale, the salt of Karlshall, the leather of Stromberg, the quicksilver of Lansberg, the wine of Johannisberg, the slates of Coab, the cloth and earthenware of Wallendar, the silks and linens of Cologne. It majestically performs its double function of flood of war and flood of peace, having, without interruption, upon the ranges of hills which embank the most notable portion of its course, oak-trees on one side and vine-trees on the other—signifying strength and joy.
[Footnote A: From "The Rhine." Translated by D.M. Aird.]
FROM BONN TO MAYENCE[A]
BY BAYARD TAYLOR
I was glad when we were really in motion on the swift Rhine, and nearing the chain of mountains that rose up before us. We passed Godesberg on the right, while on our left was the group of the seven mountains which extend back from the Drachenfels to the Wolkenberg, or "Castle of the Clouds." Here we begin to enter the enchanted land. The Rhine sweeps around the foot of the Drachenfels, while, opposite, the precipitous rock of Rolandseck, crowned with the castle of the faithful knight, looks down upon the beautiful island of Nonnenwerth, the white walls of the convent still gleaming through the trees as they did when the warrior's weary eyes looked upon them for the last time. I shall never forget the enthusiasm with which I saw this scene in the bright, warm sunlight, the rough crags softened in the haze which filled the atmosphere, and the wild mountains springing up in the midst of vineyards and crowned with crumbling towers filled with the memories of a thousand years.
After passing Andernach we saw in the distance the highlands of the middle Rhine—which rise above Coblentz, guarding the entrance to its scenery—and the mountains of the Moselle. They parted as we approached; from the foot shot up the spires of Coblentz, and the battlements of Ehrenbreitstein, crowning the mountain opposite, grew larger and broader. The air was slightly hazy, and the clouds seemed laboring among the distant mountains to raise a storm. As we came opposite the mouth of the Moselle and under the shadow of the mighty fortress, I gazed up with awe at its massive walls. Apart from its magnitude and almost impregnable situation on a perpendicular rock, it is filled with the recollections of history and hallowed by the voice of poetry. The scene went past like a panorama, the bridge of boats opened, the city glided behind us, and we entered the highlands again.
Above Coblentz almost every mountain has a ruin and a legend. One feels everywhere the spirit of the past, and its stirring recollections come back upon the mind with irresistible force. I sat upon the deck the whole afternoon as mountains, towns and castles passed by on either side, watching them with a feeling of the most enthusiastic enjoyment. Every place was familiar to me in memory, and they seemed like friends I had long communed with in spirit and now met face to face. The English tourists with whom the deck was covered seemed interested too, but in a different manner. With Murray's Handbook open in their hands, they sat and read about the very towns and towers they were passing, scarcely lifting their eyes to the real scenes, except now and then to observe that it was "very nice."
As we passed Boppart, I sought out the inn of the "Star," mentioned in "Hyperion;" there was a maiden sitting on the steps who might have been Paul Flemming's fair boat-woman. The clouds which had here gathered among the hills now came over the river, and the rain cleared the deck of its crowd of admiring tourists. As we were approaching Lorelei Berg, I did not go below, and so enjoyed some of the finest scenery on the Rhine alone. The mountains approach each other at this point, and the Lorelei rock rises up for four hundred and forty feet from the water. This is the haunt of the water nymph Lorelei, whose song charmed the ear of the boatman while his bark was dashed to pieces on the rocks below. It is also celebrated for its remarkable echo. As we passed between the rocks, a guard, who has a little house on the roadside, blew a flourish on his bugle, which was instantly answered by a blast from the rocky battlements of Lorelei.
The sun came out of the clouds as we passed Oberwesel, with its tall round tower, and the light shining through the ruined arches of Schonberg castle made broad bars of light and shade in the still misty air. A rainbow sprang up out of the Rhine and lay brightly on the mountain-side, coloring vineyard and crag in the most singular beauty, while its second reflection faintly arched like a glory above the high summits in the bed of the river were the seven countesses of Schonberg turned into seven rocks for their cruelty and hard-heartedness toward the knights whom their beauty had made captive. In front, at a little distance, was the castle of Pfalz, in the middle of the river, and from the heights above Caub frowned the crumbling citadel of Gutenfels. Imagine all this, and tell me if it is not a picture whose memory should last a lifetime.
We came at last to Bingen, the southern gate of the highlands. Here, on an island in the middle of the stream, is the old mouse-tower where Bishop Hatto of Mayence was eaten up by the rats for his wicked deeds. Passing Ruedesheim and Geisenheim—celebrated for their wines—at sunset, we watched the varied shore in the growing darkness, till like a line of stars across the water we saw before us the bridge of Mayence.
[Footnote A: From "Views Afoot." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
BY VICTOR HUGO.
The sun had set when we reached Cologne. I gave my luggage to a porter, with orders to carry it to a hotel at Duez, a little town on the opposite side of the Rhine; and directed my steps toward the cathedral. Rather than ask my way, I wandered up and down the narrow streets, which night had all but obscured. At last I entered a gateway leading to a court, and came out on an open square—dark and deserted. A magnificent spectacle now presented itself. Before me, in the fantastic light of a twilight sky, rose, in the midst of a group of low houses, an enormous black mass, studded with pinnacles and belfries. A little farther was another, not quite so broad as the first, but higher; a kind of square fortress, flanked at its angles with four long detached towers, having on its summit something resembling a huge feather. On approaching, I discovered that it was the cathedral of Cologne.
What appeared like a large feather was a crane, to which sheets of lead were appended, and which, from its workable appearance, indicated to passers-by that this unfinished temple may one day be completed; and that the dream of Engelbert de Berg, which was realized under Conrad de Hochsteden, may, in an age or two, be the greatest cathedral in the world. This incomplete Iliad sees Homers in futurity. The church was shut. I surveyed the steeples, and was startled at their dimensions. What I had taken for towers are the projections of the buttresses. Tho only the first story is completed, the building is already nearly as high as the towers of Notre Dame at Paris. Should the spire, according to the plan, be placed upon this monstrous trunk, Strasburg would be, comparatively speaking, small by its side.[B] It has always struck me that nothing resembles ruin more than an unfinished edifice. Briars, saxifrages, and pellitories—indeed, all weeds that root themselves in the crevices and at the base of old buildings—have besieged these venerable walls. Man only constructs what Nature in time destroys.
All was quiet; there was no one near to break the prevailing silence. I approached the facade, as near as the gate would permit me, and heard the countless shrubs gently rustling in the night breeze. A light which appeared at a neighboring window, cast its rays upon a group of exquisite statues—angels and saints, reading or preaching, with a large open book before them. Admirable prologue for a church, which is nothing else than the Word made marble, brass or stone! Swallows have fearlessly taken up their abode here, and their simple yet curious masonry contrasts strangely with the architecture of the building. This was my first visit to the cathedral of Cologne. The dome of Cologne, when seen by day, appeared to me to have lost a little of its sublimity; it no longer had what I call the twilight grandeur that the evening lends to huge objects; and I must say that the cathedral of Beauvais, which is scarcely known, is not inferior, either in size or in detail, to the cathedral of Cologne.
The Hotel-de-Ville, situated near the cathedral, is one of those singular edifices which have been built at different times, and which consist of all styles of architecture seen in ancient buildings. The mode in which these edifices have been built forms rather an interesting study. Nothing is regular—no fixt plan has been drawn out—all has been built as necessity required. Thus the Hotel-de-Ville, which has, probably, some Roman cave near its foundation, was, in 1250, only a structure similar to those of our edifices built with pillars. For the convenience of the night-watchman, and in order to sound the alarum, a steeple was required, and in the fourteenth century a tower was built. Under Maximilian a taste for elegant structures was everywhere spread, and the bishops of Cologne, deeming it essential to dress their city-house in new raiment, engaged an Italian architect, a pupil, probably, of old Michael Angelo, and a French sculptor, who adjusted on the blackened facade of the thirteenth century a triumphant and magnificent porch. A few years expired, and they stood sadly in want of a promenade by the side of the Registry. A back court was built, and galleries erected, which were sumptuously enlivened by heraldry and bas-reliefs. These I had the pleasure of seeing; but, in a few years, no person will have the same gratification, for, without anything being done to prevent it, they are fast falling into ruins. At last, under Charles the Fifth, a large room for sales and for the assemblies of the citizens was required, and a tasteful building of stone and brick was added. I went up to the belfry; and under a gloomy sky, which harmonized with the edifice and with my thoughts, I saw at my feet the whole of this admirable town.
From Thurmchen to Bayenthurme, the town, which extends upward of a league on the banks of the river, displays a whole host of windows and facades. In the midst of roofs, turrets and gables, the summits of twenty-four churches strike the eye, all of different styles, and each church, from its grandeur, worthy of the name of cathedral. If we examine the town in detail, all is stir, all is life. The bridge is crowded with passengers and carriages; the river is covered with sails. Here and there clumps of trees caress, as it were, the houses blackened by time; and the old stone hotels of the fifteenth century, with their long frieze of sculptured flowers, fruit and leaves, upon which the dove, when tired, rests itself, relieve the monotony of the slate roofs and brick fronts which surround them.
Round this great town—mercantile from its industry, military from its position, marine from its river—is a vast plain that borders Germany, which the Rhine crosses at different places, and is crowned on the northeast by historic eminences—that wonderful nest of legends and traditions, called the "Seven Mountains." Thus Holland and its commerce, Germany and its poetry—like the two great aspects of the human mind, the positive and the ideal—shed their light upon the horizon of Cologne; a city of business and of meditation.
After descending from the belfry, I stopt in the yard before a handsome porch of the Renaissance, the second story of which is formed of a series of small triumphal arches, with inscriptions. The first is dedicated to Caesar; the second to Augustus; the third to Agrippa, the founder of Cologne; the fourth to Constantine, the Christian emperor; the fifth to Justinian, the great legislator; and the sixth to Maximilian. Upon the facade, the poetic sculpture has chased three bas-reliefs, representing the three lion-combatants, Milo of Crotona, Pepin-le-Bref, and Daniel. At the two extremities he has placed Milo of Crotona, attacking the lions by strength of body; and Daniel subduing the lions by the power of mind. Between these is Pepin-le-Bref, conquering his ferocious antagonist with that mixture of moral and physical strength which distinguishes the soldier. Between pure strength and pure thought, is courage; between the athlete and the prophet—the hero.
Pepin, sword in hand, has plunged his left arm, which is enveloped in his mantle, into the mouth of the lion; the animal stands, with extended claws, in that attitude which in heraldry represents the lion rampant. Pepin attacks it bravely and vanquishes. Daniel is standing motionless, his arms by his side, and his eyes lifted up to Heaven, the lions lovingly rolling at his feet. As for Milo of Crotona, he defends himself against the lion, which is in the act of devouring him. His blind presumption has put too much faith in muscle, in corporeal strength. These three bas-reliefs contain a world of meaning; the last produces a powerful effect. It is Nature avenging herself on the man whose only faith is in brute force....
In the evening, as the stars were shining, I took a walk upon the side of the river opposite to Cologne. Before me was the whole town, with its innumerable steeples figuring in detail upon the pale western sky. To my left rose, like the giant of Cologne, the high spire of St. Martin's, with its two towers; and, almost in front, the somber apsed cathedral, with its many sharp-pointed spires, resembling a monstrous hedgehog, the crane forming the tail, and near the base two lights, which appeared like two eyes sparkling with fire. Nothing disturbed the stillness of the night but the rustling of the waters at my feet, the heavy tramp of a horse's hoofs upon the bridge, and the sound of a blacksmith's hammer. A long stream of fire that issued from the forge caused the adjoining windows to sparkle; then, as if hastening to its opposite element, disappeared in the water.
[Footnote A: From "The Rhine." Translated by D.M. Aird.]
[Footnote B: One of the illustrations that accompany this volume shows the spires in their completed state.]
ROUND ABOUT COBLENZ[A]
BY LADY BLANCHE MURPHY
Coblenz is the place which many years ago gave me my first associations with the Rhine. From a neighboring town we often drove to Coblenz, and the wide, calm flow of the river, the low, massive bridge of boats and the commonplace outskirts of a busy city contributed to make up a very different picture from that of the poetic "castled" Rhine of German song and English ballad. The old town has, however, many beauties, tho its military character looks out through most of them, and reminds us that the Mosel city (for it originally stood only on that river, and then crept up to the Rhine), tho a point of union in Nature, has been for ages, so far as mankind was concerned, a point of defense and watching. The great fortress, a German Gibraltar, hangs over the river and sets its teeth in the face of the opposite shore; all the foreign element in the town is due to the deposits made there by troubles in other countries, revolution and war sending their exiles, emigres and prisoners. The history of the town is only a long military record, from the days of the archbishops of Treves, to whom it was subject....
There is the old "German house" by the bank of the Mosel, a building little altered outwardly since the fourteenth century, now used as a food-magazine for the troops. The church of St. Castor commemorates a holy hermit who lived and preached to the heathen in the eighth century, and also covers the grave and monument of the founder of the "Mouse" at Wellmich, the warlike Kuno of Falkenstein, Archbishop of Treves. The Exchange, once a court of justice, has changed less startlingly, and its proportions are much the same as of old; and besides these there are other buildings worth noticing, tho not so old, and rather distinguished by the men who lived and died there, or were born there, such as Metternich, than by architectural beauties. Such houses there are in every old city. They do not invite you to go in and admire them; every tourist you meet does not ask you how you liked them or whether you saw them. They are homes, and sealed to you as such, but they are the shell of the real life of the country; and they have somehow a charm and a fascination that no public building or show-place can have. Goethe, who turned his life-experiences into poetry, has told us something of one such house not far from Coblenz, in the village of Ehrenbreitstein, beneath the fortress, and which in familiar Coblenz parlance goes by the name of "The Valley"—the house of Sophie de Laroche. The village is also Clement Brentano's birthplace.
The oldest of German cities, Treves (or in German Trier), is not too far to visit on our way up the Mosel Valley, whose Celtic inhabitants of old gave the Roman legions so much trouble. But Rome ended by conquering, by means of her civilization as well as by her arms, and Augusta Trevirorum, tho claiming a far higher antiquity than Rome herself, and still bearing an inscription to that effect on the old council-house—now called the Red House and used as a hotel—became, as Ausonius condescendingly remarked, a second Rome, adorned with baths, gardens, temples, theaters and all that went to make up an imperial capital. As in Venice everything precious seems to have come from Constantinople, so in Trier most things worthy of note date from the days of the Romans; tho, to tell the truth, few of the actual buildings do, no matter how classic is their look. The style of the Empire outlived its sway, and doubtless symbolized to the inhabitants their traditions of a higher standard of civilization.
The Porta Nigra, for instance—called Simeon's Gate at present—dates really from the days of the first Merovingian kings, but it looks like a piece of the Colosseum, with its rows of arches in massive red sandstone, the stones held together by iron clamps, and its low, immensely strong double gateway, reminding one of the triumphal arches in the Forum at Rome. The history of the transformation of this gateway is curious. First a fortified city gate, standing in a correspondingly fortified wall, it became a dilapidated granary and storehouse in the Middle Ages, when one of the archbishops gave leave to Simeon, a wandering hermit from Syracuse in Sicily, to take up his abode there; and another turned it into a church dedicated to this saint, tho of this change few traces remain. Finally, it has become a national museum of antiquities. The amphitheater is a genuine Roman work, wonderfully well preserved; and genuine enough were the Roman games it has witnessed, for, if we are to believe tradition, a thousand Frankish prisoners of war were here given in one day to the wild beasts by the Emperor Constantine. Christian emperors beautified the basilica that stood where the cathedral now is, and the latter itself has some basilica-like points about it, tho, being the work of fifteen centuries, it bears the stamp of successive styles upon its face....
The Mosel has but few tributary streams of importance; its own course is as winding, as wild and as romantic as that of the Rhine itself. The most interesting part of the very varied scenery of this river is not the castles, the antique towns, the dense woods or the teeming vineyards lining rocks where a chamois could hardly stand—all this it has in common with the Rhine—but the volcanic region of the Eifel, the lakes in ancient craters, the tossed masses of lava and tufa, the great wastes strewn with dark boulders, the rifts that are called valleys and are like the Iceland gorges, the poor, starved villages and the extraordinary rusticity, not to say coarseness, of the inhabitants. This grotesque, interesting country—unique, I believe, on the continent of Europe—lies in a small triangle between the Mosel, the Belgian frontier and the Schiefer hills of the Lower Rhine; it goes by the names of the High Eifel, with the High Acht, the Kellberg and the Nurburg; the upper (Vorder) Eifel, with Gerolstein, a ruined castle, and Daun, a pretty village; and the Snow-Eifel (Schnee Eifel), contracted by the speech of the country into Schneifel.
The last is the most curious, the most dreary, the least visited. Walls of sharp rocks rise up over eight hundred feet high round some of its sunken lakes—one is called the Powder Lake—and the level above this abyss stretches out in moors and desolate downs, peopled with herds of lean sheep, and marked here and there by sepulchral, gibbet-looking signposts, shaped like a rough T and set in a heap of loose stones. It is a great contrast to turn aside from this landscape and look on the smiling villages and pretty wooded scenery of the valley of the Mosel proper; the long lines of handsome, healthy women washing their linen on the banks; the old ferryboats crossing by the help of antique chain-and-rope contrivances; the groves of old trees, with broken walls and rude shrines, reminding one of Southern Italy and her olives and ilexes; and the picturesque houses, in Kochem, in Daun, in Travbach, in Bernkastel, which, however untiring one may be as a sightseer, hardly warrant one as a writer to describe and re-describe their beauties. Kluesserath, however, we must mention, because its straggling figure has given rise to a local proverb—"As long as Kluesserath;" and Neumagen, because of the legend of Constantine, who is said to have seen the cross of victory in the heavens at this place, as well as at Sinzig on the Rhine, and, as the more famous legend tells us, at the Pons Milvium over the Tiber.
The last glance we take at the beauties of this neighborhood is from the mouth of the torrent-river Eltz as it dashes into the Eifel, washing the rock on which stands the castle of Eltz. The building and the family are an exception in the history of these lands; both exist to this day, and are prosperous and undaunted, notwithstanding all the efforts of enemies, time and circumstances to the contrary. The strongly-turreted wall runs from the castle till it loses itself in the rock, and the building has a home-like inhabited, complete look; which, in virtue of the quaint irregularity and magnificent natural position of the castle, standing guard over the foaming Eltz, does not take from its romantic appearance, as preservation or restoration too often does.
Not far from Coblenz, and past the island of Nonnenwerth, is the old tenth-century castle of Sayn, which stood until the Thirty Years' War, and below it, quiet, comfortable, large, but unpretending, lies the new house of the family of Sayn-Wittgenstein, built in the year 1848. As we push our way down the Rhine we soon come to the little peaceful town of Neuwied, a sanctuary for persecuted Flemings and others of the Low Countries, gathered here by the local sovereign, Count Frederick III. The little brook that gives its name to the village runs softly into the Rhine under a rustic bridge and amid murmuring rushes, while beyond it the valley gets narrower, rocks begin to rise over the Rhine banks, and we come to Andernach.
Andernach is the Rocky Gate of the Rhine, and if its scenery were not enough, its history, dating from Roman times, would make it interesting. However, of its relics we can only mention, in passing, the parish church with its four towers, all of tufa, the dungeons under the council-house, significantly called the "Jew's bath," and the old sixteenth-century contrivances for loading Rhine boats with the millstones in which the town still drives a fair trade. At the mouth of the Brohl we meet the volcanic region again, and farther up the valley through which this stream winds come upon the retired little watering-place of Toennistein, a favorite goal of the Dutch, with its steel waters; and Wassenach, with what we may well call its dust-baths, stretching for miles inland, up hills full of old craters, and leaving us only at the entrance of the beech-woods that have grown up in these cauldron-like valleys and fringe the blue Laachersee, the lake of legends and of fairies. One of these Schlegel has versified in the "Lay of the Sunken Castle," with the piteous tale of the spirits imprisoned; and Simrock tells us in rhyme of the merman who sits waiting for a mortal bride; while Wolfgang Mueller sings of the "Castle under the Lake," where at night ghostly torches are lighted and ghostly revels are held, the story of which so fascinates the fisherman's boy who has heard of these doings from his grandmother that as he watches the enchanted waters one night his fancy plays him a cruel trick, and he plunges in to join the revellers and learn the truth.
Local tradition says that Count Henry II. and his wife Adelaide, walking here by night, saw the whole lake lighted up from within in uncanny fashion, and founded a monastery in order to counteract the spell. This deserted but scarcely ruined building still exists, and contains the grave of the founder; the twelfth-century decoration, rich and detailed, is almost whole in the oldest part of the monastery. The far-famed German tale of Genovefa of Brabant is here localized, and Henry's son Siegfried assigned to the princess as a husband, while the neighboring grotto of Hochstein is shown as her place of refuge. On our way back to the Rocky Gate we pass through the singular little town of Niedermendig, an hour's distance from the lake—a place built wholly of dark gray lava, standing in a region where lava-ridges seam the earth like the bones of antediluvian monsters, but are made more profitable by being quarried into millstones. There is something here that brings part of Wales to the remembrance of the few who have seen those dreary slate-villages—dark, damp, but naked, for moss and weeds do not thrive on this dampness as they do on the decay of other stones—which dot the moorland of Wales. The fences are slate; the gateposts are slate; the stiles are of slate; the very "sticks" up which the climbing roses are trained are of slate; churches, schools, houses, stables are all of one dark iron-blue shade; floors and roofs are alike; hearth-stones and threshold-stones, and grave-stones all of the same material. It is curious and depressing. This volcanic region of the Rhine, however, has so many unexpected beauties strewn pell-mell in the midst of stony barrenness that it also bears some likeness to Naples and Ischia, where beauty of color, and even of vegetation, alternate surprisingly with tracts of parched and rocky wilderness pierced with holes whence gas and steam are always rising.
[Footnote A: From "Down the Rhine."]
BINGEN AND MAYENCE[A]
BY VICTOR HUGO
Bingen is an exceedingly pretty place, having at once the somber look of an ancient town, and the cheering aspect of a new one. From the days of Consul Drusus to those of the Emperor Charlemagne, from Charlemagne to Archbishop Willigis, from Willigis to the merchant Montemagno, and from Montemagno to the visionary Holzhausen, the town gradually increased in the number of its houses, as the dew gathers drop by drop in the cup of a lily. Excuse this comparison; for, tho flowery, it has truth to back it, and faithfully illustrates the mode in which a town near the conflux of two rivers is constructed. The irregularity of the houses—in fact everything, tends to make Bingen a kind of antithesis, both with respect to buildings and the scenery which surrounds them. The town, bounded on the left by Nahe, and by the Rhine on the right, develops itself in a triangular form near a Gothic church, which is backed by a Roman citadel. In this citadel, which bears the date of the first century, and has long been the haunt of bandits, there is a garden; and in the church, which is of the fifteenth century, is the tomb of Barthelemy de Holzhausen. In the direction of Mayence, the famed Paradise Plain opens upon the Ringau; and in that of Coblentz, the dark mountains of Leyen seem to frown on the surrounding scenery. Here Nature smiles like a lovely woman extended unadorned on the greensward; there, like a slumbering giant, she excites a feeling of awe.
The more we examine this beautiful place, the more the antithesis is multiplied under our looks and thoughts. It assumes a thousand different forms; and as the Nahe flows through the arches of the stone bridge, upon the parapet of which the lion of Hesse turns its back to the eagle of Prussia, the green arm of the Rhine seizes suddenly the fair and indolent stream, and plunges it into the Bingerloch.
To sit down toward the evening on the summit of the Klopp—to see the town at its base, with an immense horizon on all sides, the mountains overshadowing all—to see the slated roofs smoking, the shadows lengthening, and the scenery breathing to life the verses of Virgil—to respire at once the wind which rustles the leaves, the breeze of the flood, and the gale of the mountain—is an exquisite and inexpressible pleasure, full of secret enjoyment, which is veiled by the grandeur of the spectacle, by the intensity of contemplation. At the windows of huts, young women, their eyes fixt upon their work, are gaily singing; among the weeds that grow round the ruins birds whistle and pair; barks are crossing the river, and the sound of oars splashing in the water, and unfurling of sails, reaches our ears. The washerwomen of the Rhine spread their clothes on the bushes; and those of the Nahe, their legs and feet naked, beat their linen upon floating rafts, and laugh at some poor artist as he sketches Ehrenfels.
The sun sets, night comes on, the slated roofs of the houses appear as one, the mountains congregate and take the aspect of an immense dark body; and the washerwomen, with bundles on their heads, return cheerfully to their cabins; the noise subsides, the voices are hushed; a faint light, resembling the reflections of the other world upon the countenance of a dying man, is for a short time observable on the Ehrenfels; then all is dark, except the tower of Hatto, which, tho scarcely seen in the day, makes its appearance at night, amid a light smoke and the reverberation of the forge....
Mayence and Frankfort, like Versailles and Paris, may, at the present time, be called one town. In the middle ages there was a distance of eight leagues between them, which was then considered a long journey; now, an hour and a quarter will suffice to transport you from one to the other. The buildings of Frankfort and Mayence, like those of Liege, have been devastated by modern good taste, and old and venerable edifices are rapidly disappearing, giving place to frightful groups of white houses.
I expected to be able to see, at Mayence, Martinsburg, which, up to the seventeenth century, was the feudal residence of the ecclesiastical electors; but the French made a hospital of it, which was afterward razed to the ground to make room for the Porte Franc; the merchant's hotel, built in 1317 by the famed League, and which was splendidly decorated with the statues of seven electors, and surmounted by two colossal figures, bearing the crown of the empire, also shared the same fate. Mayence possesses that which marks its antiquity—a venerable cathedral, which was commenced in 978, and finished in 1009. Part of this superb structure was burned in 1190, and since that period has, from century to century, undergone some change.
I explored its interior, and was struck with awe on beholding innumerable tombs, bearing dates as far back as the eighteenth century. Under the galleries of the cloister I observed an obscure monument, a bas-relief of the fourteenth century, and tried, in vain, to guess the enigma. On one side are two men in chains, wildness in their looks, and despair in their attitudes; on the other, an emperor, accompanied by a bishop, and surrounded by a number of people, triumphing. Is it Barbarossa? Is it Louis of Bavaria? Does it speak of the revolt of 1160, or of the war between Mayence and Frankfort in 1332? I could not tell, and therefore passed by.
As I was leaving the galleries, I discovered in the shade a sculptured head, half protruding from the wall, surmounted by a crown of flower-work, similar to that worn by the kings of the eleventh century. I looked at it; it had a mild countenance; yet it possest something of severity in it—a face imprinted with that august beauty which the workings of a great mind give to the countenance of man. The hand of some peasant had chalked the name "Frauenlob" above it, and I instantly remembered the Tasso of Mayence, so calumniated during his life, so venerated after his death. When Henry Frauenlob died, which was in the year 1318, the females who had insulted him in life carried his coffin to the tomb, which procession is chiseled on the tombstone beneath. I again looked at that noble head. The sculptor had left the eyes open; and thus, in that church of sepulchers—in that cloister of the dead—the poet alone sees; he only is represented standing, and observing all.
The market-place, which is by the side of the cathedral, has rather an amusing and pleasing aspect. In the middle is a pretty triangular fountain of the German Renaissance, which, besides having scepters, nymphs, angels, dolphins, and mermaids, serves as a pedestal to the Virgin Mary. This fountain was erected by Albert de Brandenburg, who reigned in 1540, in commemoration of the capture of Francis the First by Charles the Fifth.
Mayence, white tho it be, retains its ancient aspect of a beautiful city. The river here is not less crowded with sails, the town not less incumbered with bales, nor more free from bustle, than formerly. People walk, squeak, push, sell, buy, sing, and cry; in fact in all the quarters of the town, in every house, life seems to predominate. At night the buzz and noise cease, and nothing is heard at Mayence but the murmurings of the Rhine, and the everlasting noise of seventeen water mills, which are fixt to the piles of the bridge of Charlemagne.
[Footnote A: From "The Rhine." Translated by D.M. Aird.]
BY BAYARD TAYLOR
Frankfort is a genuine old German city. Founded by Charlemagne, afterward a rallying-point of the Crusaders, and for a long time the capital of the German Empire, it has no lack of interesting historical recollections, and, notwithstanding it is fast becoming modernized, one is everywhere reminded of the past. The cathedral, old as the days of Peter the Hermit, the grotesque street of the Jews, the many quaint, antiquated dwellings and the moldering watch-towers on the hills around, give it a more interesting character than any German city I have yet seen. The house we dwell in, on the Markt Platz, is more than two hundred years old; directly opposite is a great castellated building gloomy with the weight of six centuries, and a few steps to the left brings me to the square of the Roemerberg, where the emperors were crowned, in a corner of which is a curiously ornamented house formerly the residence of Luther. There are legends innumerable connected with all these buildings, and even yet discoveries are frequently made in old houses of secret chambers and staircases. When you add to all this the German love of ghost-stories, and, indeed, their general belief in spirits, the lover of romance could not desire a more agreeable residence.
Within the walls the greater part of Frankfort is built in the old German style, the houses six or seven stories high and every story projecting out over the other; so that those living in the upper part can nearly shake hands out of the windows. At the corners figures of men are often seen holding up the story above on their shoulders and making horrible faces at the weight. When I state that in all these narrow streets, which constitute the greater part of the city, there are no sidewalks, the windows of the lower stories have iron gratings extending a foot or so into the street, which is only wide enough for one cart to pass along, you can have some idea of the facility of walking through them, to say nothing of the piles of wood and market-women with baskets of vegetables which one is continuously stumbling over. Even in the wider streets I have always to look before and behind to keep out of the way of the cabs; the people here get so accustomed to it that they leave barely room for them to pass, and the carriages go dashing by at a nearness which sometimes makes me shudder.
As I walked across the Main and looked down at the swift stream on its way from the distant Thuringian Forest to join the Rhine, I thought of the time when Schiller stood there in the days of his early struggles, an exile from his native land, and, looking over the bridge, said in the loneliness of his heart, "That water flows not so deep as my sufferings."
From the hills on the Darmstadt road I had a view of the country around; the fields were white and bare, and the dark Taunus, with the broad patches of snow on his sides, looked grim and shadowy through the dim atmosphere. It was like the landscape of a dream—dark, strange and silent.
I have seen the banker Rothschild several times driving about the city. This one—Anselmo, the most celebrated of the brothers—holds a mortgage on the city of Jerusalem. He rides about in style, with officers attending his carriage. He is a little baldheaded man with marked Jewish features, and is said not to deceive his looks. At any rate, his reputation is none of the best, either with Jews or Christians. A caricature was published some time ago in which he is represented as giving a beggar-woman by the wayside a kreutzer—the smallest German coin. She is made to exclaim, "God reward you a thousand fold!" He immediately replies, after reckoning up in his head, "How much have I then? Sixteen florins and forty kreutzers!"...
The Eschernheim Tower, at the entrance of one of the city gates, is universally admired by strangers on account of its picturesque appearance, overgrown with ivy and terminated by the little pointed turrets which one sees so often in Germany on buildings three or four centuries old. There are five other watch-towers of similar form, which stand on different sides of the city at the distance of a mile or two, and generally upon an eminence overlooking the country. They were erected several centuries ago to discern from afar the approach of an enemy, and protect the caravans of merchants, which at that time traveled from city to city, from the attacks of robbers.
The Eschernheim Tower is interesting from another circumstance which, whether true or not, is universally believed. When Frankfort was under the sway of a prince, a Swiss hunter, for some civil offense, was condemned to die. He begged his life from the prince, who granted it only on condition that he should fire the figure nine with his rifle through the vane of this tower. He agreed, and did it; and at the present time one can distinguish a rude nine on the vane, as if cut with bullets, while two or three marks at the side appear to be from shots that failed.
[Footnote A: From "Views Afoot." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
BY BAYARD TAYLOR
Here in Heidelberg at last, and a most glorious town it is. This is our first morning in our new rooms, and the sun streams warmly in the eastern windows as I write, while the old castle rises through the blue vapor on the side of the Kaiserstuhl. The Neckar rushes on below, and the Odenwald, before me, rejoices with its vineyards in the morning light....
There is so much to be seen around this beautiful place that I scarcely know where to begin a description of it. I have been wandering among the wild paths that lead up and down the mountain-side or away into the forests and lonely meadows in the lap of the Odenwald. My mind is filled with images of the romantic German scenery, whose real beauty is beginning to displace the imaginary picture which I had painted with the enthusiastic words of Howitt. I seem to stand now upon the Kaiserstuhl, which rises above Heidelberg, with that magnificent landscape around me from the Black Forest and Strassburg to Mainz, and from the Vosges in France to the hills of Spessart in Bavaria.
What a glorious panorama! and not less rich in associations than in its natural beauty. Below me had moved the barbarian hordes of old, the triumphant followers of Arminius and the cohorts of Rome, and later full many a warlike host bearing the banners of the red cross to the Holy Land, many a knight returning with his vassals from the field to lay at the feet of his lady-love the scarf he had worn in a hundred battles and claim the reward of his constancy and devotion. But brighter spirits had also toiled below. That plain had witnessed the presence of Luther, and a host who strove with him. There had also trodden the master-spirits of German song—the giant twain with their scarcely less harmonious brethren. They, too, had gathered inspiration from those scenes—more fervent worship of Nature and a deeper love for their beautiful fatherland....
Then there is the Wolfsbrunnen, which one reaches by a beautiful walk up the bank of the Neckar to a quiet dell in the side of the mountain. Through this the roads lead up by rustic mills always in motion, and orchards laden with ripening fruit, to the commencement of the forest, where a quaint stone fountain stands, commemorating the abode of a sorceress of the olden time who was torn in pieces by a wolf. There is a handsome rustic inn here, where every Sunday afternoon a band plays in the portico, while hundreds of people are scattered around in the cool shadow of the trees or feeding the splendid trout in the basin formed by a little stream. They generally return to the city by another walk, leading along the mountain-side to the eastern terrace of the castle, where they have fine views of the great Rhine plain, terminated by the Alsatian hills stretching along the western horizon like the long crested swells on the ocean. We can even see these from the windows of our room on the bank of the Neckar, and I often look with interest on one sharp peak, for on its side stands the castle of Trifels, where Coeur de Lion was imprisoned by the Duke of Austria, and where Blondel, his faithful minstrel, sang the ballad which discovered the retreat of the noble captive.
From the Carl Platz, an open square at the upper end of the city, two paths lead directly up to the castle. By the first walk we ascend a flight of steps to the western gate; passing through which, we enter a delightful garden, between the outer walls of the castle and the huge moat which surrounds it. Great linden, oak and beech trees shadow the walk, and in secluded nooks little mountain-streams spring from the side of the wall into stone basins. There is a tower over the moat on the south side, next the mountain, where the portcullis still hangs with its sharp teeth as it was last drawn up; on each side stand two grim knights guarding the entrance. In one of the wooded walks is an old tree brought from America in the year 1618. It is of the kind called "arbor vitae," and uncommonly tall and slender for one of this species; yet it does not seem to thrive well in a foreign soil. I noticed that persons had cut many slips off the lower branches, and I would have been tempted to do the same myself if there had been any I could reach. In the curve of the mountain is a handsome pavilion surrounded with beds of flowers and fountains; here all classes meet together in the afternoon to sit with their refreshments in the shade, while frequently a fine band of music gives them their invariable recreation. All this, with the scenery around them, leaves nothing unfinished to their present enjoyment. The Germans enjoy life under all circumstances, and in this way they make themselves much happier than we who have far greater means of being so.
At the end of the terrace built for the Princess Elizabeth of England is one of the round towers which was split in twain by the French. Half has fallen entirely away, and the other semicircular shell, which joins the terrace and part of the castle-buildings, clings firmly together, altho part of its foundation is gone, so that its outer ends actually hang in the air. Some idea of the strength of the castle may be obtained when I state that the walls of this tower are twenty-two feet thick, and that a staircase has been made through them to the top, where one can sit under the lindens growing upon it or look down on the city below with the pleasant consciousness that the great mass upon which he stands is only prevented from crashing down with him by the solidity of its masonry. On one side, joining the garden, the statue of the Archduke Louis in his breastplate and flowing beard looks out from among the ivy.
There is little to be seen about the castle except the walls themselves. The guide conducted us through passages, in which were heaped many of the enormous cannon-balls which it had received in sieges, to some chambers in the foundation. This was the oldest part of the castle, built in the thirteenth century. We also visited the chapel, which is in a tolerable state of preservation. A kind of narrow bridge crosses it, over which we walked, looking down on the empty pulpit and deserted shrines. We then went into the cellar to see the celebrated tun. In a large vault are kept several enormous hogsheads, one of which is three hundred years old, but they are nothing in comparison with the tun, which itself fills a whole vault. It is as high as a common two-story house; on the top is a platform upon which the people used to dance after it was filled, to which one ascends by two flights of steps. I forget exactly how many casks it holds, but I believe eight hundred. It has been empty for fifty years....
Opposite my window rises the Heiligenberg, on the other side of the Neckar. The lower part of it is rich with vineyards, and many cottages stand embosomed in shrubbery among them. Sometimes we see groups of maidens standing under the grape-arbors, and every morning the peasant-women go toiling up the steep paths with baskets on their heads, to labor among the vines. On the Neckar, below us, the fishermen glide about in their boats, sink their square nets fastened to a long pole, and haul them up with the glittering fish, of which the stream is full. I often lean out of the window late at night, when the mountains above are wrapt in dusky obscurity, and listen to the low, musical ripple of the river. It tells to my excited fancy a knightly legend of the old German time. Then comes the bell rung for closing the inns, breaking the spell with its deep clang, which vibrates far away on the night-air till it has roused all the echoes of the Odenwald. I then shut the window, turn into the narrow box which the Germans call a bed, and in a few minutes am wandering in America.
Halfway up the Heidelberg runs a beautiful walk dividing the vineyards from the forest above. This is called "The Philosopher's Way," because it was the favorite ramble of the old professors of the university. It can be reached by a toilsome, winding path among the vines, called the Snake-way; and when one has ascended to it, he is well rewarded by the lovely view. In the evening, when the sun has got behind the mountain, it is delightful to sit on the stone steps and watch the golden light creeping up the side of the Kaiserstuhl, till at last twilight begins to darken in the valley and a mantle of mist gathers above the Neckar.
We ascended the mountain a few days ago. There is a path which leads up through the forest, but we took the shortest way, directly up the side, tho it was at an angle of nearly fifty degrees. It was hard enough work scrambling through the thick broom and heather and over stumps and stones. In one of the stone-heaps I dislodged a large orange-colored salamander seven or eight inches long. They are sometimes found on these mountains, as well as a very large kind of lizard, called the "eidechse," which the Germans say is perfectly harmless, and if one whistles or plays a pipe will come and play around him.
The view from the top reminded me of that from Catskill Mountain House, but is on a smaller scale. The mountains stretch off sideways, confining the view to but half the horizon, and in the middle of the picture the Hudson is well represented by the lengthened windings of the "abounding Rhine." Nestled at the base below us was the little village of Handschuhheim, one of the oldest in this part of Germany. The castle of its former lords has nearly all fallen down, but the massive solidity of the walls which yet stand proves its antiquity. A few years ago a part of the outer walls which was remarked to have a hollow sound was taken down, when there fell from a deep niche built therein, a skeleton clad in a suit of the old German armor.
We followed a road through the woods to the peak on which stands the ruins of St. Michael's chapel, which was built in the tenth century and inhabited for a long time by a company of white monks. There is now but a single tower remaining, and all around is grown over with tall bushes and weeds. It had a wild and romantic look, and I sat on a rock and sketched at it till it grew dark, when we got down the mountain the best way we could....
We have just returned from a second visit to Frankfort, where the great annual fair filled the streets with noise and bustle. On our way back we stopt at the village of Zwingenberg, which lies at the foot of the Melibochus, for the purpose of visiting some of the scenery of the Odenwald. Passing the night at the inn there, we slept with one bed under and two above, and started early in the morning to climb up the side of the Melibochus. After a long walk through the forests, which were beginning to change their summer foliage for a brighter garment, we reached the summit and ascended the stone tower which stands upon it. This view gives one a better idea of the Odenwald than that from the Kaiserstuhl at Heidelberg.
This is a great collection of rocks, in a wild pine wood, heaped together like pebbles on the seashore and worn and rounded as if by the action of water; so much do they resemble waves that one standing at the bottom and looking up can not resist the idea that they will flow down upon him. It must have been a mighty tide whose receding waves left these masses piled up together. The same formation continues at intervals to the foot of the mountains. It reminded me of a glacier of rocks instead of ice.
A little higher up lies a massive block of granite called the Giant's Column. It is thirty-two feet long and three to four feet in diameter, and still bears the mark of the chisel. When or by whom it was made remains a mystery. Some have supposed it was intended to be erected for the worship of the sun by the wild Teutonic tribes who inhabited this forest; it is more probably the work of the Romans. A project was once started to erect a monument on the battlefield of Leipsic, but it was found too difficult to carry into execution.
After dining at the little village of Reichelsdorf, in the valley below—where the merry landlord charged my friend two kreutzers less than myself because he was not so tall—we visited the castle of Schoenberg, and joined the Bergstrasse again. We walked the rest of the way here. Long before we arrived the moon shone down on us over the mountains; and when we turned around the foot of the Heiligenberg, the mist descending in the valley of the Neckar rested like a light cloud on the church-spires.
[Footnote A: From "Views Afoot." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
I left the cars with my head full of the cathedral. The first thing I saw, on lifting my eyes, was a brown spire. We climbed the spire; we gained the roof. What a magnificent terrace! A world in itself; a panoramic view sweeping the horizon. Here I saw the names of Goethe and Herder. Here they have walked many a time, I suppose. But the inside—a forest-like firmament, glorious in holiness; windows many-hued as the Hebrew psalms; a gloom solemn and pathetic as man's mysterious existence; a richness gorgeous and manifold as his wonderful nature. In this Gothic architecture we see earnest northern races, whose nature was a composite of influences from pine forest, mountain, and storm, expressing in vast proportions and gigantic masonry those ideas of infinite duration and existence which Christianity opened before them.
The ethereal eloquence of the Greeks could not express the rugged earnestness of souls wrestling with those fearful mysteries of fate, of suffering, of eternal existence, declared equally by nature and revelation. This architecture is Hebraistic in spirit, not Greek; it well accords with the deep ground-swell of the Hebrew prophets. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past. And as a watch in the night."
The objection to Gothic architecture, as compared with Greek, is, that it is less finished and elegant. So it is. It symbolizes that state of mind too earnest for mere polish, too deeply excited for laws of exact proportions and architectural refinement. It is Alpine architecture—vast, wild, and sublime in its foundations, yet bursting into flowers at every interval. The human soul seems to me an imprisoned essence, striving after somewhat divine. There is a struggle in it, as of suffocated flame; finding vent now through poetry, now in painting, now in music, sculpture, or architecture; various are the crevices and fissures, but the flame is one.
Moreover, as society grows from barbarism upward, it tends to inflorescence, at certain periods, as do plants and trees; and some races flower later than others. This architecture was the first flowering of the Gothic race; they had no Homers; the flame found vent not by imaged words and vitalized alphabet; they vitalized stone, and their poets were minster-builders; their epics, cathedrals.
This is why one cathedral—like Strassburg, or Notre Dame—has a thousandfold the power of any number of Madeleines. The Madeleine is simply a building; these are poems. I never look at one of them without feeling that gravitation of soul toward its artist which poetry always excites. Often the artist is unknown; here we know him; Erwin von Steinbach, poet, prophet, priest, in architecture. We visited his house—a house old and quaint, and to me full of suggestions and emotions. Ah, if there be, as the apostle vividly suggests, houses not made with hands, strange splendors, of which these are but shadows, that vast religious spirit may have been finding scope for itself where all the forces of nature shall have been made tributary to the great conceptions of the soul. Save this cathedral, Strassburg has nothing except peaked-roofed houses, dotted with six or seven rows of gable windows.
[Footnote A: From "Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands." Mrs. Stowe published this work in 1854, after returning from the tour she made soon after achieving great fame with "Uncle Tom's Cabin." During this visit she was received everywhere with distinction—and especially in England.]
FREIBURG AND THE BLACK FOREST[A]
BY BAYARD TAYLOR
The airy basket-work tower of the Freiburg minster rises before me over the black roofs of the houses, and behind stand the gloomy pine-covered mountains of the Black Forest. Of our walk to Heidelberg over the oft-trodden Bergstrasse, I shall say nothing, nor how we climbed the Kaiserstuhl again, and danced around on the top of the tower for one hour amid cloud and mist, while there was sunshine below in the valley of the Neckar. I left Heidelberg yesterday morning in the "stehwagen" for Carlsruhe. The engine whistled, the train started, and, altho I kept my eyes steadily fixt on the spire of the Hauptkirche, three minutes hid it and all the rest of the city from sight. Carlsruhe, the capital of Baden—which we reached in an hour and a half—is unanimously pronounced by travelers to be a most dull and tiresome city. From a glance I had through one of the gates, I should think its reputation was not undeserved. Even its name in German signifies a place of repose.
I stopt at Kork, on the branch-road leading to Strassburg, to meet a German-American about to return to my home in Pennsylvania, where he had lived for some time. I inquired according to the direction he had sent me to Frankfort, but he was not there; however, an old man, finding who I was, said Herr Otto had directed him to go with me to Hesselhurst, a village four or five miles off, where he would meet me. So we set off immediately over the plain, and reached the village at dusk....
My friend arrived at three o'clock the next morning, and, after two or three hours' talk about home and the friends whom he expected to see so much sooner than I, a young farmer drove me in his wagon to Offenburg, a small city at the foot of the Black Forest, where I took the cars for Freiburg. The scenery between the two places is grand. The broad mountains of the Black Forest rear their fronts on the east, and the blue lines of the French Vosges meet the clouds on the west. The night before, in walking over the plain, I saw distinctly the whole of the Strassburg minster, whose spire is the highest in Europe, being four hundred and ninety feet, or but twenty-five feet lower than the Pyramid of Cheops.
I visited the minster of Freiburg yesterday morning. It is a grand, gloomy old pile, dating back from the eleventh century—one of the few Gothic churches in Germany that have ever been completed. The tower of beautiful fretwork rises to the height of three hundred and ninety-five feet, and the body of the church, including the choir, is of the same length. The interior is solemn and majestic. Windows stained in colors that burn let in a "dim religious light" which accords very well with the dark old pillars and antique shrines. In two of the chapels there are some fine altar-pieces by Holbein and one of his scholars, and a very large crucifix of silver and ebony, kept with great care, which is said to have been carried with the Crusaders to the Holy Land....
We went this afternoon to the Jaegerhaus, on a mountain near, where we had a very fine view of the city and its great black minster, with the plain of the Briesgau, broken only by the Kaiserstuhl, a long mountain near the Rhine, whose golden stream glittered in the distance. On climbing the Schlossberg, an eminence near the city, we met the grand duchess Stephanie, a natural daughter of Napoleon, as I have heard. A chapel on the Schoenberg, the mountain opposite, was pointed out as the spot where Louis XV.—if I mistake not—usually stood while his army besieged Freiburg. A German officer having sent a ball to this chapel which struck the wall just above the king's head, the latter sent word that if they did not cease firing he would point his cannons at the minster. The citizens thought it best to spare the monarch and save the cathedral.
After two days delightfully spent, we shouldered our knapsacks and left Freiburg. The beautiful valley at the mouth of which the city lies runs like an avenue for seven miles directly into the mountains, and presents in its loveliness such a contrast to the horrid defile which follows that it almost deserves the name which has been given to a little inn at its head—the "Kingdom of Heaven." The mountains of the Black Forest enclose it on each side like walls, covered to the summit with luxuriant woods, and in some places with those forests of gloomy pine which give this region its name. After traversing its whole length, just before plunging into the mountain-depths the traveler rarely meets with a finer picture than that which, on looking back, he seems framed between the hills at the other end. Freiburg looks around the foot of one of the heights, with the spire of her cathedral peeping above the top, while the French Vosges grow dim in the far perspective.
The road now enters a wild, narrow valley which grows smaller as we proceed. From Himmelreich, a large rude inn by the side of the green meadows, we enter the Hoellenthal—that is, from the "Kingdom of Heaven" to the "Valley of Hell." The latter place better deserves its appellation than the former. The road winds between precipices of black rock, above which the thick foliage shuts out the brightness of day and gives a somber hue to the scene. A torrent foams down the chasm, and in one place two mighty pillars interpose to prevent all passage. The stream, however, has worn its way through, and the road is hewn in the rock by its side. This cleft is the only entrance to a valley three or four miles long which lies in the very heart of the mountains.
It is inhabited by a few woodmen and their families, and, but for the road which passes through, would be as perfect a solitude as the Happy Valley of Rasselas. At the farther end a winding road called "The Ascent" leads up the steep mountain to an elevated region of country thinly settled and covered with herds of cattle. The cherries—which in the Rhine-plain below had long gone—were just ripe here. The people spoke a most barbarous dialect; they were social and friendly, for everybody greeted us, and sometimes, as we sat on a bank by the roadside, those who passed by would say "Rest thee!" or "Thrice rest!"
Passing by the Titi Lake, a small body of water which was spread out among the hills like a sheet of ink, so deep was its Stygian hue, we commenced ascending a mountain. The highest peak of the Schwarzwald, the Feldberg, rose not far off, and on arriving at the top of this mountain we saw that a half hour's walk would bring us to its summit. This was too great a temptation for my love of climbing heights; so, with a look at the descending sun to calculate how much time we could spare, we set out. There was no path, but we prest directly up the steep side through bushes and long grass, and in a short time reached the top, breathless from such exertion in the thin atmosphere.
The pine-woods shut out the view to the north and east, which is said to be magnificent, as the mountain is about five thousand feet high. The wild black peaks of the Black Forest were spread below us, and the sun sank through golden mist toward the Alsatian hills. Afar to the south, through cloud and storm, we could just trace the white outline of the Swiss Alps. The wind swept through the pines around, and bent the long yellow grass among which we sat, with a strange, mournful sound, well suiting the gloomy and mysterious region. It soon grew cold; the golden clouds settled down toward us, and we made haste to descend to the village of Lenzkirch before dark.
Next morning we set out early, without waiting to see the trial of archery which was to take place among the mountain-youths. Their booths and targets, gay with banners, stood on a green meadow beside the town. We walked through the Black Forest the whole forenoon. It might be owing to the many wild stories whose scenes are laid among these hills, but with me there was a peculiar feeling of solemnity pervading the whole region. The great pine-woods are of the very darkest hue of green, and down their hoary, moss-floored aisles daylight seems never to have shone. The air was pure and clear and the sunshine bright, but it imparted no gayety to the scenery; except the little meadows of living emerald which lay occasionally in the lap of a dell, the landscape wore a solemn and serious air. In a storm it must be sublime.
About noon, from the top of the last range of hills, we had a glorious view. The line of the distant Alps could be faintly traced high in the clouds, and all the heights between were plainly visible, from the Lake of Constance to the misty Jura, which flanked the Vosges on the west. From our lofty station we overlooked half Switzerland, and, had the air been a little clearer, we could have seen Mont Blanc and the mountains of Savoy. I could not help envying the feelings of the Swiss who, after long absence from their native land, first see the Alps from this road. If to the emotions with which I then looked on them were added the passionate love of home and country which a long absence creates, such excess of rapture would be almost too great to be borne.
[Footnote A: From "Views Afoot." Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
AS A MEDIEVAL CITY[A]
BY CECIL HEADLAM
In spite of all changes, and in spite of the disfigurements of modern industry, Nuremberg is and will remain a medieval city, a city of history and legend, a city of the soul. She is like Venice in this, as in not a little of her history, that she exercises an indefinable fascination over our hearts no less than over our intellects. The subtle flavor of medieval towns may be likened to that of those rare old ports which are said to taste of the grave; a flavor indefinable, exquisite. Rothenburg has it; and it is with Rothenburg, that little gem of medievalism, that Nuremberg is likely to be compared in the mind of the modern wanderer in Franconia. But tho Rothenburg may surpass her greater neighbor in the perfect harmony and in the picturesqueness of her red-tiled houses and well-preserved fortifications, in interest at any rate she must yield to the heroine of this story.
For, apart from the beauty which Nuremberg owes to the wonderful grouping of her red roofs and ancient castle, her coronet of antique towers, her Gothic churches and Renaissance buildings or brown riverside houses dipping into the mud-colored Pegnitz, she rejoices in treasures of art and architecture and in the possession of a splendid history such as Rothenburg can not boast. To those who know something of her story Nuremberg brings the subtle charm of association. While appealing to our memories by the grandeur of her historic past, and to our imaginations by the work and tradition of her mighty dead, she appeals also to our senses with the rare magic of her personal beauty, if one may so call it. In that triple appeal lies the fascination of Nuremberg....
The facts as to the origin of Nuremberg are lost in the dim shadows of tradition. When the little town sprang up amid the forests and swamps which still marked the course of the Pegnitz, we know as little as we know the origin of the name Nuernberg. It is true that the chronicles of later days are only too ready to furnish us with information; but the information is not always reliable. The chronicles, like our own peerage, are apt to contain too vivid efforts of imaginative fiction. The chroniclers, unharassed by facts or documents, with minds "not by geography prejudiced, or warped by history," can not unfortunately always be believed. It is, for instance, quite possible that Attila, King of the Huns, passed and plundered Nuremberg, as they tell us. But there is no proof, no record of that visitation. Again, the inevitable legend of a visit from Charlemagne occurs. He, you may be sure, was lost in the woods while hunting near Nuremberg, and passed all night alone, unhurt by the wild beasts. As a token of gratitude for God's manifest favor he caused a chapel to be built on the spot. The chapel stands to this day—a twelfth-century building—but no matter! for did not Otho I., as our chroniclers tell us, attend mass in St. Sebald's Church in 970, tho St. Sebald's Church can not have been built till a century later?
The origin of the very name of Nuremberg is hidden in the clouds of obscurity. In the earliest documents we find it spelt with the usual variations of early manuscripts—Nourenberg, Nuorimperc, Niurenberg, Nuremberc, etc. The origin of the place, we repeat, is equally obscure. Many attempts have been made to find history in the light of the derivations of the name. But when philology turns historian it is apt to play strange tricks. Nur ein Berg (only a castle), or Nero's Castle, or Norix Tower—what matter which is the right derivation, so long as we can base a possible theory on it? The Norixberg theory will serve to illustrate the incredible quantity of misplaced ingenuity which both of old times and in the present has been wasted in trying to explain the inexplicable.
Be that as it may, the history of our town begins in the year 1050. It is most probable that the silence regarding the place—it is not mentioned among the places visited by Conrad II. in this neighborhood—points to the fact that the castle did not exist in 1025, but was built between that year and 1050. That it existed then we know, for Henry III. dated a document from here in 1050, summoning a council of Bavarian nobles "to his estate Nourinberc." The oldest portion, called in the fifteenth century Altnuernberg, consisted of the Fuenfeckiger Thurm—the Five-cornered tower—the rooms attached and the Otmarkapelle. The latter was burned down in 1420, rebuilt in 1428, and called the Walpurgiskapelle. These constituted the Burggraefliche Burg—the Burggraf's Castle. The rest of the castle was built on by Friedrich der Rotbart (Barbarossa), and called the Kaiserliche Burg. The old Five-cornered tower and the surrounding ground was the private property of the Burggraf, and he was appointed by the Emperor as imperial officer of the Kaiserliche Burg. Whether the Emperors claimed any rights of personal property over Nuremberg or merely treated it, at first, as imperial property, it is difficult to determine. The castle at any rate was probably built to secure whatever rights were claimed, and to serve generally as an imperial stronghold. Gradually around the castle grew up the straggling streets of Nuremberg. Settlers built beneath the shadow of the Burg. The very names of the streets suggest the vicinity of a camp or fortress. Soeldnerstrasse, Schmiedstrasse, and so forth, betray the military origin of the present busy commercial town. From one cause or another a mixture of races, of Germanic and non-Germanic, of Slavonic and Frankish elements, seems to have occurred among the inhabitants of the growing village, producing a special blend which in dialect, in customs, and in dress was soon noticed by the neighbors as unique, and stamping the art and development of Nuremberg with that peculiar character which has never left it.
Various causes combined to promote the growth of the place. The temporary removal of the Mart from Fuerth to Nuremberg under Henry III. doubtless gave a great impetus to the development of the latter town. Henry IV., indeed, gave back the rights of Mart, customs and coinage to Fuerth. But it seems probable that these rights were not taken away again from Nuremberg. The possession of a Mart was, of course, of great importance to a town in those days, promoting industries and arts and settled occupations. The Nurembergers were ready to suck out the fullest advantage from their privilege. That mixture of races, to which we have referred, resulted in remarkable business energy—energy which soon found scope in the conduct of the business which the natural position of Nuremberg on the south and north, the east and western trade routes, brought to her. It was not very long before she became the center of the vast trade between the Levant and Western Europe, and the chief emporium for the produce of Italy—the "Handelsmetropole" in fact of South Germany.
Nothing in the Middle Ages was more conducive to the prosperity of a town than the reputation of having a holy man within its borders, or the possession of the miracle-working relics of a saint. Just as St. Elizabeth made Marburg so St. Sebaldus proved a very potent attraction to Nuremberg. As early as 1070 and 1080 we hear of pilgrimages to Nuremberg in honor of her patron saint.
Another factor in the growth of the place was the frequent visits which the Emperors began to pay to it. Lying as it did on their way from Bamberg and Forcheim to Regensburg, the Kaisers readily availed themselves of the security offered by this impregnable fortress, and of the sport provided in the adjacent forest. For there was good hunting to be had in the forest which, seventy-two miles in extent, surrounded Nuremberg. And hunting, next to war, was then in most parts of Europe the most serious occupation of life. All the forest rights, we may mention, of wood-cutting, hunting, charcoal burning and bee-farming belonged originally to the Empire. But these were gradually acquired by the Nuremberg Council, chiefly by purchase in the fifteenth century.
In the castle the visitor may notice a list of all the Emperors—some thirty odd, all told—who have stayed there—a list that should now include the reigning Emperor. We find that Henry IV. frequently honored Nuremberg with his presence. This is that Henry IV., whose scene at Canossa with the Pope—Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire waiting three days in the snow to kiss the foot of excommunicative Gregory—has imprest itself on all memories. His last visit to Nuremberg was a sad one. His son rebelled against him, and the old king stopt at Nuremberg to collect his forces. In the war between father and son Nuremberg was loyal, and took the part of Henry IV. It was no nominal part, for in 1105 she had to stand a siege from the young Henry. For two months the town was held by the burghers and the castle by the Prefect Conrad. At the end of that time orders came from the old Kaiser that the town was to surrender. He had given up the struggle, and his undutiful son succeeded as Henry V. to the Holy Roman Empire, and Nuremberg with it. The mention of this siege gives us an indication of the growth of the town. The fact of the siege and the words of the chronicler, "The townsmen (oppidani) gave up the town under treaty," seem to point to the conclusion that Nuremberg was now no longer a mere fort (castrum), but that walls had sprung up round the busy mart and the shrine of St. Sebald, and that by this time Nuremberg had risen to the dignity of a "Stadt" or city state. Presently, indeed, we find her rejoicing in the title of "Civitas" (state). The place, it is clear, was already of considerable military importance or it would not have been worth while to invest it. The growing volume of trade is further illustrated by a charter of Henry V. (1112) giving to the citizens of Worms customs' immunity in various places subject to him, among which Frankfort, Goslar and Nuremberg are named as royal towns ("oppida regis").
[Footnote A: From "The Story of Nuremberg." Published by E.P. Dutton & Co.]
ITS CHURCHES AND THE CITADEL[A]
BY THOMAS FROGNALL DIBDIN
It may be as well briefly to notice the two churches—St. Sebald and St. Lawrence. The former was within a stone's throw of our inn. Above the door of the western front is a remarkably fine crucifix of wood—placed, however, in too deep a recess—said to be by Veit Stoss. The head is of a very fine form, and the countenance has an expression of the most acute and intense feeling. A crown of thorns is twisted around the brow. But this figure, as well as the whole of the outside and inside of the church, stands in great need of being repaired. The towers are low, with insignificant turrets; the latter evidently a later erection—probably at the commencement of the sixteenth century. The eastern extremity, as well indeed as the aisles, is surrounded by buttresses; and the sharp-pointed, or lancet, windows, seem to bespeak the fourteenth, if not the thirteenth, century. The great "wonder" of the interior is the Shrine of the Saint (to whom the church is dedicated), of which the greater part is silver. At the time of my viewing it, it was in a disjointed state—parts of it having been taken to pieces, for repair; but from Geisler's exquisite little engraving, I should pronounce it to be second to few specimens of similar art in Europe. The figures do not exceed two feet in height, and the extreme elevation of the shrine may be about eight feet. Nor has Geisler's almost equally exquisite little engraved carving of the richly carved Gothic font in this church, less claim upon the admiration of the connoisseur.
The mother church, or Cathedral of St. Lawrence, is much larger, and portions of it may be of the latter end of the thirteenth century. The principal entrance presents us with an elaborate doorway—perhaps of the fourteenth century—with the sculpture divided into several compartments, as at Rouen, Strassburg, and other earlier edifices. There is a poverty in the two towers, both from their size and the meagerness of the windows; but the slim spires at the summit are, doubtless, nearly of a coeval date with that which supports them. The bottom of the large circular or marigold window is injured in its effect by a Gothic balustrade of a later period. The interior of this church has certainly nothing very commanding or striking, on the score of architectural grandeur or beauty; but there are some painted glass windows—especially by Volkmar—which are deserving of particular attention. Nuremberg has one advantage over many populous towns; its public buildings are not choked up by narrow streets; and I hardly know an edifice of distinction, round which the spectator may not walk with perfect ease, and obtain a view of every portion which he is desirous of examining....
Of all edifices, more especially deserving of being visited at Nuremberg, the Citadel is doubtless the most curious and ancient, as well as the most remarkable. It rises to a considerable height, close upon the outer walls of the town, within about a stone's throw of the end of Albrecht Duerer Strasse—or the street where Albert Duerer lived—and whose house is not only yet in existence, but still the object of attraction and veneration with every visitor of taste, from whatever part of the world he may chance to come. The street running down is the street called (as before observed) after Albert Duerer's own name; and the well, seen about the middle of it, is a specimen of those wells—built of stone—which are very common in the streets of Nuremberg. The upper part of the house of Albert Duerer is supposed to have been his study. The interior is so altered from its original disposition as to present little or nothing satisfactory to the antiquary. It would be difficult to say how many coats of whitewash have been bestowed upon the rooms, since the time when they were tenanted by the great character in question.