A Bavarian Horse-Blessing Ceremony

As we sauntered closer to the village of Unterammergau, Germany, horses trotted past us, their highly decorated manes and tails blowing in the late autumn breeze. Not to be outdone by the animals’ distinguished appearances, the horse owners also sported fine Bavarian attire: the men wore grey woolen jackets finished with deer-horn buttons, and darkContinue reading “A Bavarian Horse-Blessing Ceremony”

Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony

During the last weekend of every October, the village of Unterammergau, Germany honors St. Leonhard, the patron saint of agricultural animals. The event begins with a horse procession through the village of 1,500 people, and culminates in an open-air church service, during which more than one hundred horses are blessed. (Unterammergau is the neighboring villageContinue reading “Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony”

Mount Kofel Dressed in Snow – Oberammergau, Germany

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”   John Steinbeck The experience of awakening to the first snowfall of winter is magical, especially when Mother Nature delivers as she did today in Oberammergau, Germany. (There was nothing to shovel, but confectioners’ sugar-like dustings on the surroundingContinue reading “Mount Kofel Dressed in Snow – Oberammergau, Germany”

An Autumn Afternoon at the Neuschwanstein Castle

As we inched closer to the Neuschwanstein Castle, I couldn’t help but think it looked even more fairy tale’esque thanks to the autumnal hues Mother Nature had dressed it in. Rich yellow, copper and crimson leaves framed the world-famous castle on the craggy rocks, contrasting sharply with the lime-green fields below it.

The Lüftlmalerei-Adorned Windows of Oberammergau, Germany

Oberammergau, Germany is famous for the colorful frescoes that adorn the exteriors of its homes and businesses. This painting technique is known as Lüftlmalerei.  Luft means ‘air’ in German. It’s believed that the term illustrates how fresco artists must work quickly to apply watercolor paint to the wet plaster before it dries in the open air. DuringContinue reading “The Lüftlmalerei-Adorned Windows of Oberammergau, Germany”

Conquering the Kofel, Oberammergau’s Signature Mountain

Towering over the village of Oberammergau is the Kofel, a Matterhorn-shaped mountain with an elevation of 1,342 meters (4,400 feet). The name Kofel means ‘cone-shaped mountain’ in Celtic, and so hints at the tribes and peoples that once passed through this mountainous part of Germany. The Bavarians we’ve met in this picturesque town are well-versed in theContinue reading “Conquering the Kofel, Oberammergau’s Signature Mountain”

A Peek at Linderhof Palace

Schloss Linderhof is the smallest of three castles built by King Ludwig II in Germany’s state of Bavaria in the mid to late 1800s. Simultaneously referred to as the ‘Fairy Tale King’ and ‘Mad King Ludwig,’ eccentric Ludwig is perhaps best known for having commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle, the so-called ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Disney Castle.’ He isContinue reading “A Peek at Linderhof Palace”

The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Henry James As we welcome autumn to Oberammergau – with its bounty of festivals and harvests – here is a peek at the scenes we glimpsed during our last summer strolls. Here’s to beautiful fall foliage,Continue reading “The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany”