I’m quite sad that just this past weekend, the leaves began to make their final voyage to the ground. The trees are looking much more twiggy now. There are still areas in the valleys where the sun hits just so and the leaves look aflame, but the colder days are upon us and winter will soon be here.
It even snowed today, so our afternoon plans were cancelled. It is not a huge deal, there will be other sunny, albeit cold, days. The weather when it’s overcast, cold, and snowy makes me lazy and tired so we decided to buy a case of Bitburger and watch some Glee. Girls’ night. 🙂
Goodies from the bazaar last weekend.
I dropped a little moo-lah, but we’re now fully stocked on all different kinds of wines, chocolate, and cheese for when guests visit. I had to add to my Polish pottery collection because you can’t get that anywhere else and I couldn’t resist the hand painted glass bulb ornament captioned, “Winter in Germany.” The Viper Pilot and I pick out an ornament each Christmas to represent something major that happened in the past year (getting a dog, taking the dog who has a favorite toy hippo skiing with us, getting engaged and getting the F-16 assignment, and so on). For our wedding, one of our gifts was our wedding invitation shredded in a Christmas bulb and that’s going to be the very special memento for 2012 for us, but moving to Germany was a pretty big deal too and definitely warranted the purchase of this hand painted from the inside glass bulb.
See how well I justified all of my purchases?
Yesterday evening, Dani and I took a little side trip to the city of Trier (“Treer”). It’s just a hop along the autobahn and is the oldest city in Germany. An ancient Roman capital, Trier brags that it was inhabited by Celts for 1300 years before Rome even existed.
Our short visit to Trier took us to the oldest Christian church in Germany. After Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire in 312 AD, his mother (now St. Helena) allowed part of her palace in Trier to be used as the first church. On the 20th anniversary of his reign, Constantine began constructing two great churches: St. Peter’s, which you may have hear of — it’s in Rome — and this cathedral in Trier, also called St. Peter’s, shown on the left in the picture below.
It is so very Romanesque in it’s mighty 12th century facade. The building to the right of the cathedral is the 13th century more delicate and Gothic facade of the Liebfrau church, the oldest Gothic church in Germany.
Inside the Liebfrau, is what I would guess was very “vogue” for the Gothic era. The church has been recently renovated and is filled with colorful, modern stained glass. I wasn’t sure about photography inside even though others were doing it. I took one picture and put my camera to behold what my eye could see. It was beautiful.
When we stepped out of the Liebfrau Church, we realized that service inside the cathedral had ended and visitors were allowed back in, so we went back to take a look inside.
The organist was still playing away, the fragrant smoke of incense filled the air and we were in awe at the sights and sounds, our senses beyond overwhelmed. It was far more angelic than we anticipated.
I snuck into a corner in one of the pillars and took a picture. I couldn’t resist, but I didn’t want to be like the other tourists snapping away out in the open while the church-goers were still lingering after service. I try my best to be a polite tourist, but sometimes I just can’t resist a quick click of the shutter — as long as photography is permitted.
An interesting fact about the interior of the Dom (cathedral) is that all of the altars lining the nave are dedicated to bishops, not saints. The powerful archbishop-electors are memorialized with these ornate altars all around. You can catch glimpses of a few in the above picture. Each one told a different story. The supposed Holy Robe of Christ, though to have been found by St. Helena on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem is the most cherished relic of the cathedral. You can reread that if you want, but it really does mean a garment worn by Jesus. With the service ending and parishioners gathered here and there, we decided not to venture to the back of the main altar to view it and we later learned that it isn’t always on display anyway. I don’t know whether it really is true or not. I don’t think anyone does. It doesn’t matter, we don’t need to see proof of Jesus’ clothing to believe.
Trier. What an incredible place — we were just discussing that we will probably be making a return visit (now that we know where to legally park the car) later this week if the weather shapes up. Stay tuned.
Enjoy the rest of your Monday, everyone!