General Patton. What do we remember about him from history class? He was a pretty smart guy and something about Battle of the Bulge…okay, I have to admit, not many details.
About 10 miles from home is a little village called Dudeldorf. It’s so much fun to say that I am insisting you say it aloud at least three times. I’ll do it with you. “Dudeldorf, Dudeldorf, Dudeldorf…” See how much fun that was?
This old village has a very interesting past. It was first mentioned in 816, and in the 1400s a protective wall with two gates on either side (east and west) was built. A castle protected the city to the north and the wall encloses a Catholic church which was constructed much later in 1909. The two gates still provide entrance to and from the city center.
We parked the car and stepped out to snap a couple of pictures, but we didn’t really spend much time wandering around. I saw several residents watching us from their windows (which is common in the culture here but I find it a little creepy that I’m being spied on) and I felt a little touristy in a town that, well, isn’t touristy. So we did most of our sight-seeing from inside the car. And that works just as well, but I’m disappointed that I don’t have pictures of the church or castle. Dudeldorf has a very nice Christmas market so there is a good chance I’ll be back.
The upper arch is much more grandiose than the lower one, considering the era it was built. If you take a closer look at the arch, you will notice several scrapes, nicks, and scratches from larger vehicles driving too close to the edge. I had to drive through it in Blue Thunder (the Volvo) and it is a tight squeeze! These arches bear the deep marks left by General S. Patton and his Third Army, tanks and all, as they pressed eastward during World War II.
These are the scratches left by the Allied tanks.
I know that most archways this narrow will accumulate scratches over the years, but if this story is true, and there is plenty of reason to believe that it is, just seeing it in person and trying to picture the tanks driving down the brick roads during WWII was very stirring. If only walls could talk…
I can’t even imagine those enormous monsters passing through these streets let alone the archway.
While I was researching this story, I read that some of the older folks in town (maybe they are no longer with us) remember seeing the troops moving through Dudeldorf. They were given candy bars by General Patton himself. I would love to have a cup of coffee with those people…I would love to have a cup of coffee with General Patton…
Supposedly, Patton was here in January of 1945, right after the Battle of the Bulge. Does anyone else find the humor in this? If so, please laugh now. It is just a little ironic that he “battled the bulge” and then squished his tank through a
bulging narrow archway, isn’t it?
After the windshield tour of Dudeldorf, we drove to Bitburg to have dinner at my favorite authentic Italian restaurant. It has wonderful food and wine, and the atmosphere is very appealing. I was pleased to discover that my Deutsch has improved enough to convince the waiter that I spoke it fluently. Then I made a fool of myself when I stared blankly at him because I didn’t understand a lick of what he said to me. This happens to me a lot. All well…he spoke very good English and I continued to sneak in the German phrases that I am confident with. I still believe they appreciate my attempt.
The wild beast we found yesterday was very happy to have us home. She was attacking her bed.
For real. Someone call the animal police — this thing is out-of-control. 😉
Dankeschön, tschüss! (If you know how to say it “right” then you’re laughing right now…)