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Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume V (of X) by Various

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Selected and Edited, with Introductions, etc., by


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.






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

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.



Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Switzerland--Part One





COLOGNE--By Victor Hugo

ROUND ABOUT COBLENZ--By Lady Blanche Murphy



HEIDELBERG--By Bayard Taylor

STRASBURG--By Harriet Beecher Stowe



AS A MEDIEVAL CITY--By Cecil Headlam


NUREMBERG TO-DAY--By Cecil Headlarn


ALBERT DUERER--By Cecil Headlam


MUNICH--By Bayard Taylor

AUGSBURG--By Thomas Frognall Dibdin

RATISBON--By Thomas Frognall Dibdin



CHARLOTTENBURG--By Harriet Beecher Stowe



ULM--By Thomas Frognall Dibdin



HAMBURG--By Theophile Gautier

SCHLESWIG--By Theophile Gautier

LUEBECK--By Theophile Gautier

HELIGOLAND--By William George Black



ST. STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL--By Thomas Frognall Dibdin

THE BELVEDERE PALACE--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_)































[Illustration: COLOGNE CATHEDRAL (Before the spires were completed, as
shown in a photograph taken in 1877)]

[Illustration: BINGEN ON THE RHINE]

[Illustration: NUREMBERG CASTLE]


[Illustration: WIESBADEN]












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

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.]



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.]



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

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.]



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 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.]



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

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

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

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.]



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

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

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.]



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

[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



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

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.]





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

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

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 &



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.

Passing through this street, therefore, you may turn to the right, and
continue onward up a pretty smart ascent; when the entrance to the
Citadel, by the side of a low wall--in front of an old tower--presents
itself to your attention. It was before breakfast that my companion and
self visited this interesting interior, over every part of which we were
conducted by a most loquacious cicerone, who spoke the French language
very fluently, and who was pleased to express his extreme gratification
upon finding that his visitors were Englishmen. The tower and the
adjoining chapel, may be each of the thirteenth century; but the
tombstone of the founder of the monastery, upon the site of which the
present Citadel was built, bears the date of 1296. This tombstone is
very perfect; lying in a loose, unconnected manner, as you enter the
chapel; the chapel itself having a crypt-like appearance. This latter is
very small.

From the suite of apartments in the older parts of the Citadel, there
is a most extensive and uninterrupted view of the surrounding country,
which is rather flat. At the distance of about nine miles, the town of
Fuerth (Furta) looks as if it were within an hour's walk; and I should
think that the height of the chambers (from which we enjoyed this view)
to the level ground of the adjacent meadows could be scarcely less than
three hundred feet. In these chambers there is a little world of
curiosity for the antiquary; and yet it was but too palpable that very
many of its more precious treasures had been transported to Munich. In
the time of Maximilian II., when Nuremberg may be supposed to have been
in the very height of its glory, this Citadel must have been worth a
pilgrimage of many score miles to have visited. The ornaments which
remain are chiefly pictures; of which several are exceedingly

In these curious old chambers, it was to be expected that I should see
some Wohlegemuths--as usual, with backgrounds in a blaze of gold, and
figures with tortuous limbs, pinched-in waists, and caricatured
countenances. In a room, pretty plentifully encumbered with rubbish, I
saw a charming Snyders; being a dead stag, suspended from a pole. There
is here a portrait of Albert Duerer, by himself; but said to be a copy.
If so, it is a very fine copy. The original is supposed to be at Munich.
There was nothing else that my visit enabled me to see particularly
deserving of being recorded; but, when I was told that it was in this
Citadel that the ancient Emperors of Germany used oftentimes to reside,
and make carousal, and when I saw, now, scarcely anything but dark
passages, unfurnished galleries, naked halls, and untenanted
chambers--I own that I could hardly refrain from uttering a sigh over
the mutability of earthly fashions, and the transitoriness of worldly
grandeur. With a rock for its base, and walls almost of adamant for its
support--situated also upon an eminence which may be said to look
frowningly down over a vast sweep of country--the Citadel of Nuremberg
should seem to have bid defiance, in former times, to every assault of
the most desperate and enterprising foe. It is now visited only by the
casual traveler--who is frequently startled at the echo of his own

While I am on the subject of ancient art--of which so many curious
specimens are to be seen in this Citadel--it may not be irrelevant to
conduct the reader at once to what is called the Town Hall--a very large
structure--of which portions are devoted to the exhibition of old
pictures. Many of these paintings are in a very suspicious state, from
the operations of time and accident; but the great boast of the
collection is the "Triumphs of Maximilian I.," executed by Albert
Duerer--which, however, has by no means escaped injury. I was accompanied
in my visit to this interesting collection by Mr. Boerner, and had
particular reason to be pleased by the friendliness of his attentions,
and by the intelligence of his observations. A great number of these
pictures (as I understood) belonged to a house in which he was a
partner; and among them a portrait, by Pens, struck me as being
singularly admirable and exquisite. The countenance, the dress, the
attitude, the drawing and coloring, were as perfect as they well might
be. But this collection has also suffered from the transportation of
many of its treasures to Munich. The rooms, halls, and corridors of this
Hotel de Ville give you a good notion of municipal grandeur.

In the neighborhood of Nuremberg--that is to say, scarcely more than an
English mile from thence--are the grave and tombstone of Albert Duerer.
The monument is simple and striking. In the churchyard there is a
representation of the Crucifixion, cut in stone. It was on a fine, calm
evening, just after sunset, that I first visited the tombstone of Albert
Duerer; and I shall always remember the sensations, with which that visit
was attended, as among the most pleasing and impressive of my life. The
silence of the spot--its retirement from the city--the falling shadows
of night, and the increasing solemnity of every monument of the
dead--together with the mysterious, and even awful, effect produced by
the colossal crucifix--but yet, perhaps, more than either, the
recollection of the extraordinary talents of the artist, so quietly
sleeping beneath my feet--all conspired to produce a train of
reflections which may be readily conceived, but not so readily
described. If ever a man deserved to be considered as the glory of his
age and nation, Albert Duerer was surely that man. He was, in truth, the
Shakespeare of his art--for the period.

[Footnote A: From "A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour."
Dibdin's tour was made in 1821.]



Nuremberg is set upon a series of small slopes in the midst of an
undulating, sandy plain, some 900 feet above the sea. Here and there on
every side fringes and patches of the mighty forest which once covered
it are still visible; but for the most part the plain is now freckled
with picturesque villages, in which stand old turreted chateaux, with
gabled fronts and latticed windows, or it is clothed with carefully
cultivated crops or veiled from sight by the smoke which rises from the
new-grown forest of factory chimneys.

The railway sets us down outside the walls of the city. As we walk from
the station toward the Frauen Thor, and stand beneath the crown of
fortified walls three and a half miles in circumference, and gaze at the
old gray towers and picturesque confusion of domes, pinnacles and
spires, suddenly it seems as if our dream of a feudal city has been
realized. There, before us, is one of the main entrances, still between
massive gates and beneath archways flanked by stately towers. Still to
reach it we must cross a moat fifty feet deep and a hundred feet wide.
True, the swords of old days have been turned into pruning-hooks; the
crenelles and embrasures which once bristled and blazed with cannon are
now curtained with brambles and wall-flowers, and festooned with
Virginia creepers; the galleries are no longer crowded with archers and
cross-bowmen; the moat itself has blossomed into a garden, luxuriant
with limes and acacias, elders, planes, chestnuts, poplars, walnut,
willow and birch trees, or divided into carefully tilled little garden
plots. True it is that outside the moat, beneath the smug grin of
substantial modern houses, runs that mark of modernity, the electric

But let us for the moment forget these gratifying signs of modern
prosperity and, turning to the left ere we enter the Frauen Thor, walk
with our eyes on the towers which, with their steep-pitched roofs and
myriad shapes and richly colored tiles, mark the intervals in the
red-bricked, stone-cased galleries and mighty bastions, till we come to
the first beginnings of Nuremberg--the Castle. There, on the highest
eminence of the town, stands that venerable fortress, crowning the red
slope of tiles. Roofs piled on roofs, their pinnacles, turrets, points
and angles heaped one above the other in a splendid confusion, climb the
hill which culminates in the varied group of buildings on the Castle
rock. We have passed the Spittler, Mohren, Haller and Neu Gates on our
way, and we have crossed by the Hallerthorbruecke the Pegnitz where it
flows into the town. Before us rise the bold scarps and salient angles
of the bastions built by the Italian architect, Antonio Fazuni, called
the Maltese (1538-43).

Crossing the moat by a wooden bridge which curls round to the right, we
enter the town by the Thiergaertnerthor. The right-hand corner house
opposite us now is Albert Duerer's house. We turn to the left and go
along the Obere Schmiedgasse till we arrive at the top of a steep hill
(Burgstrasse). Above, on the left, is the Castle.

We may now either go through the Himmels Thor to the left, or keeping
straight up under the old trees and passing the "Mount of Olives" on the
left, approach the large deep-roofed building between two towers. This
is the Kaiserstallung, as it is called, the Imperial stables, built
originally for a granary. The towers are the Luginsland (Look in the
land) on the east, and the Fuenfeckiger Thurm, the Five-cornered tower,
at the west end (on the left hand as we thus face it). The Luginsland
was built by the townspeople in the hard winter of 1377. The mortar for
building it, tradition says, had to be mixed with salt, so that it might
be kept soft and be worked in spite of the severe cold. The chronicles
state that one could see right into the Burggraf's Castle from this
tower, and the town was therefore kept informed of any threatening
movements on his part.

To some extent that was very likely the object in view when the tower
was built, but chiefly it must have been intended, as its name
indicates, to afford a far look-out into the surrounding country. The
granary or Kaiserstallung, as it was called later, was erected in 1494,
and is referred to by Hans Behaim as lying between the Five-cornered and
the Luginsland Towers. Inside the former there is a museum of
curiosities (Hans Sachs' harp) and the famous collection of instruments
of torture and the Maiden (Eiserne Jungfrau). The open space adjoining
it commands a splendid view to the north. There, too, on the
parapet-wall, may be seen the hoof-marks of the horse of the
robber-king, Ekkelein von Gailingen. Here for a moment let us pause,
consider our position, and endeavor to make out from the conflicting
theories of the archeologists something of the original arrangement of
the castles and of the significance of the buildings and towers that yet

Stretching to the east of the rock on which the Castle stands is a wide
plain, now the scene of busy industrial enterprise, but in old days no
doubt a mere district of swamp and forest. Westward the rock rises by
three shelves to the summit. The entrance to the Castle, it is surmised,
was originally on the east side, at the foot of the lower plateau and
through a tower which no longer exists.

Opposite this hypothetical gate-way stood the Five-cornered tower. The
lower part dates, we have seen, from no earlier than the eleventh
century. It is referred to as Alt-Nuernberg (old Nuremberg) in the Middle
Ages. The title of "Five-cornered" is really somewhat a misnomer, for an
examination of the interior of the lower portion of the tower reveals
the fact that it is quadrangular. The pentagonal appearance of the
exterior is due to the fragment of a smaller tower which once leaned
against it, and probably formed the apex of a wing running out from the
old castle of the Burggrafs. The Burggraefliche Burg stood below,
according to Mummenhof, southwest and west of this point. It was burned
down in 1420, and the ruined remains of it are supposed to be traceable
in the eminence, now overgrown by turf and trees, through which a sort
of ravine, closed in on either side by built-up walls, has just brought
us from the town to the Vestner Thor.

The Burggraf's Castle would appear to have been so situated as to
protect the approach to the Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg). The exact
extent of the former we can not now determine. Meisterlin refers to it
as a little fort. We may, however, be certain that it reached from the
Five-cornered tower to the Walpurgiskapelle. For this little chapel,
east of the open space called the Freiung, is repeatedly spoken of as
being on the property of the Burggrafs. Besides their castle proper,
which was held at first as a fief of the Empire, and afterward came to
be regarded as their hereditary, independent property, the Burggrafs
were also entrusted with the keeping of a tower which commanded the
entrance to the Castle rock on the country side, perhaps near the site
of the present Vestner Thor. The guard door may have been attached to

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