Thursday, July 26, 2012

Halberstadt City Tour

Before we did the city tour of Halberstadt we dropped in to see Sister Mussman this morning. We weren't able to catch her by telephone, as she is hard of hearing, so we dropped by unannounced and caught her with her pants down, so to speak! She was sad she didn't have time to tidy up before we came, but welcomed us in, anyway! We were so glad we dropped by, because the other members had already told her we had seen them, and we didn't want her to feel left out!

We then toured the Dom (Cathedral) downtown. It was beautiful, but like 80 percent of the city, it was destroyed in WWII. It has since been restored, and has maintained it's treasures from the middle ages. It has the oldest tapestries in Europe, dating to 1150. They were in pretty great shape, too!

We ran into Sisters Abemonte and Tidwell in the Dom Treasury. They caught Amanda up on the doings of the branch and told her how sick they are of hearing, "Sister Bush this, and Sister Bush that!" That made Amanda really happy! Apparently, she left an impression here!

There are so many churches here! You'd think people would be more religious. There are three big ones almost next to one another downtown! Here Amanda and Crystal are in front of the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of our Lady).

Amanda says one of the great things about Germany is their ice cream  confections. We tried some out downtown.We really couldn't think of many places in the states that serve as much variety of fancy ice cream treats as they do here!

The city museum had a diorama showing the destruction of the town after allied bombing on April 8, 1945, three days before American troops marched into town. It was especially sad, as East Germany tore down all the rubble and built cheap apartment houses. All the beautiful half-timbered houses are gone. Although many of the churches were rebuilt, not all were saved. The Rathaus was not restored until after the re-unification of Germany.

We finished off our tour with a visit to the John Cage Organ concert. It is a piece written to be played "As Slow As Possible." It will take 639 years to complete the piece. It has been ongoing now for 10 years, and changes a note every 6 months or so. The little weighted bags hold the keys down. The organ is being built as it goes. When they need a new note, they'll add a pipe.It ends in 2640. Two of us thought it might happen, and 2 of us thought it was unlikely. One of the doubters said the second coming of Christ would probably interfere with it!

We're back to our hotel  early tonight and have big plans to watch Valkyrie together on Ed's tablet. Since we're staying at a hotel with a connection to the story (the plot to assassinate Hitler), it will be a fitting movie to watch!

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