Monday, May 25, 2009

Ancestor Homes, Monuments & Castles

Friday, went back to Hoyel to look at church books for a few things we still needed and got to spend about an hour and a half there before the church secretary had to leave. We then went to the town to take some pictures of the church (Hoyel church), which is about from the 1200`s. Really amazing. We walked around town some and took some other pictures of the town for some of my clients who have ancestors from here.

Then we drove a few miles to visit in my hometown of Bockhorst again. I have been lucky enough to have been to this town a couple times, it is a small village but very picturesque, and the Evangelisch church there dates back to the 1200`s also. They think at one time it may have been a monastery. The church is famous for its crucifix with Christ wearing a “triumphal crown” rather than the crown of thorns. The original old crucifix is now on display in Münster. We met the town historian who we had contacted a couple days before to see if he could help locate the old farmhouse for another line of my family that I had been researching in the Archives. The old church entries had given the house number for them. Believe it or not, the old farm house from 1809 (newly built in 1809) was still there and remodeled some and being lived in. This is in the line of f half-timbered homes that ring the church. We walked around the back of the lane and there in beautiful script were my ancestors names on their new house!! I can not believe I have been to this town 2 times and walked past this house (the other side mind you) and have not seen this name. Needless to say I was thrilled. The historian also took us to see an original farm building for the in-laws of this family. Good day for research finds.

My ancestors home built in 1809

Names etched on house.

Saturday spent with more site-seeing. First stop the Kaiser Wilhelm Denkmal (monument) in Porta Westphalica. Beautiful scenery with rolling hills and there up one of the hills was the monument. Very impressive. We climbed the hill and looked out over miles of scenery dotted with villages.

Then we headed to a town called Bückeburg to see the Bückeburg Schloss (castle). This is my idea of what a castle should be. It still is privately owned and the current resident is Prince Alexander, House of Schaumburg-Lippe. I guess to help pay the bills, they recently have revived a court custom with a horse riding school. From 1609 to 1787, Bückeburg, like many Europeon courts, had its own School of Equitation dedicated to the art of Baroque riding. The Dance of the Horses was considered an art form in itself, comparable to music or poetry. It was incredible. Gorgeous grounds, which we walked and walked, beautiful gardens and you can do tours through the castle but we were a little late for that. Next time, I am doing that for sure. I think this will have to be a day trip for the Northwest tour. They also have a perfectly cute pink and white kitchen, the old Schloss kitchen, where you can get delicious kaffee und kuchen. The castle gate enters directly out to the town of Bückeburg market place, which is another incredible town, nice town square, big Rathaus and church. I love to meander through these cobblestone streets, stop for a glass of wine or beer at outside cafes and just absorb the history all around. Every day gets better and better.

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