It’s 4:00 AM, and I’m sitting in the living room catching up on my emails. Well, blog posts written by my bloggy friends, rather, while I was in the Fatherland with not-as-much time and internet access as I usually have. So here I am, making my way through about forty mails that accumulated over the last few days. Hello, jet lag, my old friend… (If my comment or “Like” on your blog post arrived kind of late, that’s why.)
I mostly went for a family visit this time round, but I did get in a day of shopping (had to bring home a few goodies, no?), and while I was in Stuttgart popped into the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) and the Württembergisches Landesmuseum in the Alte Schloss (Old Castle) in the middle of town, for a nice dose of history.
The church has a lovely high relief of life-sized sandstone statues of the Counts (Grafen) of Württemberg running down the side of the choir. It’s from about 1580 or so, and shows eleven of the guys, from the 13th century onwards. What cracks me up each time I see it is their names: there’s Ulrich, Ulrich, Eberhard, Ulrich, Eberhard, Eberhard, Ulrich… Except for the last one, who’s a Heinrich. He must have felt a bit left out (maybe that’s why his successor commissioned the sculptures, to prove that he was one of the gang, even though he’s no Uli).
The Alte Schloss next door to the church is another Renaissance building (it’s the Old Castle, as opposed to the New one a little further over, which was only built in the 18th century). One of the things that’s cool about the Old Castle is its horse staircase. That’s right, horse. Large four-footed critter with hoofs, that people use for transportation. See how shallow those treads are? The staircase is designed so that the nobs could ride their chargers all the way up to the third floor of the castle, right into the banqueting hall. The Renaissance version of a drive-in.
Well, I guess I’ll try to go to sleep for another couple of hours, so I’ll sign off for now.
Life, the Universe, Horse Stairs, Eberhard and Ulrich. Should be over this jet lag thing in a day or two.