Archive for May 18th, 2018

May 18, 2018

A little town with a big name, Hamm

And here I am on a Friday evening and my blog. It was hot today going to 25C or 77F and we expect a nice long weekend as Monday we are off on Pentecost Day.

Let’s get you into something different and historical I like it. In my rounds around Europe I not always go to the top tourist attractions anyway that is the advantage of living here you have so much history,architecture and culture around you. In my forays into Luxembourg I could not stop from going to Hamm, a very small district of Luxembourg and a special place.

This is now a district of Luxembourg city and the home of the American Cemetery of Hamm , resting place of General Patton.

My previous post on Hamm and Gen Patton here: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/11116

Hamm as said was a town in the county of Luxembourg from 1873 to 1920 when it became part of the city of Luxembourg  from Sandweiler together with Hollerich and Rollingergrund. The origins of Hamm goes back  to the monastery of Sainte Catherine founded in the 14C from which a village developed. As it was close to the Alzette river there were lots of windmills built. In 1874, Hamm was an independant town and because of economic hardship was forced to merged with Luxembourg city.

The district houses since 1944 the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial resting place of American soldiers that fought in WWII and the Battle of the Ardennes including General Patton.

There is a train station here Cents-Hamm on line 3 of the Luxembourg-Wasserbilig frontier lines just between the station of Luxembourg and Sandweiler-Contern. However, as the post above tells you, it is very easy to come by car and most convenient.

To talk about General Patton is pure bravery , patriotism and hard guts that is always needed around to preserve Democracy.  I like to talk about one of my historical heros General Patton. He was born at Lake Vineyard Ranch what is now San Marino, California. In 1904, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York following in the military fashion of the Patton family. After graduation, he was assigned to the Cavalry as an aid to General John “Black Jack” Pershing, who at that time was pursuing the Mexican bandit General Pancho Villa. During World War I he saw service in France as part of the United States Army Tank Corps.

During WWII, he was assignment to Dwight North Africa as head of the II Corp, where he received his third star from General Dwight D. Eisenhower. On to Sicily, the 7th Army enjoyed an unopposed landing and Patton assumed command of this unit. In January 1944, he was summoned to London and given command of the US Third Army which was still being activated. In July 1944, George Patton arrived in France one month after the D-Day landing. Once the 3rd Army was fully operational, its exploits throughout Europe became legendary. For the anecdote , his 3rd Army liberated my capital City of Vannes, when his Gen Woods entered the town.

General Patton’s journey into history began in Mannheim, Germany on December 9, 1945, when the sedan in which he was riding ran headlong into an army truck. He was taken to the army hospital outside of Heidelberg, where he died from his injuries on December 21. He lay in state at the Villa Reiner, one of the stately homes in Heidelberg. Funeral services were conducted at Christ Church, afterward his body was placed aboard a special funeral train for the trip to Luxembourg for burial at the Military Cemetery in nearby Hamm, where as much as 5,000 American soldiers lie, many having served under General Patton in the 3rd Army. General Patton died on December 21, 1945 He was buried on December 24th following a funeral service at the Luxembourg Cathedral. Representatives of nine countries and the highest ranking officers of the American troops stationed in Europe followed the coffin. Present were delegations from Luxembourg, France, Belgium, England, Italy, The Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. France and Belgium provided the honor guard.

 

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,enjoy the trip into history

The American Battle Monument Commission http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/luxembourg-american-cemetery

Tourism Luxembourg https://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/misc/american-military-cemetery-luxembourg-hamm

City of Luxembourg on Hamm in French : https://www.vdl.lu/la-ville/en-bref/les-24-quartiers-de-la-ville/hamm

video on the funeral and burial of General George Patton:

 

If you go on the north of Luxembourg city into Ettelbruck, you can see the wonderful museum of Patton there: Patton’s Museum Ettelbruck

 

Hope you enjoy the brief historical trip into one men who Europe has a lot to thanks about, I do. The trip is pleasant even to Ettelbruck by road on the A7 only 36 km from Luxembourg city.

Again happy weekend, happy travels ,good health and many cheers to all!!!

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May 18, 2018

That little old town Trier, in Germany!

I think ,I have mentioned on the previous post but the way I came here was by accident or curiosity of a traveller. My idea and our family was to visit Luxembourg city, and we came here often. On one of the earlier trip, we had extra time and saw a brochure on Trier in the tourist office , been close and we with a car, we took off for the Roman city of Trier. Yes that is how we came to know Trier, and it has been a must visit once in a while over the years,and has become our favorite city in Germany, said.

I have written on it several times and would like to give the link to the previous blog posts here:

Trier oldest city : https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/2273

Quaint Trier https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/11162

Come back to Trier : https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/11393

Trier (Trèves in French) is in the region state of Rhineland Palatinate  on the Moselle river near the border with Luxembourg (about 50 km /31 mi) and the Moselle wine region.  You have good transport here with a nice train station with connection galore, by train the nearest cities are Cologne, Saarbrücken and Luxembourg city. The highway are wonderful and we have done it on the expressway A1 as well as A48 and A64 connecting Koblenz, Saarbrüken, and Luxembourg city. The airport nearest Trier is actually in Luxembourg at Findel just less than an hour away, Frankfort is about 2 hrs away as well as Cologne/Bonn. The Moselle river has nice cruises too.

A bit of history I like

Founded by the Celtic in the late-4C BC ; this town became an old Roman colony founded in the year 16 BC under the name of Augusta Treverorum on the site of a gaullist people name the Triveres. There is an old stone bridge built in 45 AD replacing an older wooden one and still the oldest bridge in Germany still working.  There is a rampart housing the biggest urban area in all of Gaul ,about 282 hectares. It ‘s still has the Porta Nigra , a must to see ,it is a fortified gate, as well as some wall foundations in the ramparts still from Roman times. Trier is considered the second Rome or Roma secunda. In addition from Roman times we have the Basilica which today is a protestant Church, remains of an amphitheater and ruins of the spas. The Franks took Trier from the Roman rule in 459 AD; by 870AD it became part of the Easter France that eventually became the Holy Roman Empire. The Cathedral of Trier is home to the archbishop that was one of the prince elect of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, and keeps a vest that is considered the Holy Shroud that wore Jesus Christ to the Calvary. This Cathedral was closed for many years and finally re opened again in 1974.

Trier

Roman stone bridge

The German philosopher and one of the founders of Marxism , Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818. The University of Trier was founded in 1473 ,but it too was closed for several years , dissolved in 1797 and eventually reopened again in 1974. The years 1581 to 1593 ,the Trier witch trials were held ,perhaps the largest witch trial in European history. It was certainly one of the four largest witch trials in Germany. The persecutions started in the diocese of Trier in 1581 and reached the city itself in 1587, where it was to lead to the death of about 368 people, and was as such perhaps the biggest mass execution in Europe in peace time In the 17C and 18C, Trier was wanted by France, who invaded several times like during the Thirty Years war, war of the Grand Alliance, War of the Spanish Succession, War of the Polish succession; France finally claiming Trier in 1794 during the French revolution, and the electoral archbishopric was dissolved. After the Napoleonic wars ended in 1815 Trier passed to the Kingdom of Prussia. The city rose in revolt during the revolutions of 1848 in the German States   although the rebels were forced to concede. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. In June 1940 over 60K British prisioners of war captured at Dunkirk and Northern France were marched into Trier, which became a staging post for British soldiers headed for Nazis prisioners of war camps.

Things to see are plenty here, my family’s favorite are:

The Porta Nigra, the best preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps; ruins of three Roman baths, among them the largest Roman baths north of the Alps; including the Barbara baths and the Trier Imperial baths; the huge Constantine Basilica with 67 meters long throne hall of Roman Emperor Constantine, it is today used as a Protestant Church; the Trier Cathedral St Peter dates back to Roman times and as said houses the Holy Shroud a garment dated back to the 12C; the one Jesus was wearing when he died. It is exhibited only every few decades, at irregular intervals. The Liebfrauenkirche or Church of our Lady one of the most important Gothic Cathedrals in Germany on the French gothic tradition of Cathedrals; the Roman amphitheatre, the 2C AD Roman bridge across the Moselle river, oldest north of the Alps still with traffic; St Matthias Abbey still in use monastery whose medieval Church is the only Apostle north of the Alps is held to be buried; St Gangolf’s Church, was the city market Church that rivalled the Archbishop’s Trier Cathedral; Saint Paulinus Church one of the most important Baroque Churches in Rhineland-Palatinate State; There are two treadwheel cranes one gothic the old crane from 1413 and the other the Baroque crane or old Customs crane from 1774.

Trier

Constantine basilica

Trier

St Peter Cathedral

Trier

Porta Nigra

As to museums ,there are some nice ones. The archeological museum and most important in Germany on the Roman period call in German Rheiniches Landesmuseum; the history of Trier museum with a model of the medieval city or in German, Stadtmuseum Simeonstiff; and for the kid in all of us,the Toy Museum of Trier.

Trier

archeology landesmuseum

Trier

stadtsmuseum history

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the nice old city of Trier:

Panoramic views of Trier ,wonderful site : http://www.stadtpanoramen.de/trier/index.html

Tourist office of Trier in English: https://www.trier-info.de/english/index

From the Rhineland Palatine region there is more on tourism here: https://www.en.romantic-cities.com/cities/trier/

Tourist office of Germany on Trier in English: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/towns-cities/historic-highlights-of-germany/trier.html

Hope it helps plan your visit to the wonderful Trier or Trèves , it is a nice place even with the tourist around, heck so are we… we love it. Enjoy the post and remember; happy travels, good health ,and many cheers!!!

 

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