Monday, May 01, 2006

History in your backyard


Living in Germany has afforded us the chance to see a lot of history we would have otherwise only read about in a book. Last weekend, we ventured out in search of some history. As musicians, we really enjoy any type of history centered around music. This area is rich with musical history.

(Wilhelm) Richard Wagner, a German composer, is famous in this area. He was born in 1813, in Leipzig. In 1833, he was appointed choirmaster in Würzburg and his first opera was performed. Würzburg is located about an hour west of Bamberg. We actually go there quite often in order to shop at the "big PX", and drive by the house he lived in, only a few blocks from the post gate!

In 1871, he built an opera house in Bayreuth, less than an hour away from here. The Festspielhaus is absolutely GORGEOUS. It is quite unbelievable to see this stucture - its beauty is indescribable.

We took a trip to see it - we had been meaning to do this for quite awhile, but life often gets in the way of plans! So, seeing as we are leaving Germany soon, we felt it was time to take the trip. A quick and pleasant drive lead us to Bayreuth. We easily followed the signs to the opera house. We wandered around the grounds, taking pictures. The sun came in and out, but mostly stayed out, with the skies threatening rain. The opera house is beautiful, the setting so tranquil. The upper part of the property is all opera house. The daffodils were in bloom, finally!

There is a lot of "park" to cover. The bust of Wagner is located in the lower garden, which was just starting to green up. As we walked around, several bus tours came and went, but the tranquility of the area was never lost. Even the constant cars driving through the park did nothing to mar the quietness.



There is a pond on the lower part of the gardens. As the sun seemed to have disappeared permanently behind clouds, it gave a surreal look, just like a painting by Monet.





As we have just begun to see signs of spring, I took a lot of pictures of flowers and such. One of my favorites was Hannah standing in the violets. She was willing to pose for it, which was a big change from the day before when she pouted for every picture taken!


And of course, we have the requisite picture of Scott in front of the opera house. It was quite an experience, and I am truly glad that we had the opportunity to visit this place. I only wish I would have an opportunity to see an opera performed here...perhaps some day we can come back.

10 comments:

Star said...

IT's nice that your children will remember at least some of these experiences. My daughter lived in Germany and Japan as a military wife, which afforded me the opprtunity to travel as well. If she were not there, I might have thought about it, but probably never gone.

Star said...

Ooops! Michele sent me.

Sue said...

I am bummed that I will not be able to make it there during your stay :) -- Maybe I will get to travel there some other time. It sounds like you really enjoyed it -- I am glad for ya

SB said...

you're one lucky (blessed) gal.
It's looks lovely....

Star said...

Hi. Back aagain, next day from Michele. I guess we keep sort of the same schedules, except that you are about 8 hours ahead of me here on the east coast of the US.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Beautiful Opera House. Wagner was a great composer and that is one gorgeous building. Too bad you won't get to see an OPera there...When do you actually leave Germany?

Sandy said...

How awesome! And how wonderful a perk for the kids to get to experience the world.

I've been so far behind on my blog reading. I'm glad Michelle sent me over this am to catch up.

Christy said...

Thanks for a new place for us to visit!!! Even though it's not a castle, this will be a great place for the boys and I to take a field trip!

Deb R said...

It looks like a beautiful place. I love the pic of the pond!

Michele sent me.

Elaine said...

Very nice! Your kids are going to be SO worldly by the time they're grown ups. Always a good thing. But OMG. that statue of that guy's face is eerie. I can only imagine what it looks like at night.