Day 336 – Munster, the City tour and the Christmas market

the facades of the merchants stores, rebuilt after the bombing

Friday 2nd December 2011.

After the Mettingen experience yesterday, we headed off for Munster.  An affluent city, with an interesting history, that managed to rebuild itself after heavy bombing during the 2nd World War, and create a modern version of its old self.  In other words nothing like the Coventry’s of this world, which makes you realise winning is not necessarily the way forward!

Although almost passing out from the lack of food during the day (Lieve and I had sustained ourselves on Hubbie’s homemade muffins, and biscuits at the museum), we followed avidly the tour of the city, and can now say with ‘hand on heart’, that WE LOVE CITY TOURS!  Ok, it helps when they involve mad but obviously wealthy women (as she was married to one of the founding families of the city, the Cremers) with weird and wonderful facts and may’be fiction.  But she kept us glued (and walking rather fast) around the city past numerous enticing food stalls of the seven Christmas markets of the city, without us keeling over.

Some highlights;

the facades of the merchants stores, rebuilt after the bombing

These stores are heavily restricted on what they can and cannot do on the facades.  From no neons, to very specific Christmas decorations, the city controls the overall atmosphere.

avidly listening to our guide

the town hall

authentic signage allowed

the centre of administration (the main focus of this city)

To sum it up, the Merchants (with all the money) did not always get on with the Church, and so over the centuries many interesting arguments, discussions and obviously wars occurred, which split the city up on a regular basis.  However they found their way and the way for others starting with the ‘Peace of Munster’ in 1648 (between Holland and Spain), and now host a lot of peace conventions and talks, plus are open minded enough to organise a city thriving with a huge student (and bike) population, as well as outside exhibitions of Modern sculpture art every 10 years (2017 coming up soon!)

Stadt Münster, Welcome to Münster:: City of culture.

The other impressive building for me was the library (seriously!).

It’s a fascinating building that sits into the surroundings of old and new and just flows with it’s space.  It is also organised to have an area dedicated to just enjoying reading, as an introduction.  Not formalised into alphabetical reference or catagories, it just acts as a bridge into the more formal world of a library.  A concept that I find really interesting.  If I’m back in the area sometime soon, I really would love to spend time browsing and finding out how they make that link.

History of the Münster City Library.

So finally we ventured into our last part of the day, a walk round the Christmas markets followed by a hearty German meal (in which I mean heavily meat based with no room for sushi or salad).  We kicked off with a great Glugwein made from Bordeaux (supposed the trick of a good mulled wine), moved onto curry wurst (well we are in Germany), ate our meaty meal, and finished off in a German pub in the centre of town.

a traditional Christmas market stall

Christmas lights

Frank ordering the glugwein

the warmth of the wine certainly helps!

 

An enjoyable evening was had by all, great to experience some other side to Germany, on top of autobahns, head office, and our stores!

 

 

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