Monday, January 31, 2011

Münster—It’s not about Cheese

Since we’ve been back, our walking journeys have remained in our town, and my Sweets was getting a bit antsy. I decided we take a ride to Münster—a town he’s talked about us visiting. Early in the morning, I woke and made a pizza for it to cool, packed it along with sandwiches, and we headed out. Of course, he loves taking these long rides because I plug in my iPod and sing along. :D

Münster is a University town, built in the 13th century, and the cityscape was almost completely destroyed during WWII. There’s a lot of history in this town ranging from its inception founded by a Frisian monk on the orders of Charles the Great to where the Thirty Year War ended to WWII destruction. In 2004, the city received the LivCom Award by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for the best city in the world to live in.

Near the University is a lake where everyone seems to hang out, kick back in a café or walk along the perimeter of it. And bikes! Geez, I thought Amsterdam was a huge bike city. Here are a few pictures I took on Saturday. The sun was shining bright, but the temperatures were cold.

This is a walkway near the lake, but directs you into the city center.

Here is a picture of Rathaus (City Hall). This building—from the 14th century—is identical in its reconstruction in the 1950s. 

This is the steeple of Lambertikirche (St. Lamprecht’s Church) where you will see three hanging cages above the clock. Back in the 14th century, they used the cages to execute the Anabaptists as a warning to the rest of the population; of course these are no longer used.

A full view of Lambertikirche (St. Lamprecht’s Church). Ever since I first came to Europe, I became fascinated and fell in love with cathedrals and churches, like Ken Follett, except he doesn’t believe in God. I think the beauty of the sculpting, the details, the blood and loss to create these magnificent buildings is incredible, especially knowing they were built by hand—without equipment. They are such a big part of Europe, because if you ever wonder where the city center is just follow the direction of the church steeple. When established, European cities built the cathedrals and then the rest of the town around it—at least that’s what I notice wherever I visit.

Another thing I love about European cities are the construction and location of statues. This statue wasn’t connected to any particular building. It’s like someone went around placing these beautiful statues around the city.

We went inside the Münster Cathedral, which suffered extensive damage during WWII. This is what I first saw upon entry. It’s an astronomical clock made in 1540-43. The main purpose was to calculate Easter since the date was related to the phase of the moon. It was important to know this date 6 weeks in advance to begin Lent. It also represents the popularity of astrology for the Kings and emperors and popes for important decisions. 

This plaque is something we found interesting. This Bishop collapsed and died at the spot of this plaque and then it says R.I.P. I didn’t even know they used that term so far back let alone on a plaque in a church. 

Here is a statue of St. Christopher—built in 1627. This statue is gigantic and thankfully avoided destruction during the war.

Originally the castle, this building now serves as the main building of the university.

I had to take a picture of this store. It’s original location is in Chicago (Murphy&Nye).

Here are a few pictures of the lake with parts of it frozen.

And here-YAY!—are pictures of my writing bowls. Once on LinkedIn, people were looking for suggestions for writer’s block and ideas. Someone suggested writing bowls where you write down different words whenever you think of one, fold up the papers and keep them in the writing bowl. When you run into writer’s block or lack of ideas, pull 10 words out of the bowl and create something. I’ve been looking for my writing bowls since last summer, and knew which kind of bowls I wanted. I know you can buy these online, but I wanted to buy them at a location for meaning. This was perfect. There was a store that sold third world country products and these bowls are made out of recycled magazines. I was so excited that I found them that my Love bought me two of them. :D

It was a great day, so I had to catch a picture of deer and the setting sun. 

Hope you enjoy my bit of history and photos. Have a great week.


  1. What a great way to juice your imagination, Bea! I can only imagine the wonderful stuff you are seeing and my goodness, that clock is gorgeous! Those writing bowls are awesome too :)

    Hope you're having a great time and thanks for all of your support!

    Talk to you soon, happy writing!

  2. Hey Hinny,

    I thought so too. Every writer could use some tips on ideas or getting the juices flowing.

    You're welcome and I'm glad you're gradually coming back.

    Talk backatcha!

  3. Enjoyed the great pictures and narratives. First time I heard about those cages. Wow! if you lived back then that would be a belief to keep to yourself.

    Out here in Chicago land, which I’m sure you’re aware of, we are bracing for the repeat of the great snow storm of January 1967. They say one to two feet expected. I know you weren't even born yet, but at the time I was a very young man and that storm is still remembered by me and most people who experienced it. Back then after people kept shoveling the snow, each side of the sidewalk was shoulder high. God forbid you were walking down the side walk and an unfriendly loose dog was in the way.

    Stores are busy with people stocking up. Yesterday I went out to stock up on groceries, an extra supply of gas for the snow blower, salt for the driveway and of course drinking alcohol LOL!

  4. Hey Veejay! Oh I've heard about the storm and I'm glad I'm not there. Yes, it came a year and 7 months before I was born, so I missed that one too.

    Stay safe in all that snow and ice, and please, please, rely on your stock ups, especially that alcohol. :D

  5. Loved the pictures & that writing bowl was too cool! But srsly... I was here for the cheese :/

  6. Awesomeness all the way around with your pictures! You're very fortunate that you have so many beautiful historic buildings and churches/cathedrals within a short distance of where you live. And those writing bowls...first of all, I never heard of such a thing (good idea) and second of all, when I first looked at the picture, I thought you bought, like, oodles of bowls and there were all nested within each other. But then when I looked closer, I see that's an illusion. Those are really unique! I hope they inspire you with plenty o' ideas. If I were you, I'd just print off each one of your pics from the blog and toss 'em in the bowls. By the end of the year you'll have a bazillion writing ideas. :)

  7. Hi June Bug, I knew the ‘cheese’ is what captured your attention. :D

    Hi Barb, Thank you. I know that’s what’s beautiful about Europe. In the U.S., if something is 75 years old they knock it down. You can get those writing bowls online, but they might be at the Printer’s Row Book Fair (MY FAVORITE CHICAGO FAIR)! Maybe this year, we can FINALLY hook up for it. Yes, the bowls are made from recycled magazines. Hmm…maybe I’ll print out these pictures too. Nice idea.