The last two places on our Easter trip were the fortress Schoenenburg of the Maginot Line and the Strasbourg Cathedral. The visit in the fortress Schoenenburg did not necessarily fit thematically with the church buildings, but since we were already in the area, we had the fortress still put into our plan. On the way there we made a short stop at the castle Gräfenstein in the Palatinate Forest. The castle Dates back to the Staufer period in the 12th century and is one of the best preserved castles of this time. Because it was near our way to Schoenenburg we took the opportunity for a short walk followed by a picnic.
Just in time for the afternoon visit we arrived at Fort Schoenenburg. This fortress is the best known and best preserved of the whole Maginot line. The French had built the chain of fortifications in the 1930s to defend themselves against another German attack. The crew of Fort Schoenenburg proved that such a fortress could resist an enemy for a long time. Despite the use of the heaviest guns by the Germans in 1940, there was no serious damage done. The handover to the Germans took place on 1 July 1940 and only after an explicit order from the French High Command six days after the ceasefire with France came into force.
From the fortress we continued to Strasbourg. Since we had to drive home to the Erzgebirge from there on the same day, we only had time to visit the famous cathedral. What that means, you can certainly imagine. My human-dad was in his element again: telling history and stories as well as taking pictures at the same time. One detail from all his storytelling is particularly memorable in my bear’s head. The cathedral with its 142-metre-high tower was the tallest building in the world, at least in the period from 1647 to 1874. As a visitor you should make the ascent to the viewing terrace, the view over the old and well-preserved city more than compensates for the efforts. The cathedral itself was begun to be built in the Romanesque style, but the Gothic elements are dominating.
I was particularly impressed by the architecture of the Tower and the buttresses. Decorations and figures can be found everywhere up to the very top. I still can not really imagine how people brought all these stones up so high back then.
Your very ferocious Grizzly