June 22-July 3 Germany - "Kaiser in residence"

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June 23, 1914

Hildesheim, Germany

hildeGot our first German money and felt better as I was entirely out. Hildesheim is one of the medieval towns of Northern Germany and chiefly notable for its old timber houses - old cathedral etc. The streets are very narrow and winding, and the little timber houses - built one story extending over the other - seem almost to touch at the top.

We first visited the cathedral - "Der Dom" which had its first start by Ludwig the Pious who, as the German legend goes, wandered away and fell asleep under a rose bush where he had a vision of the madonna who told him to found a church when the holy snow fell. (Painting of legend in Rathous). He founded a chapel in 825. Fater Bishop Helizo (1055-1061) took up the work and built the chapel which has been enlarged from time to time. St. Berward gave the larger bronze doors - illustrated old testament one one side - the making of Eve from Adam with scenes in the garden etc. on the other side - birth, crucifixion, Easter, ascension etc. Also an enormous column with biblical illustrations winding from top to bottom. The corona was most beautiful - made of brass - part of which was bought from Jerusalem ? The font filled a niche in the side wall - brass with reliefs - biblical. On the outside is the rose bush supposed to be 1000 yrs old - The Rose of Hildesheim - single white with a slight pink tint - every stalk has a year tag. Most gorgeous and very ornate.

St Michael's Church was founded by Bishop Bernward built in 1001-33 - rebuilt and restored later - is one of the finest Romanesque churches in Germany. The paintings on the flat wooden ceilings of the nave with their scriptural deep blue ground, date from close of the 12 century - stucco reliefs of angels - coloring beautifully soft and restful - liked it better than the cathedral.

The Rathous, erected in the 14 century and restored in 19-. Frescoes by H. Prell - History of Hildesheim - reminded me of the Boston Library - The Butcher's Guild house called "Kunstgewerbe Haus" is said to be the first timber house in Germany, and is now used as a museum with a store on the ground floor where I bought a Rose of Hildesheim and a picture of the Guild House.

Went to a conditeree for coffee, chocolate and German cakes - called Baum Küche - a dry cake very much like pound cake. Have forgotten the Rathaus square or platz as the Germans call them - is surrounded by Rathaus, Guild House, Tempelhaus, with two round corner turrets and the Wedekund (?) house now used as a savings bank - fountain in center of platz - erected in 1540.


June 24, 1914


Expected to leave Hildesheim but Portia was sick. We spent the day walking thru' the little crooked streets, finding our way by map - went thru' Juster (?) St. the Jew quarter - unlike our Jew quarters most quiet and clean. In early times at six o'clock the street was closed, and we saw the hinges of an old iron gate - went into shops etc. It rained most all day. We took a long walk thru' a park and enjoyed the most gorgeous flowers and foliages - returned about 9.30 when it was not yet dark.


June 25. 1914

Hildesheim - Hanover - Berlin

Hildesheim - riding 3rd class for Hanover. Reached there about a little after ten. Took a room at Palast Hotel or Rheinischer Hof - took a carriage and drove thru' city - 250,000 inhabitants. Georg Strasse is the chief thoroughfare of the city between the old and new parts - statuary everywhere - noticed especially Stromeyer and Schiller.

Saw old Rathaus and New Rathaus - a most elegant building with a gold dome, clock and doors which cost about $4,000.000. Saw the elegant waterworks building, and Waterloo Platz - a large drill ground and Waterloo column - a miniature in marble of which we saw in the old Palace in Berlin, which was presented by the King of Hanover. Drove thru' a beautiful avenue of Linden trees to Schloss Herrenhauser - built in 1698 - the favorite residence of George I, II & V of Hanover. Beautiful gardens - a copy of Marie Antoinette's gardens at Versailles. Passed the house where Queen Louise was born.

Mrs. Goddard called in and introduced us to a charming friend - Frau Gross Leina and her sons who took lunch with us at the hotel. One of the sons lives in San Francisco - first name Wolf. We left immediately after lunch for Berlin - a four-hours trip. Stayed at Pension Hunt, 11 Kleist St. Very nice large rooms - good plain table - I hurried thru' supper and took taxis to Deutsches Opernhaus, Charlottenburg - to see Wagner's opera das Rheingold. We were a little late, and it was quite a puzzle to find one's seat as there are no ushers. One is let in thru' doors at the sides where about 6 rows of seats are partitioned off, and expected to find your seat. I stood for some time before I solved the problem, and then stumbled into my seat in the dark. There were no intermissions, and silence reigned supreme until the end of the opera when there was a great deal of applause. If a word is spoken during the performance, or a person leaves their seats at the end of the performance before the last bar of music, the most polite Germans hiss! The scenery to das Rheingold was beautiful, and voices and orchestra fine.


June 26


Walked in Unter den Linden - 198 ft wide - the handsomest and busiest part of Berlin from Brandenburg Gate to the Statue of Frederick the Great in Bronze. Along the Linden we passed the Palace of Emperor Wm I - now used by the crown prince, which we did not enter. The University buildings - which were formerly a royal palace, Opera House, arsenal, Cathedral and fine shops.

Entered the royal palace erected by Elector Frederick II in 1443-51 - has been added to. Wm II made the palace once more the residence of the reigning sovereign - sight seerers were conducted thru' the state apartments. Saw magnificent sideboard, steins etc. The rococo decorations are beautiful - prefer decorations in color than so much gold and silver. Chapter room of black eagle and red eagle rooms, I remember for having tapestry with eagles on them. Elegant pictures - some of the wall coverings are wearing out and are covered with glass in places. Many of the solid silver candlesticks, tables, beds etc. were melted and turned into coin during the seven-years war, and the present ones are of wood silvered over. In the outer court saw St. George and the Dragon in bronze by Kiss. Opposite the palace was a statue of Wm I on a horse led by genius of peace - the four corners of the base are victories, and on two sides are reliefs of war and peace - the monument is enclosed on three sides - ending in corner pavilions with bronzes.

Hunt Pension for dinner.

Went to Charlottenburg - The Royal Palace there was occupied by the Kaiser, so we were unable to go in. Went to the mausoleum where Queen Louise and her husband Frederick Wm III, and also their 2nd son Emperor Wm I and his wife Augusta, were buried. Small chapel with subdued purple light which falls on the beautiful figures of queens and kings lying as if asleep. Louise and Frederick Wm III done by Rouchiend (?), Wm I and Augusta by Eucke in Carrara marble - one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The gardens around the mausoleum and palace were beautiful - Linden trees mostly.

In the evening we went to the Theatre des Westens to hear The Valkyrie - did not have so much trouble with seats this time. It began at 7.30 and lasted until 11.30 - music exquisite and restful. Did not get near so tired as one would suppose. Sieglinde's voice and presence perfect - also Siegmund (Georg Schmieter - a fine baritone voice), Brünhilde (Minnie Pönsgen).

Berlin is as beautiful at night as by day - beautiful grass flower plots all over the place in the middle of the street - and everything is immaculately clean - the streets fairly shine - they are wood blocks underneath and something like asphalt on top only much smoother.


June 27

Berlin - Potsdam

Took the train for Potsdam to Wannsee and from there by boat - 1 1/4 hr. to Potsdam. Beautiful ride thru' lakes bordered by hills past Schloss Babelsberg, once the residence of Wm the Great, of which we got only a peep thru' the trees.

First went thru' Town Palace originally erected about 1660 but dating in its present form from 1751. Saw the private rooms of Frederick The Great - dining room where table let down thru' floor so as to dispense with waiters. Bedroom with silver bed table and fence-like division between that and the sitting room. These were formerly of solid silver, but during the seven-years war these were melted down and converted into coins and the present ones are made of wood silvered over - a beautiful inlay room done in eleven kinds of wood - tapestry room 250 years old. Living room of Queen Louise. Vase from Pompey 2,000 years old. The bronze room contained a clock presented by Madam Pompadour. From one of the windows of the palace could be seen "the tree of petitions" where people used to tie letters for the Emperor, and if he considered it worth while, he would call them in.

Potsdam has a garrison of 7,000 soldiers. Went to the garrison church where royalty attend. Saw the sarcophagi of Fred the Great and his father Fred Wm I - the latter of plain zinc and Fred the Great's of black marble.

Next went to the palace of Sans Souci erected for Fred the Great in 1745 - and where he preferred to live - a one story building at the top of five terraces - covered with the most beautiful gardens, fountains, statuary - and stairs leading up. The apartments of Frederick the Great here are very beautiful and home-like or more so, than any of the other castles we have seen - the dining room is in the middle of the building - overlooking steps and fountains in Carrara marble - a round room with a dome ceiling, and a most beautiful mosaic floor - a few statues in niches is all that is in room. Voltaire room - most interesting - there was a toilet set presented to him because he was untidy on the dressing table, and parrots on wall because he was vain. The library housed several thousand books - also saw the bedroom of Frederick - where he died - and a beautiful marble statue of him when he was very old, seated in a chair with a dog underneath it. Saw the graves of nine of his favorite dogs.


Sunday June 28. 1914

Went to the cathedral in Berlin - German Lutheran - in the morning - saw some beautiful windows in the chancel - Birth, Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ - most elaborate reredos in guilt - and a crucifix on the altar! The service I failed to get much from, as I could not see the minister or chancel. I finally decided that they must stand up to pray and they sat down to sing. Had a choir of at least a hundred boys - not robed - who sat in a gallery. The little music the boys sang was fine, but before the sermon they all went and got their hats, walked back across the gallery, and a few of them came downstairs and sat in seats evidently reserved for them. The seats in the back of the church, in a balcony reserved for royalty, were empty.

Went to Kaiser Frederick Museum after church - many noted pictures - Titian's Portrait of self and daughter Lavinia - Raffaello's Madonna - and St. Anthony of Padua - by Murillo. There were several portraits by Albrecht Durer - Old man and young girl, Oak Forest by Van Ruisdale, Nicholas Maas - Woman Peeling Apples, a Van Dyck, ( Rembrandt - Man with Helmet ) Marchese Spiniola. Gerard Ter Borsch - Portraits, Mater Dolorosa, Guido Reni. Could not get an English guide book, so saw lots of things I knew very little about.

In the afternoon took a beautiful auto ride all thru' the city. Went to a stadium said to be the largest in the world - a most beautiful place with flowers and restaurants. Germans certainly love music, eating, and drinking - and show the eating in their build. Went through Grünewald - the new part of Berlin - Unter den Linden, Tiergarten past hundreds of statues of Victory with cannons captured from the Danish, Austrians, and French surmounted by a gold figure of a woman - a beautiful monument - past Reichstags Gebäude. Went to a garden concert - had a glass of fine cold beer - never saw a place where they have fewer ice cold things to drink. Gardens were crowded - all the world ,his wife and children, out listening to the music - sat under the trees at little tables - and even in such a place, there is almost no talking while music is going on. Walked home thru' beautifully lighted streets.


Monday 29 June, 1914

Berlin - Dresden

Went to Reichstags Gebäude - the German house of Parliament - a very handsome building with a gold dome - cost over $1,000,000. Saw most of the rooms - the Imperial Diet room with desks - lobby rooms, dining rooms, committee rooms etc. - not unlike our own capital. Stairways and furniture of beautifully carved wood.

From there went to Hohenzollern Museum - where relics of House of Hohenzollern are kept - Queen Louise's dresses, hats, slippers, journal, uniforms, swords, canes, pictures - anniversary presents from other rulers - kindergarten work of the present emperor, baby carriage. Thirteen most magnificent snuff boxes set in diamonds and other precious stones - miniatures of kings and queens, the tiniest and most beautiful one of Queen Louise - state robes of kings in red velvet, ermine and embroidered with black eagle. Portraits of rulers and families. Took 4.26 train for Dresden - about 2 1/2 hours trip.

Before we left did shopping in Passage between Unter den Linden and Frederick Strasse - bought an amber pendant and chain for 23 m., a garnet pendant and chain for 33 m., an amethyst pin, an amber heart book for Rosalie, and a stick pin 12 marks.


June 30 - Tuesday


Stopped at Westminster Hotel - just a block from the depot. A very small very comfortable unpretentious hotel - good service and table, with running water in the rooms - bath tubs with running water once more! Altogether nice. Went to Grüne Gewolbe - Museum of Saxon province - saw the most beautiful things of many kinds - inlaid tables, mosaic tables - amber cabinets, carved ivory - one piece "fall of angels" made by an Italian priest who worked on it all of his life which contained 142 figures surrounded by ivory flowers tipped with silver. Saw Martin Luther's drinking goblet and seal ring of carnelian - most exquisite jewel boxes - Mosaic madonna and child. The tiniest Christ on a cross with the two thieves about 1 1/2 inches high made of gold. The most gorgeous of all were the crown jewels hat clasp made of enormous diamonds with famous greene (?) diamond weighing 48 1/2 karats - bow knot of diamonds containing 662 stones - one diamond weighing 50 karats - emeralds and rubies, also sapphires and pink pearls. Can't describe such magnificence in words. Each piece is so arranged that if any one should touch it, bells ring in three different places in the palace of which the museum forms a part. Went to the picture gallery and saw Raphael's Sistine Madonna - extremely large and most beautiful in expression and coloring. Correggio - Holy Night, Murillo - Madonna & Child, Carlo Dolci - St. Cecelia, Guido Reni - Ecco Homo - Christ's Head with Thorns - I also admired his Mater Dolorosa in Berlin. Titian's - Tribute Money and Virgin, Child & 4 Saints - Leda and the Swan - horrible. The Sacrifice of Man and His Wife - Rembrandt - Later pictures - The Robbers of the Desert - Richard Friese, Christ on the Cross with 3 Holy Women Munkascsy - By lantern light - Osman, Schindler - Horses & Men with Lantern.

Took a beautiful drive along the Elbe and all thru' the city - not as beautiful as Berlin - rather modern excepting in parts which look very old. Went to Belvedere Garden - a beer garden with a beau

July 1 - Wednesday

Dresden - Munich

Left Dresden at 8.26 - went through a beautiful hilly country with miles and miles of wheat fields - the grain being cut was reaped by men, women, and children and carried by ox teams - sometimes four oxen. The fields of wheat are thick with red poppies and cornflowers and certainly are beautiful. Every little while we came to a pretty little village with red tiled roofs. Dinner on the train - very much like other dinners - arrived at Munich at 6.15 stopped at Pension Wallenberg - 30 Hess Strasse - a very pleasant place - kept by a German woman who speaks English.

In the evening we went to Lowen Brau - a typical German beer garden - we ordered beer and such steins as they brought - held over a quart and was so heavy you could hardly lift it. A very good brass band played good music and everybody talked - an enormous place. I think there must have been several thousand people there and such delicious dark Münchenener beer! I nearly drained my stein


July 2 Thursday


Went to the Glyplothek Museum of Statuary - Beginning with Assyrian art 884 BC - extremely crude and mostly reconstructed - new arms legs, heads etc. - up to present date. Earliest sculpture mostly of sandstone. Among the old is the celebrated Mask of Medusa - end of 5th century BC. Among the late sculpture, liked Adonis by Thorwaldsen 1831 - Pans by A. Canova 1812 - Child Praying by Karl Keifer Munich 1898.

From there we went to Alte Cynakothek (?) Holy Ursula - a panel by Bartholomin Teilblon - Sebastian's Altar - St Elizabeth on the right- hand panel and Santa Barbara on the left-hand - Rembrandt's Holy Family - Reuben's Madonna in Wreath of Flowers. H. Mendlung (?) - The (?) Joys of Mary - a queer picture composed of a great many small pictures - Raphael's Holy Family - Andrea Del Santo Holy Family, Murillo Beggar Boys - Raphael - Madonna della Prato (?)

Went into the new museum and saw some very pretty pictures, but as Mrs. Goddard was not with us, and we could not read German, we enjoyed without knowing much about the pictures - one beautiful picture - Orpheus & Eurydice I especially liked - a beautiful altar piece formed in silver.

In the evening we went to a Wagner concert with a beautiful orchestra - at Ton Halle. Four of us went in a taxi, and it cost us about 12 1/2 c each! In the afternoon by 3, we went sight seeing in Munich. Saw old and new Rathaus victory monument, museum,and Iser river which looks like green glass with a most rapid current - a very pretty city.


July 3


Took in Shack Museum which was given to the city by Graff von Shack. Saw Franz von Lenback's Shepherd Boy - Bride of Alps - The Loreleis - Steinle. There were a great many copies of pictures by Lenbach - which were very good.

Spent the rest of the day in shopping. Bought table cloth - 8 marks 75, garnet cross, lead pencil doll for Rosalie - dressed just like hundreds of children you see in the streets - a knife, paper knife, and a copy of The Shepherd Boy which I unfortunately lost. Went to the Hoff Garten and had a pineapple ice.

In the evening went to the Hoff Brau - one of the largest beer gardens in Munich - never was in such a place before in my life - think it must have held a thousand people - no music - could have cut the air with a knife - the decorations were very old but once must have been beautiful - think there was a Madonna on the end of the room - bought beer, pretzels, radishes, and bread sticks with caraway seeds. Every brewery has its own beer garden. We sent the suitcases on tonight and we leave in the morning at 9. Met Miss Frances Shields and Miss Kloss - friends of Dorothy Schmucker who went with us to the Hoff Brau.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2017 20:17 )