Our tour is about to end. As we travel south from Heidelberg we are on our way to Kochel where our group will split up.

Speyer Cathedral

Speyer Cathedral is another outstanding Romanesque structure on our itinerary. It was built beginning in the 11th century.

Someday I really do hope to retrace at least some of our steps.


We found a completely different type of architecture in the city of Darmstadt. This complex, the height of German Jugendstil, is called Mathildenhöhe.

The "wedding tower" is part of the 1908 exhibition building.


Since I originally developed this travelogue in 2015, the web site with the best pictures of this phenomenal place has created an English version. This is the Ernst Ludwig house originally built in 1900.


The gardens featured many monuments.

Mathildenhohe Garden

Even the trees in the garden were trimmed in stylized shapes.

Wedding Tower Mosaic

This mosaic was in the lobby of the wedding tower. Unfortunately we couldn't visit any of the buildings. This picture was taken through the door. The mosaic is by Friedrich Wilhelm Kleukens, and is appropriately called The Kiss. It is no surprise that the location is a popular wedding venue.

1484 Rathaus

Now for something completely different....

Unfortunately I didn't note the town where I took this picture. My slide simply identifies this building as the Rathaus, or city hall. The date was carved into the timbers: 1484.

Bavarian Countryside

We knew we were nearing the end of our tour when we arrived in Bavaria.

Bavarian Alps

We were nearing some serious mountains, the Bavarian alps.


Our first stop was in the town of Mittenwald. This was my first exposure to the decorative painting of buildings that is so common in the Alpine regions of Bavaria and the Tirol.


This building is more modestly decorated. It is a museum dedicated to violin construction. Mittenwald was a major center of violin making through the 18th century. Since WWII there has been a resurgence of interested in hand-crafted instruments. There is today a violin-making school in the town.

Mittenwald church tower

The church tower shows how tromp-l'oeil can enhance a building. The top of the tower is in relief, but the lower part is flat stucco painted to mimic relief. Hard to tell the difference.

Kloster Ettal

Our next stop was at Kloster Ettal, or Ettal Abbey. Although the abbey was originally founded in the 14th century, the current buildings date from the 18th century. The style is Baroque.

The interior was light enough that I could take pictures inside. See below. Baroque is not my favorite, but this was magnificent.

Kloster Ettal Organ

Kloster Ettal Pulpit

Gasthof zur Post, Kochel

That night we spent our last time together as a group at the Gasthof zur Post in Kochel. I became quite familiar with it as it was one of the places where the Goethe Institute students ate meals.

Although I was excited about starting the next phase of the adventure, I was sad to bid good-bye to Suellen and the others who were continuing on to the Black Forest.

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