At the corner of Main and Tauber: Wertheim
One stanza from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge reads 'Water, water, every where, and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink." This was in reference to a long and stormy sea voyage, but it might have referred to Wertheim. Water is literally the circulatory system of this beautiful medieval town. The Tauber and Main Rivers merge and surround the older part, including Burg Wetheim or Wertheim Castle, and the Market Square. Centrally located between east and west on the Main River, Wertheim became a glassblowing and associated commercial manufacturing center. It exists as such to this day.
Glassblower Karl Ittig came aboard ship the night before we docked in Wertheim to give a demonstration of his craft. He uses Corning glass, and has worked with Dale Chihuly. Thanks to shipmate Carol Mathews, I offer you a photograph she took of Karl. (My equipment was m.i.a. that night). By the time our horde made it through Karl's shop the next morning, snapping up his gorgeous work as gifts and for ourselves, the shelves were nearly empty.
Back to the rivers. I include the rather untidy photograph below as demonstration of how people deal with water when a city is surrounded by it. The Tauber River (in the lower left-hand side of the image) is separated from the houses above, (and importantly, the railroad tracks) not only by the raised river bank and tow path, but a stone and concrete wall. If the river floods, as it frequently does, supplies can still be brought in by rail.
The houses on the opposite side of the Tauber also are protected somehwat from floods by a stone wall. However, it seems that garages are usually below the living areas so that they can be abandoned for higher ground in case of high water.
A view from one of the bridges across the Tauber of the gatehouse with Wertheim Castle in the background.
Another look at the castle from the medieval part of town and the Stadtpalais gourmet restaurant
We spent a mere three hours in Wertheim, one of our shorter stops, and I had already decided I could live there. It was gentle, lovely, and inviting.
Next week, we head up the Rhine to Marksburg Castle and Koblenz. Thanks again, Carol, for the photograph.
until next Moonday,
a passion for the [email protected]
Keywords: Bavaria, Burg Wertheim, Corning glass, Germany, Karl Ittig, Main River, Tauber River, Wertheim, Wertheim Castle, glassblowing, travel
What a journey it has been. I almost feel like I was on the trip with you through this outstanding series of posts. Wow! Three hours in watery Wertheim. It's amazing how you've given us such a sense of the place despite the brevity of your visit. Another great post, Daryl. This series deserves a blurb book at least.
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