Überlingen, September 7, 1909

We were delighted to receive a letter from you this morning, and it seems that our enjoyment of the day is always greater after we have had news from you. I wrote a good bit this morning and, afterwards, we took a walk around town.

We went to the old Rathaus. (Don’t you get tired of reading about the old Rathaus?) Well, we do not seem to get tired of looking at them as they are always new to us, and every one is different from the other. This one was built in 1494 and has a hall in the early German style with carved woodwork. There are 50 statuettes on the walls, each about a foot high, which represent the various elements of the German Empire, artists, noblemen, clergy, etc.

Town hall at Überlingen. Gothic wood carving from the 15th century.

The door with a wood carving of the Judgment of Solomon is modern but carried out in harmony with the old work, and the stained glass, which has been put in lately, is very fine. In the reception hall is some fine old furniture.

From here we went to see the Munster, a fine old church which is being renovated. It has a carved altar with many figures and a fine ciborium and pulpit of limestone, also an old picture of Mary holding the body of Christ in her lap (Pieta).

Münster Church at Überlingen, the north side.
Franciscan Church at Überlingen, the south side.

Outside is the Oelberg or Christ in the Gethsemane in stone with a rich carved covering and railing. On a little mound stands a large crucifix and, on each side, an immense Linden tree. We measured one of them and found the circumference of the trunk to be 13 feet. Right near to it is the old Kanslei with a fine doorway made in 1599.

We now descended into the old city moat (Stadtgarben) which has been laid out as a park, and we had an opportunity to admire the immense walls and the fine old buildings on each side. Of course, we had a good appetite for our dinner, which we enjoyed very much.

On the strength of it, we took a walk along the lake to Goldbach, where we hunted for the janitor of an old church which contains the oldest monumental paintings in Germany. They were discovered under the plastering, and this has been carefully removed so that an idea can be formed of the paintings, which were made in the year 850. A good artist has made copies of them on wooden panels which have been put on hinges and hung on the walls over the paintings. They can be turned back to show the old paintings.

Old Church wall paintings of the Reichenau school, 9th to 10th century. [The Sylvester Chapel in Goldbach is the oldest church building in the Lake Constance region.]

While Mama took a rest in the garden of a small tavern near the church, we took a walk to the Heidenhölen. These are cave dwellings in the soft rock and while some pronounce them prehistoric, others say they served as a refuge for the early Christians similar to the catacombs in Rome.

Heath caves.

At the tavern, we enjoyed a glass of home grown wine which you order by the 1/2 Liter at a cost of 17 1/2 cts. or about 2¢ a glass.

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