Jewish Ritual Bath in Friedberg, Hesse

The mikvah or mikveh is a bath used for ritual immersion in Judaism to achieve ritual purity. This one in Friedberg, Hesse, belongs to a small group of remaining monumental mikvahs dating back to the Middle Ages. The others are in Friedberg, Speyer, Cologne, Worms, Offenburg, and Andernach.

With a depth of 25 m, the mikvah in Friedberg is the biggest and most impressive among them all. It is also one of the last monuments of Jewish life in Friedberg. From the 13th century until 1942, the Jewish population lived in and near the Judengasse (between the town and the castle). Their synagogue was burned down on 10 November 1938.

We went to see the mikvah this afternoon. We were the only visitors on this snowy afternoon, so the museum attendant told us.

What an experience this was to be inside this mikvah! While we were talking, we noticed the extraordinary acoustics – any sound resonated for about six seconds within the walls.

The octagonal skylight, which we passed on the way in, was reflected in the waters down below. Then, our sound was reflected in the walls. This was truly amazing.

The last part of the stairway is closed off to the public though. Climbing down 23 regular steps and another 52 steep steps requires a sure foothold and sturdy shoes.

The entrance is euro 2 per adult. Hours of operation: wetterau-museum

This was definitely a cultural and historical highlight.

 

Newcomers Festival 2014 in Frankfurt

The annual Newcomers Festival is taking place at the Römer in Frankfurt on Sunday, 7 September 2014 from 1pm – 6pm.

This event is not only for new expats to the area, but also for the ones who settled here a while ago! There is an exhibition of services put together by about 60 clubs and organizations.

All visitors will receive a free copy of the 2015 Newcomers Guide – a 120-page English-language book about living and working in Frankfurt-Rhein-Main.

Admission is free.

Newcomers Festival Frankfurt 2014

Newcomers Festival Frankfurt 2014

 

For more information, please contact:

Newcomers Festival Organizing Office, c/o Communication Solution GmbH, Niedenau 45 in 60325 Frankfurt

Tel. 069 – 71 91 65 81  Fax: 069 – 71 91 65 82

Email: mail@communication-solution.de

Newcomers Festival website: http://www.newcomers-festival.de/

First English Book Case in Frankfurt

Sharing the newsletter sent out by the English Theatre Frankfurt on 30 October 2013.

Quoting:

On Thursday 24th October 2013, the English Theatre Frankfurt (ETF) opened Europe’s first public book case exclusively for books written in English.

Our guests of honor were Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann and the former Mayor of Cultural Affairs, Hilmar Hoffmann, among other wonderful friends of the ETF.

Take a look at the opening with the ensemble of Saturday Night Fever and our Lord Mayor: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69838251@N05/sets/72157636930213096/

The book case works like this:

People are invited to leave books for others to take, like a book exchange in a public space. We believe this will work splendidly in front of our main entrance, as the performances draw not only thousands of teachers and students but also native speakers who live and work in Frankfurt as well as people who are generally interested in the English language.

The ETF has taken on the responsibility for the book case. Our staff will make sure that the book case is clean and that there are no inappropriate books on display.

Please join us in launching our book case by bringing an English book with you to the previews of Saturday Night Fever, or when passing by the theatre. Whether it’s a classroom favorite or a personal favorite, your book will help make the first English book case in Frankfurt a success.

Please pass this message on to your friends who might want to contribute to the first public book case IN ENGLISH.

“The young need discipline and a full bookcase”

– Vivienne Westwood –

– end of quote –

Autumn Fest in Oberursel

Oberursel, home to Frankfurt International School (FIS), has a lot to offer. Sunday’s fest, Herbsttreiben, was held in the old part of town, and we noticed many curious newcomers. Also overheard a German explain our Grüne Soß’ to someone in English. The poor lady could not think of the word herbs, so she said the Grüne Soß’ was made from green “things”. It surely is!

Here we have the local Mayor Brum (second from left) with some of the fest’s representatives.

Herbsttreiben alle

Scary looking jester. By the way, the last British king to employ a jester was Charles I, which was more than 300 years ago.

jester

The fair also had old machinery on display such as this saw and wood splitter vehicle (dates probably back to 1934). The German description read: Selbstfahrende Bandsäge mit Holzspalter.

wood cutting

This Ebbelquetscher (apple press) was run by two young men, showing how apples were pressed in the old days.

Ebbelquetscher

Ebbelquetscher

Here goes one of the many buckets it took to fill up the tub below.

Men at work

Men at work

The fest might have been a wash-out on Saturday as it rained most of the day. We got lucky on Sunday as it stayed dry.

Oberursel

Oberursel

 

Oberursel Herbsttreiben

Oberursel had its annual apple wine contest.

Ebbelwoi Tasting

Ebbelwoi Contest

Ebbelwoi tasting Oberursel

Oberursel is a good place to live.

 

Market Day in Oberursel, Germany

If you happen to be an expat moving to Oberursel, be prepared for a mostly quiet, beautiful, and regulated surrounding. Germans love their beer and wine fests, they do not shop on Sundays, and there are rules when you can party/make noise and not. You’ll get used to it, I’m sure.

Saturday is a busy day for most shoppers, since everything is closed on Sundays. I managed to get away from work for 40 minutes and took a short trip downtown to the market for a Fischbrötchen (marinated fish on a bread roll).

Oberursel’s market is located right at the market square and it’s a very pretty sight.

Saturday market day in Oberursel

Saturday market day in Oberursel

When I went to order my Fischbrötchen, the lady told me she was out of bread rolls and asked me to get one from one of the other vendors. Once I come back with a bread roll, she could make it for me, she said. This is Germany at its best 🙂

Another view of the market with the ever-so-clean fountain.

Oberursel market and fountain

Next, we went down into the Altstadt, where they got ready to set up for the Seifenkistenrennen (soap box race).

Soap box race, Oberursel

Soap box race, Oberursel

“Yes, it’s spelled correctly”, one of the guys seems to say.

Does this look right to you?

Does this look right to you?

Being a repat, but working expat hours, it is sometimes difficult to match my schedule to the German hours of operation.

But this should be the least of your concerns when living in Germany. It is safe, they have good beer, and are generally honest in business dealings.