Sequoia Trees in the Oberursel Forest

There are two Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) near the Frankfurter Forsthaus located in the Oberursel forest.

If you live in the Oberursel area, enter the Rosengärtchen at the U-Bahn station An der Waldlust. Walking downhill a bit, you’ll soon see a sign pointing you to the Tierheim (animal shelter). Follow this road into the woods, pass the Tierheim, and you will soon come to and intersection and see the trees on the left side. Walking time: 20 – 25 minutes

These trees were planted around 1860. One of our international friends asked me if I knew who planted them. As of now, I have only learned that 1860 was a significant year in Europe’s history.

As these tree have been planted close to the Frankfurter Forsthaus in the Oberursel forest (closer to Oberstedten and Bad Homburg), I suppose it might have something to do with all the important people and events in Bad Homburg.

Certain events in 1960:

* Bad Homburg got connected to Frankfurt by rail.

* Emporer Wilhelm II. started using the Bad Homburg castle as his summer residence on a yearly basis.

* The Bad Homburger Kurverein was founded.

* In the year of 1860 alone, there were  275 000 Kurgäste (spa visitors) in Bad Homburg.

* The Gotische Haus (Gothic House) bordering the city limits of Bad Homburg came into possession of the  forest landgraviate( landgräfliche Forstverwaltung).

Sequoia sign in Oberursel Forest

Sequoia sign in Oberursel Forest

Oberursel Forest

Oberursel Forest

Sequoia cone and seeds

Sequoia cone and seeds

Looking for information about 1860 Deutschland, there are about 9,560,000 results. Searching for 1860 Bad Homburg, the net comes up with 126,000 results.

 Who planted these two Sequoia trees? If you know, feel free to share it here with us.

 

The Woman on the German 50 Pfennig Coin is from Oberursel

In 2002, Germany, along with some other countries, changed over to the euro currency. Before that we had our Deutsche Mark (DM) and Pfennig for cents.

The woman, depicted on the 50 Pfennig coin, is from Oberursel. Her name is Gerda Jo Werner, and this is her story.

Gerda was a painter and a long-time art teacher at the local Volkshochschule (VHS)*. She was married to the sculptor Richard Martin Werner, who soon passed away in 1949, right at the time when the first German money for the Federal Republic was coined.

The ‘Bank Deutscher Länder’ association invited artists to submit designs for the new coins. The new designs should include images of Germany’s reconstruction after WWII.

In 1948, the local painter and sculptor Richard Martin Werner submitted a design showing a young woman planting an oak tree. This was to symbolize a new beginning; the change from the ruins of war to a new life full of hopes in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The young woman depicted in his design was his wife, Gerda. Werner’s design was chosen over seven other entries from well-known artists.

On 14 Feb 1949, the first 50 Pfennig coins came into circulation. The coin was viewed as the most beautiful German coin at the time, and being unusual for the only one showing a woman.

The artist was also famous for some other works, one of them the ‘Die Läuferin am Start’ (The runner at the Start Line), a plastic sculpture for the Olympic Games in 1936, for which he received a bronze medal in the arts.

When he died in 1949, he missed out on the triumph of his coin design. By the end of the DM/Pfennig era in 2001, more than 2 billion coins had been in circulation.

The 50 Pfennig woman on the coin, a local resident, died at the age of almost 90 years in Oberursel in August 2004.

I did not know about her – until she died.

50 Pfennig coin (Deutsch Mark)

* adult education center

Christkind Brings the Presents to German Children on Christmas Eve

The Christkind is a figure in Germany that brings presents to the children on Christmas Eve, especially in the southern parts of the country.

Until the reformation in the 16th century, people in Germany did not give each other presents at Christmas, instead the children received their presents from St.Nicholas (Nikolaus) on 6th December.

Martin Luther, however, opposing the catholic saints, apparently introduced the idea of giving presents on 24th December. These were brought by the Christkind, who is often depicted in white and similar to an angel.

It is said that it comes in through the window and leaves presents around the Christmas tree, while the children are out of the room.

Even though the Weihnachtsmann (Santa) is ever more present, especially in the media, people still ask children “What did the Christkind bring you?”

Sitting on Christkind's lap

Sitting on Christkind’s lap

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast: http://bit.ly/gYfHSN
Source: Quoted from Graham Tappenden’s newsletter