On Thursday, after my son-in-law left for work, my daughter took her dad and me to her favorite city. Bayreuth (pronounced: Bye-roit.)
It was a beautiful afternoon, and the streets were packed with people out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.
Sidewalk cafes were busy and we stopped at a place called Oskars for a beer and some fabulous German food.
After lunch, we walkd through the city enjoying the scenery. Bayreuth is a gorgeous city.
Our next stop was a visit to the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. In Germany, a margrave was a medieval nobleman with military responsibilities. He originally functioned as the military governor. And the entrance to the opera house was beautiful .
There was a box for the King and his family.
And saw a glimpse of America in the graffiti, which actually, looked more like street art. Check out Homer!
Our next stop on the trip was a tour of the brewery and beer (bier) museum.
But even before the brewery was built over the catacombs, German royalty used the cool cellars for brewing beer. In the 1700's Friedrich II, later dubbed Friedrich the Great, became a master brewer.
As a young man, Friedrich II served in his father's army. But he disapproved of his father's harsh rule so at one point, he and two military buddies decided to run away and take refuge in England with Friedrich 's uncle, King George II. One of Frederick's friends escaped, the other was executed, and Friedrich spent months in the catacombs as a prisoner brewing beer. He became a master brewer but after his release, he never brewed again.
During WWII, the people of Bayreuth felt safe from the Allied bombings. It wasn't until the end of the war on April 5, 8, and 11, 1945 that Bayreuth was bombed. Afterward, many of the city's inhabitants fled to the catacombs, taking as many possessions as they could carry with them.
There was even a small hospital in the catacombs and according to our guide, at least one major surgery was performed in the cold, dank recesses of the catacombs.
And once the war ended, the women cleared away the rubble and debris and began rebuilding the city. Since their men had either died during the war or were being held as prisoners, the women and what few old men remained began rebuilding the city. The women were later called Rubble Women.
I was fascinated by the history of the catacombs and although most of the tour was in Germany, our tour guide spoke fluent English and provided us with an English program guide.
Day 3 was good Friday and I'll share my adventures in the Czech Republic and my sad attempt at speaking Deutsch (German) while hiking in my next post.