Monday, January 28, 2013

23: Germany, May 1932

Image: Wikipedia

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I enjoyed the museums and architecture of Munich (A). Reached Berlin (B) May 5th. Berlin is a clean, beautiful city which had more neon lights than any city I had yet seen. It also had beautiful palaces and elaborate theaters. I liked the Pergamon Museum containing restorations of Greek and Roman architecture and the Vorderasiatisches Museum with palaces of enameled brick excavated in Babylon. Potsdam (C) was a real center of beautiful architecture and paintings and landscapes.

Reached Frankfurt (D) am Main May 11th and caught river boat for trip down the Rhine to Cologne. Enjoyed the great three-spired cathedral the Dom, of Gothic style. It supposedly has relics presented to the Savior by the Three Wise Men. Rhine Valley scenery and castles also beautiful.

Nymphenburg Castle
May 1932
Image: Wikipedia

Arch Colonnade near Neues Palace
May 1932
New Palace, Wikipedia

On the Rhine below Mainz (E)
May 1932
Image: Wikipedia

The Mouse Tower and Bingen (F) on the Rhine
May 1932
Image: Wikipedia

Oberwesel (G) on the Rhine between Mainz and Coblenz
May 1932

Rheinfels Castle (H)
St. Goar on the Rhine near Lorelei
May 1932

Rheinfels Castle
May 1932

Along the Rhine
May 1932

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

22: More Italy and Switzerland, April 1932

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Stopped at Pisa (A) and saw the huge leaning tower and beautiful cathedral April 15th.

Stopped at Genoa (B) and its elaborate Campo Santo cemetery April 16th. Nearly every grave had an elaborate sculpture on it. One a runner clearing the tape at finish.

Last Supper, Wikipedia
Saw Milano (C) and its wonderful cathedral with 140 pinnacles each topped by a statue, April 20th. Also visited Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Santa Maria Delle Grazie church. The famous painting is getting the worse for age and deterioration.

I left April 21 for Lugano (D) in the Italian part of Switzerland. Went on to Lucern (E) in lake country and Interlaken. From here I hiked into a mountainous valley where the snow would slide down occasionally from side mountains in Niagara-like beauty. Fertile mountainside fields were tended by farmers who would scatter liquid effluent caught from their cow barns. It sure made the hay grow fast.

Jungfraujoch, Wikipedia
On April 26, I caught the train for a $9, ride up to the Jungfraujoch (saddle) 22,340 feet high. The hotel there is the highest hotel and up the highest railroad in Europe. The Jungfrau peak is 13, 670 feet high. The train takes long spirals into the core of the mountain, returning to outer edge at one point in each turn where air and light pours in from outside. Trip up took four hours. Plenty of ice and glaciers with many skiers.

On to Geneva (F) from where we could see Mt. Blanc. We saw the old League of Nations Palace and the monument to the Reformation with some good sculptures of prominent figures.
Mt. Blanc, Wikipedia

Reached Basle (G) April 30th and stopped at mission headquarters. This is near the head of the Rhine River which flows through the city. The Swiss are much more refined to my thinking, and more hospitable. The Italians always had their hands out.

Palace of the League of Nations
April 1932

St. Peter's Cathedral
On site of heathen temple, commenced in XIth Cent. in time of round-arched Romanesque and finished in XVIIIth Cent. when Gothic reached its height.
April 1932
[Is this correct?  It does not look like other images I find.]

Sunday, January 13, 2013

21: Pompeii, April 1932

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From Naples I visited crater of Mt. Vesuvius and nearby Pompeii. The first time I climbed the cindery cone approached by a hike from a nearby railroad station, the clouds were so heavy that I could not see down into the big crater. So I went again. The second time I could climb down into the floor of the crater which was of hardened lava. Near the center was a very small crater with yellow sulfur around it and steam pouring from it. About ten years later this volcano belched forth a destructive stream of lava and cinders.

The museum showing what was excavated from Pompeii was to me more interesting than the actual ruins. Bodies, implements, jewelry, and even small animals were taken out and now may be seen. I also went by small boat to the Isle of Capri which had vines in full bloom and gorgeous scenery. It was the summer resort of the Caesars. (The vines were Wistaria).

I had received a letter from home telling me that I should arrange to land in New York sufficiently late that Mother and Lucile [sister] could meet me after Lucile had completed her teaching school in early June.

Lawrence Schwarz, Mrs. M. F. Osterlin, Mrs. J. Roth, Dr. M. F. Osterlin.
Anne Arbor for latter; St. Louis, former.
April 1932

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

20: Rome, March - April 1932

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Arrived in Rome evening of March 25.

Billions of dollars have been poured out here in the capital city of Catholicism on beautiful buildings, fountains, columns and art work. Much of it is owned directly by the church whose head resides in the tiny area of the Vatican (A). The basilica San Pietro (B) with dome designed by Michelangelo is so impressive on outside but so barnlike on the inside that it leaves much to be desired. Huge round arched passages with beautiful side chapels and sculpture work. The Swiss guards with striped uniforms and halberds (spears) are prominent.

Basilica San Pietro
Source:  Wikipedia

I wrangled an audience with the Pope by going to the American College (for clergy) and telling them that I was interested (I didn’t say how) in their church, and showing them my passport.

It took about an hour and a half to go into the inner palace and past many groups of soldiers in elaborate uniforms (more elaborate than any I have seen) to the hall where the Pope finally appeared. We were all around a huge ellipse down on one knee. All women dressed in black, with veil over heads. The Pope passed down the line extending his hand so the person could kiss his ring. He was a rotund, sallow, bespectacled man. I pressed his hand to my chin.

Pope Pius XI, the Pope in 1932
Source:  Wikipedia

I also went to the Scala Santa (C) (holy stairs) in the Lateran complex. This is the co-cathedral of Rome. There are 28 marble steps worn badly and covered with wood. These supposedly were brought from the house of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem by St. Helena in 326. According to a notice the Pope grants a perpetual indulgence to souls in purgatory for one person crawling up the staircase on knees and saying a prayer on each and then in the chapel at the top. It was up these steps that Martin Luther is recorded as having decided to renounce Rome. He was then a Catholic monk.

Scala Santa
Source:  Roma Viva

Cloisters, The Lateran
(San Giovanni Laterno)
April, 1932

Also saw Colosseum (D), which has been considerably rebuilt as indicated by old paintings in art galleries which I saw, a little of the catacombs, the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli (H) with its striking statue by Michelangelo of the horned Moses, and the Capuchin Monastery where bones of dead monks are seen in basement clothed in their habits. They were dug out when the site of the monastery was moved.

Begun by Vespasian
Inaugurated by Titus, A. D. 80
With spectacles lasting 100 days during which more than 5,000 wile beasts were slain.
Elliptical three rows would seat 50,000 people.
March 1932

The Coliseum
Source: Pierced Hearts

Arch of Constantine & Colosseum (E)
March 1932

The horned Moses in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli
Source: Best Tourism

Roman Forum
Arch of Septimus Severus (F)
203 A.D.
Basilica Julia
February [probably meant March/April] 1932

Roman Forum
Arch of Titus in distance.  Temple of Antonius, Pius, and Faustina (G)
February [probably meant March/April] 1932

Roman Forum, Source: Wikipedia

I did see King Victor Emmanuel who was getting old, but never saw Mussolini, who was then in power. Trains were running more or less on time, but there were lots of poor people.
King Victor Emmanuel
Source: Wikipedia

I went to San Pietro’s on Easter Sunday, amidst several hundred thousands of people. You had to stand up inside the basilica. The big pipe organ sounded like a little tinny toy. I detected no spirituality.

Castel Sant' Angelo (I)
(Tomb of Hadrian)
Incorporated in City Walls.  Besieged many times.  Now a museum, largely of weapons.
April 1932