Limburg an der Lahn
Our first stop during our Christmas holiday trip on our way to the Czech Republic in December 2019-January 2020 was picturesque Limburg an der Lahn. We parked our camper van at the opposite shore from the Lahn river facing the city center and its impressive Dom and Castle, ready to discover this city and get into the footsteps of Kurt Hielscher again.
Limburg an der Lahn, Dom, 1924
Limburg an der Lahn, Dom, 26st of December 2019
It was a short walk to the Alte Lahnbrücke, from which it appeared that Kurt Hielscher took his photo some 96 years before. It is unknown when the first church was built here, but its current shape dates from 1180. When I took my photocamera and the book of Kurt Hielscher a man approached me and we started chatting a little. After I answered what I was doing, he showed me a binder with lots of old photos of Limburg an der Lahn and he was looking for a specific one to show me. That one photo was from 1925, so only a year later after Kurt Hielscher took his photo with the Dom totally in flames. I was stunned.
When in Limburg an der Lahn, it is about the Castle, the Dom, the river Lahn and ofcourse its characteristic Fachwerkhäuser.
On the Alte lahnbrücke I got accidentally in touch with Günther "Ilo" Butzbach. When I made the post on my Facebookpage Ilo was recognized by an old friend. Ilo is a storyteller and city guide. From him I learned about the fire of 1925.
On the night of the 28th to 29th of February 1929, the west wing of the Castle was hit by a big fire. The Dom had some damage too, but not as severe as the Castle. The fire brigade had to pump water from the Lahn to the castle. Due to the extreme cold, a hole had been made in the Lahn's ice, which was up to one meter thick, to suck out extinguishing water that later froze on the ruins of the wall. A total of 1.2 million liters of water were pumped out of the Lahn in almost 15 hours. Only the walls of the Castle remained upright; the rest was destroyed with the book inventory of the library on the ground floor. Restoration works started soon and were finished in 1935.
Alte Lahnbrücke, 26st of December 2019
In the night of the 28th to 29th of February 1929 the westwing of the Castle was hit by a big fire The Dom had some damage too, but not as severe as the Castle. The fire brigade had to pump water from the Lahn to the castle. Due to the extreme cold, a hole had been made in the ice of the Lahn which was up to one meter thick in order to suck out extinguishing water that later froze on the ruins of the wall. A total of 1.2 million liters of water were pumped out of the Lahn in almost 15 hours. Only the walls of the Castle remained upright, the rest was destroyed as well as the book inventory of the library on the ground floor. The cause of the fire was never fully clarified. Restoration works started soon and were finished in 1935. (info: Stadtarchiv Limburg a. d. Lahn)
Limburg an der Lahn, Castle, 1924
Limburg an der Lahn, Castle, 26st of December 2019
Today the altered building in the foreground is a Gastropub: Die Obermühle, named after the watermill that dates back to 1237, but the current wheel was inaugurated in 1999.
The making of
Limburg an der Lahn is a beautiful compact city. Don't pass without jumping off the highway, take a look and stroll around a little.
Parking at the other side of the Lahn river with a view on its Dom.
On the first day of our summer holidays of 2023 I went back to Limburg an der Lahn for a third photo. Just a few months before I achieved the first press of Kurt Hielscher's 1924 edition and there it was, on page 178. In the other editions of his Germany album that I have from 1938 or 1941 it is not, so Limburg an der Lahn, a four hour drive, was the place to stay for the first night.
I knew I had to be somewhere around the Campsite and the Wohnmobilstellplatz, both situated next to each other at the shores of the Lahn river. We stayed at the Wohnmobilstellplatz, but it turned out that Kurt Hielscher made his photo from the other side of the Lahn river. In the evening we went for an ice-cream into the city center after we had dinner at the van. The morning after, I went again to the center to get some bread for breakfast and to make the photo.
Limburg an der Lahn, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.
Limburg an der Lahn, 15th of July 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar.
In new photo, one can see a rope that is connected to a boat called "Wappen von Limburg", that turned out a partyship the evening before, when we saw it leaving in calmness before we went for the ice-cream but came back as a partyship full of drunk people just before midnight. In the morning it was calm again and a duckfamily could swim around the boat again and I take a photo.
I made my photo from the gangway to the bridge just afte the fence which was open.
And of course, I could not hestitate to rephotograph the others as well. The first one is from the evening before when we went for an ice-cream to the center.
Limburg an der Lahn, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.
Limburg an der Lahn, 14th of July 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar.
Then I took a closer look to the Dom then three and half years earlier.
Camping at the Lahn at the Wohnmobilstellplatz. Here with the partyship still in place.
Below: details of the city center of Limburg an der Lahn, 2019. Photo: Casper Molenaar.