If you are reading this you are likely planning on traveling with Jeff to Europe. He hopes you find this site useful in the preparations of your upcoming vacation. Part of the excitement in traveling is in the planning and the anticipation of the adventure. The more we understand about European history (that is embodied in the Roman ruins, the Medieval cathedrals and castles, the Renaissance masterpieces, and the diverse scenery), the more interesting and enjoyable our time will be in Europe. This site was created for these two reasons—to build anticipation by getting a glimpse at the various sights we will likely explore, and to enrich our first hand experiences of these sights by educating ourselves on the rich history surrounding these attractions.

How to use this site.

The links on the right are some general sites that Jeff has found to be helpful in planning his trips. The posts located in the center of the page focuses upon the sights of Jeff's upcoming trip. The words underlined will link you to other sites with further information.

Day 8 (May 17th) The Black Forest & Worms


* Take the gold pass (part 2-the eastern section) to Lucern
* About an hour visit at Lucerne
* Take train though the Black Forest

* Possible stop in Freiburg

* Take train to Worms and see where Luther made his famous speech
* Take train to Bacharach where we will spend the next two nights


The Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge" in German) is a 204 m (670 ft) long bridge crossing the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in Switzerland. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, and one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions. The covered bridge, constructed in 1333, was designed to help protect the city of Lucerne from attacks. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century, depicting events from Luzerne's history. Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.

Adjoining the bridge is the 140 feet (43 m) tall Wasserturm (Water Tower), an octagonal tower made from brick, which has served as a prison, torture chamber, watchtower and tresury. Today the tower, which is part of the city wall, is used as the guild hall of the artillery association. The tower and the bridge are Lucerne's trademark and form the most photographed monument in the country.



Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Located in the extreme south-west of the country, Freiburg straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. One of the famous old German university towns, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early 12th century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical centre of the upper Rhine region. The city is known for its ancient university and its medieval cathedral, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. The city is situated in the heart of a major wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entrepot to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, the city is the sunniest and warmest in Germany.


Worms has a few notable attractions:

1. Worms Cathedral

One of the finest Romanesque Cathedrals--12th-13th century. The historical site of the
Diet of Worms (Where when on trail for his Protestant beliefs).

2. The Reformation Monument

3. Jewish Cemetery
There is also one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe.

Also it is worth noting is the first complete edition of the Bible in Modern English, translated by
William Tyndale, was secretly printed in Worms in 1526.

Map of Worms in 1630. The Jewish Ghetto is marked in yellow.

The city is known as a former center for Judaism. The Jewish community was established in the late 10th century, the first synagogue was erected in 1034. The Jewish Cemetery in Worms, dating from the 11th century, is believed to be the oldest in Europe. The Rashi Shul, a synagogue dating from 1175 and carefully reconstructed after its desecration on Kristallnacht is the oldest in Germany. Prominent rabbis of Worms include Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi), Elazar Rokeach and Yair Bacharach. At the Rabbinical Synod held at Worms in the eleventh century, rabbis for the first time explicitly prohibited polygamy. Much of the Jewish Quarter was destroyed in the events known as Kristallnacht in 1938. Worms today has a very small Jewish community and a recognizable Jewish community in Worms no longer exists. However, after renovations in the 1970s and 1980s, many of the buildings of the Quarter can be seen in a close to original state, preserved as an outdoor museum.


The Diet of Worms: Reichstag zu Worms, was a general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in 1521 at Worms, a small town on the Rhine River located in what is now Germany. It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding. Although other issues were dealt with at the Diet of Worms, it is most memorable for the Edict of Worms (Wormser Edikt), which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation. The previous year, Pope Leo X had issued the Papal bull Exsurge Domine, outlining forty-one purported errors found in Martin Luther's 95 theses and other writings related to or written by him. Luther was summoned by the emperor. Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony obtained an agreement that if Luther appeared he would be promised safe passage to and from the meeting. Such a guarantee was essential after the treatment of Jan Hus, who was tried and executed at the Council of Constance in 1415 despite a safe conduct pass. Emperor Charles V commenced the Imperial Diet of Worms on 28 January 1521. Luther was summoned to renounce or reaffirm his views. When he appeared before the assembly on 16 April, Johann Eck, an assistant of the Archbishop of Trier, acted as spokesman for the emperor.


Bacharach, named for Bacchus, the ancient Roman god of wine, is a medieval walled town only meters from the river's banks. The Rhine river once splashed up against the town's walls, but a landfill has been added to accommodate a road, train tracks and boat docks. From 1300 to 1600 Bacharach was a major wine center. Due to shallow waters, ships had to unload upstream and reload in Bacharach, so every boat traveling the Rhine had to stop here. At it's peak Bacharach boasted a population of 6,000, though today it is closer to 1,000. The view of town from the Rhine belies the charm hiding within. The town is a collection of some of the finest half-timbered medieval houses in Germany, some dating back to the 14th century.

Top Sights in Bacharach

Just one visit to the town square is enough to make you fall in love with this jewel of a town. You'll be transported into Medieval Germany as you walk the cobbled streets and admire the quaint half-timbered facades. Life seems to have slowed down here, and you can too among the small shops and Weinstubes. A wine room is an establishment that serves wine and some food. Often the food will be a sampling of cheeses and breads to compliment the wines offered. A bit further away from the church and on the same side of the Ober Strasse you will find the TI and Post office, or Posthof. Recognize it by the golden horn shaped sign that hangs above the entrance. (These horns have long symbolized the postal service in Germany.) WWII buffs will want to enter the courtyard of the post office to see an eerie reminder of years past - a fascist eagle from 1936 over the door on your left. Steep steps along the side of the church lead up to the town's castle. Now a youth hostel it is probably not worth the hike if you aren't staying there. However, you should follow the steps until you reach Werner Kapelle, a skeleton of an old chapel with no windows, doors or ceiling. It's a beautiful sight when lit up at night. It was a regular stop on the Grand Tour in the 1800's as a place to contemplate the impermanence of human endeavor. The Altes Haus, or old house, is also located just off the square. This red and white building dating back to 1368 is the oldest still standing in Bacharach. As with many older buildings, you will find its date on the facade near the top of the ground floor. Today the Altes Haus houses a Weinstube.From the town square, if you pass the Altes Haus, you will come to Fritz Bastian's Wine Tasting, on your left. This Weinstube, which also has an outdoor garden, is a fine place to sample the wines of the region. For a set price, you get a sampling of about 15 different white wines from the Rhine Region.Across the street you will find the Münze, or old mint. As with many professions in Germany, the sign tells the story. This one is adorned with the image of an old coin.From here look up the hill to see one of the town's original towers. For an excellent view, hike up to it by continuing past the Münze and making a left on Rosen Strasse. About 100 paces from here you will reach an old well. Behind the well is a tiny stepped path that leads through the vineyard and up to the tower. If the tower is open you can go to the top of the town wall for a wonderful view overlooking the town and six of its remaining nine towers. You can also walk along the top of the town's walls on the sections nearest to the train tracks. While some parts are not very attractive and seem abandoned, you'll get a feel of Medieval Bacharach.