Kelheim - a world harbour in Bavaria behind the "devil's wall"

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all town descriptions in German

Bavaria's treasure box of fairy tales and legends

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another good travel guide from Bavaria from my friend Helmut in Canada

Hi, it's me again, George from Bavaria, and today I will show you that our lovely Bavaria has some more things than mountains and so. Although Bavaria is in the middle of Europe our country still have some harbours to the world, one of them is the town Kelheim behind the "devil's wall". What's about that I will tell you a little bit later on. First the usual where, what and more.

Kelheim is located on the cross point of two rivers in Bavaria, the river Altmühl and Donau. After the finishing of the connection by canal from the river Main to the river Donau Kelheim is now one harbour town on one main important European water road and ships with freight from everywhere of the world bring now prosperity to the town. The last figures said something about 1 million tons of freight were turned over there.

Most of you will visit Bavaria by bus, train or car. All possibilities will lead you to Kelheim without airplanes. If you use that, the nearest airport is Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss. From there you can use my airportshuttle service and we will reach in nearly one hour or on the shortest way after about 95 km / 62 mls Kelheim. We will use the highway A 9 direction Nuernberg till the crosspoint Holledau, then the motorway A 93 direction Regensburg.

If you personal come from airport Frankfurt by car, use the highway A 9 Nuernberg - Munich till exit Beilngries, then drive on the federal road through the nice valley of the river Altmühl to Kelheim. It's a marvellous sightseeing road too.

It doesn't matter from direction you will come in this area, the first sign of reaching Kelheim very soon is a big monument on top of a hill. If you see a white round hall from marble there you will find that nice town. This hall was built in 1842 - 1863 by King Ludwig I. from Bavaria in memoriam to the big wars to free Europe from Napoleon. You can visit the building and from its location you will have a wonderful view in the landscape of this region. Looking down, there is Kelheim placed cutted by the Main-Donau canal in two pieces.

This canal was a great luck for the town. Once rich, after the Middle Ages getting poor more and more, several times damaged by war or the overflooting rivers, the future was not the best. Then the canal building was coming. It had to go there and so the town mayor must look for the best solutions. The involved engineers solved with love to the land, excellent brain and technics a lot of problems in Kelheim.

You can see, how marvellous the new bridges are built, green flats are included for some reasons and beside of all technical solutions against the overflootings the nice old town center from the Middle Ages gets bigger quality now for citizens and visitors than all the years before.

Kelheim now has the charme of a very old nice little town including a good future through the important harbour. Keeping an eye to human and nature the town as a middle center in the region give work to lot of people, still it is a place for peaceful vacation and relaxing. You like mountains, but not so extremely. You will have it there with easy and some difficult walking ways. You are a biker in the off-duty times? Five far-away bike roads are meeting there in Kelheim, let me name only one - the five-rivers-bikeway between Nuernberg and Regensburg. There are much ways to relaxe.

Biking, walking, go swim or fish, rent boats to pull, play tennis or squash, paragliding in the near and so on. The town itself has big sightseeing boats on the river and within some hours you can see a lot of this part from Bavaria. A very nice visiting point is the oldest monastery in Bavaria, the Kloster Weltenburg, half an hour from Kelheim.

There you can first have marvellous views in the time of Barock, famous artists like Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam leave there wonderful documents of cultury. And they sell a very good but strong beer in that monastery beergarden too, you must try it.

Each step you will do in the district of Kelheim is touching history like nearly everwhere in Bavaria. The name of that town came from the old Celtics. Where now the monument hall is placed there was once a big castle of the Celtics. And just in front of that, on the other side from the river, there ran the "devil's wall". This is another name for the great border wall of the old Romans, named by them under "Limes" and protecting the Roman Empire against the "old Germans". This wall was nearly from the Alps to the northern see, every few miles a castle or army base. Centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire and today, the old wall is a flat row in the country, simple people in the Middle Ages named it "devil's wall" because they didn't know the old history. Maybe the Romans said in earlier times the same because the "german devils" were always attacking them? If you are interesting in these things, take a look to Rosenheim, there the State of Bavaria has this year a big exhibition about the Deserts.

Discovering a landscape includes also the feeling of there living people. Some of you will know what's following - the "tale part" in my travelguide. I was very lucky to found an old legend which shows you the mind of people in the Altmühl area - brave and with good hearts - just in our times. This tell us the story of the

Furt-Frauleins (the girls from the furt)

In the near of the small village Altdorf there lived once a brave mill man with his family. He was a good man but the luck was not with him. All he tried brought no success, disasters over disasters were guests in his home although he believed in the Lord and tried his best.

A few steps away from his mill there was a cave, very small and people like you and me can only slipping on the brest to look into. In the very old times this was the home of the Furt-Frauleins, tiny little ghosts with love for the human and very helpfully. And our mill man was the last and best example of their doing.

The times had given such hard punishments to the poor mill man that he loose nearly everything. No money more for repairing the old stuff, not even an idea how to feed in the next days his family, it was a pity. Only one bag of corn was to handle, one heartful neighbour brought him to earn a little bit. The evening before the man was praying to the Lord, then went to bed to be fresh in the morning for the really last work.

But as he sleep with all the sorrows in his heart, the tiny ghost came to his mill and grinded the corn. The result in the morning was a big surprise.

So white and so much coming out the mill man never had seen before although he always tried his best. His customer was also very happy, told that everybody and so a run to this mill started. But curiously, in the evening so much bags were stored, that the mill man nearly don't know how to store and handle, next morning all bags were grinded. That's not all, even in the household the good ghosts helped. The mill man's wife prepared the wash in the evening, next morning every thing was washed and hanged to dry.

So the need in that mill had an end, money came in and people look at him as an honourable man. One day, it was short to chrismas, the miller told his wife, he finally want to know who's the helping hand in his house. So he slipped at night in a dark corner in his mill and just after the last midnight beat he saw three small little girls coming in his mill, working for ten and before morning came every work was finished.

Next morning the miller told his wife what he has seen and said: "we must be thankful to that nice girls. Now it is very cold and they all three have only a shirt and no shoes. They must freeze. So as a thank we will give them warm cloth and shoes, ok?" His wife agreed, made three warm and nice dresses by sewing herself and her husband let made the village shoemaker three pairs of warm shoes. As they had everything ready, both of them, the miller and his wife, put the gifts on the stored corn bags and hided in the dark corner to see how the tiny ones will react.

Just ringing midnight, the three little elfs jumped in the mill to do the usual work. But seeing the gift, they enjoyed like little childs. After dressing with the warm stuff they found, they dance and jump and then they leave at home. So the miller had to work now by himself because since that time nobody has seen them no more. But the luck, they had brought to the mill, never leaved that house - people told.

Who know, maybe the three tiny elfs had the fingers in the game as in our times the planning of the Main-Donau canal started. The luck came back to the hospitality town of Kelheim, you will feel if you make a visit or vacation there. More and actual informations you can get from the homepage of Kelheim or you send a mail to their touristic office.

If you want meet or see the editor of this side, on "introduction" you will find my picture, for meeting I will wait after your order with my business class car for you on the munich airport to pick you up. Nice vacation in our lovely country, your George.

Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments please mail to me.

>> German version

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