Towngates in Villingen
I was really impressed from the townpart Villingen. They offered many interesting things from the medieval time. A wonderful Townwall! Three of the old Towngates are still OK, and many other things, like a Museum... I loved these Medieval Towncenter!!!
Mon 8.00 and 11.30: Parade of the Cat Musicians
There is no sleeping in on Monday morning. The Cat Musicians and the bands of the Glonki guild will wake the town with loud noise at 6 a.m.
At 8 a.m. the Katzenmusik marches into town. The parade includes their leader the Tom Cat, Kater Miau , the general field marshal, the cat couple, Prince Carnival, little tomcat and little general, wagons, bands and several other groups.
Shouting "Meow" will earn you some sweets!
The Cat Musicians do another parade in the late morning, which is joined by several other groups, before they assemble in the square outside the Riettor at noon for their muster.
In The Streets Between The Parades
Before and after the parades a lot of jesters will walk the streets of the town - excellent opportunities for photographers. Stroll around and observe. You'll catch some nice little scenes, and most probably some of the Narros will volunteer to pose for your camera.
Here's a travelogue with more snapshots taken in the streets of Villingen.
Fastnacht in Villingen
The Narrozunft (carnival guild) in Villingen dates its foundation to the year 1584. This makes Villingen one of the traditional centres of the alemannic Fastnacht or, in regional dialect, "Fasnet". I'll be using both terms as synonymes.
The focus of this travel page is directed to the Villinger Fasnet, which is a not-to-be-missed occasion to visit this pretty old town and enjoy a very special experience - and, it seems, so far unknown to VT world.
The page is part of a much larger project about the Alemannic Fastnacht which includes a general overview on my Land Baden-Württemberg page and individual pages about towns and villages and their Fastnacht specialities. This one is the first to be completed.
Fasnet tips what to see when and where are to be found in the Local customs section.
As I mentioned on my homepage, I'm a photography addict. See my Best of Villinger Fastnacht collection on the (so far) seven travelogue pages. The travelogues also provide more background information as supplement to the tips.
The community of Villingen-Schwenningen actually consists of two separate towns. In the 1970s the administration reform forced two towns with very different history - catholic Austrian Villingen and protestant Württembergish Schwenningen - to unite. Both sides weren't too happy about it...
"The old town of Villingen"
The old town of Villingen still shows the medieval ground plan with two wide market streets crossing. The town wall and three of the four gate towers are well preserved. The side streets show the typical South German stone houses.
The Münster church, the town's parish, consists of a Romanesque structure with Gothic additions. The church, hardly visible from the main streets, is situated in a quiet square.
Historical Parade Of The Narrozunft
The first big parade of the historical Narrozunft begins on Monday morning, 9 a.m. and leads through Niedere Straße and Rietstraße. This is the best occasion to see the traditional costumes and masks with Narro and Stachi, Morbili and Altvillingerin, Butzesel groups and Wuescht.
At the beginning of the parade you'll see the young members of the guild, usually with one of their parents. No matter how little they are, they will wear the full Häs , though without masks. Because of the costs the little Stachis do not yet have the hand-painted trousers, theirs are made of a blue and white printed fabric. Historical prams are used to transport the babies - even they are already dressed up.
Vigilantes on horseback
Vigilantes on foot. In former times these groups of citizens had an important military task in defending their town, nowadays they are all about tradition and pretty uniforms.
The Narrenvater , the chairman of the guild, is the only Narro on horseback. He carries the guild's flag and leads the parade of the Narrozunft members.
Horse-drawn carriages provide a comfortable opportunity for elderly and handicapped members to take part in the parade without having to walk and shlep those heavy bells.
Morbili with a big basket full of sweets on a carriage.
Note the seat belt - this is Germany!
Thousands of guild members parade the street on Monday morning.