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Some half-timbered houses, especially the most beautiful ones that tell of the owners' wealth, have funny to scary woodcarved faces somewhere on their facade. These are called "envy heads"and are supposed to drive any envious lookers-on away who grudge the owner this pretty house.
The ones in my photos are on Baumann'sches Haus, an extraordinarily elaborate house in the corner Kirchgasse/Altstadtstraße. It has three of them next to each other above two adjacent windows on the side, and a fourth on the corner. The owner obviously eplanned to provoke a lot of envy...
Updated Jul 9, 2011
Decorating the wells for Easter is a custom that is most popular in Franconia but has spread to other areas like Baden. The fountains are decorated with green garlands and painted eggs.
In the old town of Eppingen there are three wells which receive colourful crowns for Easter. One is in Altstadtstraße in the small market square next to the Old University, the second in Brettener Straße, the third is on the corner Kirchgasse/Altstadtstraße opposite Baumann'sches Haus.
This custom is not as old as many people believe. It was created in the early 20th century and has NOTHING to do with pre-Christian, pagan rites. Anyway, these wells are a beautiful sight and can be enjoyed as a festive decoration that values the source of water which is so essential for any living creature. There is probably a relation to the cleaning of the wells in spring.
Updated Jul 1, 2011
Eppingen is a bit outside the area where the Alemannic carnival is indigenous, but the town has adopted it some 40 years ago. Since 1969 the local witch guild has been active. The witches organize a night parade in town but also take part in parades elsewhere. I have for example seen them in Freiburg on Carnival Monday.
Outside carnival season the witches are invisible - all except one. A bronze witch has been put up in Bahnhofstraße, in a corner of the rectangular square in front of the AOK building. The witch is riding her(?) broomstick, ready for takeoff. The funny shaped tap with the toad on top provides, according to the inscription, drinking water. (I didn't try.)
Written May 20, 2011