Queckbronn Travel Guide

  • Queckbronn
    by Nemorino
  • Sign at the entrance to the ex-village
    Sign at the entrance to the ex-village
    by Nemorino
  • Map of the Planetary Trail (click to enlarge)
    Map of the Planetary Trail (click to...
    by Nemorino

Queckbronn Things to Do

  • Mercury -- very hot or very cold

    From the sun to Mercury, the first planet, you have to walk (or cycle, as I did) 58 meters, representing 58 million kilometers at a scale of 1:1,000,000,000.At this scale Mercury is only about the size of a small pea. On the photo you can see it on the left, as a small bump on the upright rod that represents its axis.The text panel (in German only,...

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  • Saturn at the Observatory

    Up near the top of the Karlsberg (Charlie's Hill) is the Weikersheim Observatory, which is run by over a hundred amateur astronomers who are members of the Weikersheim Astronomical Society.At least once a month (weather permitting) the society conducts observation evenings which are open to the public free of charge.Since 2007 the observatory has...

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  • The Sun -- a star among many

    The Weikersheim Planetary Trail begins on the Tauber Valley Cycling Route at the northern edge of the city of Weikersheim. A yellow sphere, about one and a half meters in diameter, represents the sun at a scale of 1:1,000,000,000.From there you start walking or cycling slightly uphill towards the Karlsberg (Charlie's Hill) and Queckbronn. The...

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  • Venus -- a greenhouse (but it isn't...

    Venus is similar to the Earth in some ways -- mass, diameter and orbital duration -- but with an atmosphere consisting of 96 % carbon dioxide Venus is a terrifying example of what can happen to a planet with a runaway greenhouse effect. Huge clouds of sulfuric acid surround the planet, sending down acid rain which evaporates before it hits the hot...

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  • Earth -- Planet of Life

    You have to walk or cycle another 42 meters to get from Venus to the Earth, the "largest and most massive stony planet, and the only one with detectable life on it."The text panel points out that the Earth is probably also the most geologically active planet in the Solar System, with continental plates moving around and constantly forming new...

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  • Mars, the red desert planet

    The distance from the Earth to Mars, the next planet, is 78 meters on the Planetary Trail, corresponding to 78 million kilometers in the real Solar System.From the model you can see that Mars is represented by a small red ball, about the size of a marble, even smaller than the blue ball back at Earth.Like Earth, Mars has a tilted axis of rotation,...

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  • The Asteroid Belt

    There isn't any model at the Asteroid Belt, but there is a text panel which explains that between Mars and Jupiter there are numerous small and larger rocky boulders circling the sun.The largest of these, Ceres, was the first to be discovered (in 1801) and was first thought to be a star but was soon afterwards identified as an object orbiting the...

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  • Weikersheim from the Asteroid Belt

    Looking out across the corn fields from the Asteroid Belt you can see Weikersheim, a small city with 7,512 inhabitants.In the center of the second photo you can see Weikersheim Castle, where open-air opera performances are held every second summer, in the odd numbered years.Photos:1. Looking back at Weikersheim from the Asteroid Belt2. Weikersheim...

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  • Jupiter -- the giant in the Solar System

    Jupiter in the model is about the size of a baseball, which doesn't seem terribly gigantic unless you recall the tiny spheres that represented Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars further down the hill.The text panel points out that Jupiter, the largest and most massive planet in our solar system, consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. It has a strong...

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  • Nature Park Karlsberg

    At the top of the Karlsberg, between Saturn and Uranus so to speak, is a walled-in forest area called the Nature and Free Time Park Karlsberg.This park is home to what the Germans somewhat poetically call "Hochwild", meaning tall wild animals, known more prosaically to us English speaking people as deer.Since I was there at high noon on a warm...

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  • Uranus -- reclining round the sun

    As you can see from the model, the rotational axis of Uranus is so tilted that it is nearly horizontal (97.9 degrees of tilt), so the planet is practically lying down as it orbits the sun.The stone wall behind the Uranus model is the wall that surrounds the Nature Park Karlsberg (previous tip).In the outer reaches of the solar system, the planets...

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  • The ex-village of Queckbronn

    Local historians estimate that Queckbronn is around a thousand years old, though the first mention of the village in a written document was not until the year 1261.Like Weikersheim (but unlike nearby Tauberrettersheim, for example) Queckbronn is a predominantly Protestant village, and has been ever since Duke Wolfgang I of Hohenlohe–Weikersheim...

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  • Wind power at Queckbronn

    Between Uranus and Neptune there are several recently-installed windmills for generating electricity.Germany was the world's leading user of wind power for a number of years, before being overtaken by the United States in 2008 -- though the Germans are fond of pointing out that a lot of the new windmills in the United States were in fact installed...

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  • Neptune -- the outermost planet

    From the text panel we learn that the existence of the planet Neptune was predicted by two astronomers in 1845 and was actually sighted through a telescope in Berlin in 1846.The prediction was based on irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, which suggested that there must be another large planet out there somewhere.In the model Neptune is...

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  • Fountain in Queckbronn

    Except for being the site of Neptune on the Planetary Trail, Queckbronn looks very much like any other German village, with a nice fountain, flowers and well-tended farm houses.My impression is that Queckbronn is not as affluent as some of the other villages in the vicinity, like Tauberrettersheim or Schäftersheim, but it is nonetheless a pleasant...

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Queckbronn Travel Guide
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