A self-confident Soest from 1444 to 1449 liberated itself from the Bishop of Cologne, who controlled Westphalia (the so-called Soester Fehde). Being no longer capital of Westphalia, the city aligned itself with the Duke of Cleves. This was a Pyrrhic victory, however; the city had shown itself strong enough to defy the powerful Archbishop of Cologne, but lost much of its trade: the "liberated" town was two-thirds surrounded by territories with other allegiances. When the last Duke of Cleves died in 1609 that dukedom was inherited by Brandenburg and after a short siege Soest was incorporated into it.
Saint Patroclus of Troyes was a Christian martyr who died around 259 AD. A wealthy native of Troyes, he was noted for his charity. Highly venerated after the discovery of his Acts, Patroclus is said to have been arrested during the persecutions of the Emperor Aurelian. He is said to have converted Sabinian of Troyes. His persecutors attempted to drown him in the River Seine, but Patroclus managed to briefly escape. However, he was recaptured and beheaded at Troyes. In 960, Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne translated Patroclus' relics from Troyes and buried them in 964 in the cathedral in Soest, Germany dedicated to the Saint, where he is still today venerated. In art, he is depicted as a warrior pointing to a fish with a pearl in its mouth. He is invoked against demons and fever. His feast day is January 21.
On the Mohne dam we spotted some padlocks attached to the wire fence and wondered what they were all about. When we took a closer look at them they had what seemed to be names and dates of wedding couples.
On further investigation on the web on our return I found out that they were Love padlocks or Love Locks. They are normally attached to bridges and can be found all over Europe.
After visiting the Mohne Dam we payed our respects at the memorial, in Gunne, to the villagers who died, after the dam was breached by the Dambusters Raid. It is know on the plaque on the wall as Mohneseekatastrophe 17.5.43.
A visit to the Mohne Dam was the main point of our trip to Soest and the Mohnesee.
I wanted to see the scale of the Mohne dam was and get some idea of the task that was given to the Dambusters in Operation Chastise.
Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the Dambusters, using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis.
The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe dam sustained only minor damage.
Construction of the Mohne dam started in 1909 and was completed in 1913 after four years.
The dam is just south of Soest and 25 miles east of Dortmund. It was once the largest dam in Europe.
It stands at almost 120 feet high, 850 yards long and more than 100 feet thick at the base. It was built from blocks of granite masonry. It held back approximately 140 million tons of water.
In November we got the fifth season: parish fair. it is the biggest town parish fair in Europe. Over a million people come enjoy different roundabouts and lots and lots food specialties. Usually you need 5 minutes to go from A to B. in fairtime you need more then half an hour!