Haus der Diakonie
The most beautifully restored building I saw was the house of the Protestant church. It used to be an old farm and now serves as offices for the advice centre, debt counselling, psychological counselling etc.
Inside the yard there is another old fountain, this one had to be covered as it is very deep. Picture 2
In the old wall around the buildings I saw a small alcove, really small, about like a box. Something looking like an urn or a vase was standing in it, next to an old bone. Very intriguing. Some children playing?, but with a bone? Or really something left from the past? I have no idea. Picture 3
A place where I could have asked was the museum, but it is being renovated and will be closed until the end of the year. Picture 4
The red tower
When you look up to the roof of this tower, you can see why it's called the red tower, red tiles were used for the roof. In 1885 there were plans to tear down this tower, because with growing traffic - even though it was only horse-drawn carriages back then - the gate was getting too arrow. Some members of the city council came up with a better idea: A large hole was hacked into the city wall, wide enough to build a street, and the tower was saved. This was quite a bit of construction work, with the walls being six meters wide.
Needless to say, that the gate today is again rather narrow for modern traffic.
The grey tower
Another old guard tower which was part of the old city wall is called the grey tower, because of its grey looking roof. The gate to climb up to the battlement is here, but it was closed and I couldn't walk up.
The arches near the tower are three meter wide, they provided additional protection in case of an enemy attack. The tower was built in 14th century, mostly by forced labour, either people in prison or farmers, craftsmen who had to work for their landlord.
The old city wall
When built in 14th century, the city wall protected about 90 buildings within its circle of 850 meter. Parts of it have been renovated and can even be walked on. I wasn't able to do that, because the gates leading up to the walk were locked.
There is lion guarding the wall, lions were often used as symbols of strength, so I was not surprised.
Another statue ,however, absolutely took me by surprise, as I would never have imagined him watching an old city wall. Would you? Have a look at picture three.
Update 9th June: I must have watched too many cowboy movies as a child, as I now learned this is not a cowboy, but a student from the 19th century, one of the many who had tried to establish democracy in Germany and were executed for starting a revolution. Quite frankly, he still looks very much like a cowboy to me.
Originally also from medieval times, this tower was rebuilt in 18th century and undertook the task of serving as a prison from the Bergfried tower. On the house right next to it there is a plate saying the executioner was living there.
Doesn't this give the saying " to live above the shop" a completely new meaning?
The guard of the tower was living up there. He was able to see exactly what was going on in the town, as this was the main entrance gate. So he knew who was coming and going, an important position.
The War Memorial
The war memorial again reminded me of French small towns, I can't say why.
Next time I'm in France I will have to look consciously for any similarities, now it's just a feeling.
The memorial is dedicated to the dead of the war 1870/71.
Money, money, money
Preserving old buildings is very interesting, it keeps a sense for history alive, but it also very expensive!
If someone happens to live in a historic building, they need special permits for any kind of construction work, even if it's just another bathroom inside.
I saw a lot of beautifully restored houses in Kibo, but just as many in need of some repair.I suppose it's simply too expensive to get all the work done, especially since also the necessary permits have to be paid for. Have you ever come across a city council who issues permits without asking for a fee?
Water supply was important
Once a city wall was built, the houses inside were protected. But it was essential that there was enough water supply within the walls. This is the reason there are lots of fountains in old towns.
Imagine a town being besieged for weeks, nobody could get in or out. The people needed to have enough water inside the walls.
Kirchheimbolanden has preserved some of them and they can even be used today.
Left from the Middle Ages
Kirchheimbolanden was last damaged in the 30 years war in 17th century, so most buildings from the Middle Ages were destroyed. Parts of the old city wall, however, survived. The old guard tower - Bergfriedturm - from the 11th century is still standing. Its walls are more than three meters thick and it's 20 meter high. Besides being used for defense purposes it also served as a prison until the middle of 18th century.
It has been repaired and renovated over the years, of course. Today there is a very nice garden around it.
Just a few meters from this tower there is another one, the Stadthausturm.
Why a wild boar?
All over Kibo you see pictures of a wild boar. It is part of the town's crest. There is also a large statue of a boar on the main square, the Schlossplatz. So far I haven't been able to find out the reason for the wild boar. Maybe the counts loved hunting the boars in the area?
A walk in the castle garden
I spent some time in the castle garden,walking under the old trees there. Actually this was one of the liveliest places in Kibo , children playing, running towards the playground, old people sitting on the benches talking.
I later found out that there is a monument in the garden for the students who had tried to establish democracy in Germany in 1848. They didn't succeed and were killed. Another point on my list of what to see when I'm in Kibo the next time.
The castle of Kibo
In 1740 the counts of Nassau - Weilburg had a castle built, complete with chapel and castle gardens. Today some buildings still exist, the main part is used as a senior citizen home. The church is supposed to be beautiful inside with an organ Mozart had played on. Unfortunately I wasn't able to visit it, maybe next time.
In front of the castle there is Maypole. I thought it had been put up a little early - I was there in April - but it seems this Maypole is there permanently.