Not far from Völklingen there is Wadgassen which is home of the German Museum for Newspapers - Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum. It really is off the beaten path, and when we were there we were the only visitors.
Hard to understand really, as the museum was very interesting. Apart from old newspapers there were old headlines, and the visitors could guess what they had been about. We quickly realized that old scandals are soon forgotten.
This year there is a special exhibition, about commercials and advertisments and here we really saw how times have changed! Some icons are still the same, the violet cow for chocolate or the bear for coffee cream, but watching old videos of cigarette ads was almost nostalgic. Can you imagine a video in which the baby cries and cries, and nothing the father does helps, he's hitting the roof - and then he smokes a cigarette right next to the baby and everything is fine? Completely impossible today!
The exhibition is in German only and most German will recognize these ads from their childhood. Some very funny ones play with the local dialect, the character Hansi Urpils is actually named "Do you have Urpils " (the local beer) - you just have to say is with a question mark at the end. And Siegrid urpils? Well, she's getting some beer, too.
The address is Am Abteihof 1 in 66787 Wadgassen. The museum is open from10 to 4, Tuesday to Sunday.
The special exhibition unfortunately will close on 4th October, 2009.
This close to France nobody would be surprised to find a chapel dedicated to a French saint. When we came to the Oranna chapel ,however, I found out that it was dedicated to an Irish saint.
Oranna was an Irish woman who had come to the Lorraine in 7th century to heal people. She was accopagnied by her friend Cyrilla. The two women were living in the woods, healing the people in the area and telling them about Christianity. They are said to have helped many weary or injured wanderers.
When they died their bones were considered to be holy and a chapel was built. In the centuries that followed, this chapel was destroyed a few times, the bones were taken away and brought back.
Today the St Oranna Chapel is the destinatation of a pilgrimage, each year on the Monday following the third Sunday in September, pilgrims start walking to it from three different starting points, to form a star-shaped pilgrimage.
The picture shows one of the women helping an injured wanderer. Even today St Oranna and Cyrilla are supposed to be able to help people suffering from head injuries especially.
The chapel is situated a bit further down the road from the Europe monument in Berus.
- Religious Travel
The Schengen Zone and the idea behind it was not easy to create. It took many dedicated people to convince others. Part of the European idea started here in this small area,where the Lorraine on the French side and the Saarland on the German side had a lot of first hand experience of what it meant to be a borderland, switching back and forth between belonging
to one or the other country.
Luxembourg is also very close, in fact the village of Schengen, which gave the whole zone its name, is less than one hour from Völklingen.
To honour some of the people who put the European idea of unity into fact a monument was put up on the hilltop near Berus. It's on the German side, but you can see far into Lorraine.
The memorial symbolizes the border bars, which are now crossed out. Inside there are plates which carry the names of some of the politicians working for this idea.
Picture two shows the blue deer with 2007, the somewhat strange symbol of the European Capital of Culture 2007, which has been Luxembourg and the area around it, parts of the Lorraine and the Saarland.
To get there follow the N33 on the French side into L167 on the German side, then into the village of Berus. There are signs leading to the Europadenkmal in the village.
- Historical Travel