A couple of Sundays ago, we took a trip (organized by the International Welcome Office) to the town of Detmold, not too far from Bielefeld.  We went to two specific historical sites and then had a tour of the city. The first site we went to was Hermannsdenkmal, a statue commemorating the leader of the Germanic tribes that beat the crap out of the Romans in 9 A.D. There is actually a similar statue in New Ulm, Minnesota, a town settled by German immigrants who apparently could not get enough of Hermann the German. He’s quite a jaunty fellow, and I suspect that he really likes wearing that hat.

We paid 1.50 each to climb to the top of the monument and take in the view of the surrounding land. The shot of the city below is Detmold. As you can see, it was a little windy.

We went back down to the bus and discovered this statue close to the entrance. It’s a small pile of stones, removed from the main monument and from the view of anyone passing through to get to the monument. It is in honor of Otto von Bismark, the “architect of the Second German Empire.”

Then on to the Externsteine. Made of sandstone, really old, used for religious rituals, etc.

After looking at and climbing on rocks, we went into the town of Detmold for a guided city tour.

Black swans in the former palace moat.

City gardens, with a palace in the background.

Below is a slightly creepy sculpture in the middle of Detmold, outside of one of the cultural arts centers. It’s actually called something like “Peace: The Fall of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” and represents the extinction of all leadership that is based in fear and terror. I honestly really like it. I don’t want it in my home or anything, but I find it very moving. From a distance.

Detmold felt like a very artistic place. It has a renowned theater, a music school, and lots of quirky statues around town, including a scale reproduction of Hermann’s foot (the statue version, not the real guy).

After the tour, we had some ridiculously good hot chocolate and walked around to see what was open on a Sunday. Mostly, gelato places. It was by no means warm, but everyone else we saw walking around had gelato. That’s commitment to good food. We’ll see how gelato fares here as we journey on into November.


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