Monday, September 30, 2013

Old postcard: 1368's Altes Haus in Bacharach, Germany

The peaceful-looking setting in this vintage illustrated postcard features the streets of Bacharach, Germany. The town, which now has a population of fewer than 2,000 but a robust tourism business, sits in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in western Germany.

The German caption on the back of the card states:
"Das alte Haus in Bacharach ist eines der schönsten Kleinode altdeut-cher Baukunst am Rhein. Welch hohe architektonische Bedeutung dem aus dem Jahre 1368 stammenden Hause zukommt, beweist der Umstand, daß es im Jahre 1897 auf Staats und Provinzkosten ausgebessert wurde."

Roughly, that translates to:
"The Old House in Bacharach is one of the most beautiful early German architectural gems on the Rhine. Its high architectural significance, dating from the 1368, was proven by the fact that it was repaired in 1897 with state and provincial funds."

The Altes Haus (“Old House”), a medieval timber-frame structure, remains one of the top tourist draws in tiny Bacharach.1

It is with mixed feelings that I report that the building is now a restaurant.

Here's a 2003 Flickr photograph taken by by Roger Wollstadt...

The good news, anyway, is that the restaurant garners very good reviews on TripAdvisor2 and is ranked as the #1 attraction in Bacharach.

As a final note, the producer of this postcard is listed on the back as "Astudia-Karten vom Rhein. Verlag von Hoursch & Bechstedt-Köln."

1. Other attractions in Bacharach include:
  • The Wernerkapelle Ruins, which are detailed nicely on the Carrotspeak blog
  • On old town wall that still circles parts of the city
  • The well-preserved (compared to elsewhere in Germany) town wall towers, which according to Wikipedia, are: Diebesturm (“Thief’s Tower,” remnants), Zehnt-turm (“Tithe Tower”), Spitzenturm (“Pointed Tower,” remnants), Postenturm (“Post Tower”), Holztor (“Wooden Gate,” also called Steeger Tor), Liebesturm (“Love Tower”), Halbturm (“Half Tower,” remnants), Kühlbergturm (“Kühlberg Tower,” remnants), Sonnenturm (“Sun Tower,” remnants), Hutturm (“Hat Tower”), Kranentor, Markttor (“Market Gate”), Münztor (“Mint Gate”), and Winandturm (“Winand’s Tower”)
  • Stahleck Castle, which sits above the town
2. One reviewer highly recommends the riesling soup. They also offer a cheese-and-bread plate that I know my wife would love.

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