Berlin – architecture across the gamut

Wanting to discover and learn more about World Heritage Sites in Western and Central Europe within the context of urbanisation, architecture, society and culture we thought Berlin, with its rich history and multicultural atmosphere, a great place to begin our trip around Europe. While manoeuvring most of the city by foot and public transport, we got a first hand impression of Berlin’s broad spectrum of architectural styles which indirectly speaks to the city’s turbulent history.

The mixture of neoclassical facades, Parisian building models, modern housing projects, grandiose structures and monumental edifices like the Berliner Fernsehturm speaks to Berlin’s many phases – from First, to Second World War and the division posed during the Cold War – and show how the denizens responded to periods of both adversity and prosperity.

In light of Iga’s research, we organised a meeting with Dr.Anke Zalivako from Ladesdenkmalamt Berlin, who is responsible for the protection and preservation of major World Heritage SItes in Berlin such as: Museum Island, Palaces and Parks in Potsdam and Berlin and Six Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. The meeting was very insightful and Dr. Anke told us a lot 

about the particular challenges that come with preserving World Heritage Sites. Perhaps especially interesting was it to learn more about the modern housing project and the difficulties that emerge in preserving something that is still in use by the public.

After the meeting with Dr. Zalivako, we begun to see the city in a different perspective as we now knew more about its architectural past and the changes particular neighbourhoods went through.

In curious pursuit of the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates we decided to see the Britz Residential Estate, which includes the Famous Horseshoe Estate. Although perhaps nothing special to a modern, its accolade as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is more than understandable. At the time of its inception in the 1920s, the Hufeisensiedlung was a highly innovative housing structure, meant to improve living conditions of lower income families by offering affordable, airy, sun-lit residencies,

with individual kitchens, bathrooms and access to green spaces. The modern housing projects was also a shrewd move in tackling the housing shortage Berlin then suffered.

The idea of modern housing might have been too innovative to be fully appreciated in the 1920s. However adding Modern Estate Building of Berlin to World Heritage SItes list was an important decision as it is clear to see how much of an impact this way of making buildings has since had.

Discovering Goslar

And so we’ve arrived at the final destination of this journey – Goslar. Once again, when friends asked me where I am going and I told them about my choice of destinations, they were all surprised why would I go to these unknown places. And indeed, Goslar wasn’t full of tourists. But it was full of beautiful architecture and lovely views.

View over Goslar

I only had one day to experience Goslar, but if I were to go again, I would have planned two. Unlike the previously visited cities, it’s not just Goslar’s Old Town that’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list, but also the Mines of Rammelsberg. The reason I’d recommend two days for visiting is so that you have enough time to see and enjoy both parts of the world heritage. Sadly, I only managed to explore the Old Town – but it was still worth it!

The Old Town of Goslar was named a UNESCO World Heritage thanks to its 1,500 extremely well-preserved half-timbered houses, dating back to different eras in time. The town is famous for gaining its wealth from mining and at one point it became the seat of the German Emperor. The historical old-town vibes can be experienced at every corner of Goslar’s narrow and cobbled streets.

Main Square

Finding your way around the streets and figuring out what to see in which order can be tricky, so my biggest recommendation would be to grab yourself a map with pre-described routes from the Tourist Information Centre (it costs 1.50 euros). This map was my best friends for the whole time I was in Goslar, and it helped me see all the important and historical sights in a timely matter.

Old Town

As sad as it is, we have come to the end of my journey and it is time to go back to where it all began – Vienna.

Legend of Bordeaux

“La terrible legende du dragon de la rue de la Vieille Tour”

as told to me by a local:

Once there was a dragon who would bring illness to the people and let the fields full of crops burn, so that the citizens would have nothing to eat anymore. He lived up high in a tower in Bordeaux and would only stop terrorizing the locals if he would get young virgins as a sacrifice every Sunday. So the city would offer him poor girls from the streets to keep him satisfied.

But one day a girl from a richer family offered to go. She took a lot of wine and fresh food with her. Because she had a plan to talk to the dragon and hopefully find out his weakness to free the city from this terror.  Luckily when she went in to the tower the dragon did not eat her immediately. The girl was intelligent and had a lot of wit, the dragon enjoyed talking to her.  And he also enjoyed the food and especially lots of the wine. As the night went on the dragon told her his secret: only the holy staff of a saint could kill him. The girl quick wrote this down and threw little pieces of paper out of the window when the dragon wasn’t looking. Of course the people found the clues and searched everywhere for the staff but the weapon was nowhere to be found in Bordeaux. Actually a town near Bordeaux called Limoges had the staff but when the people of Bordeaux asked for it, they wouldn’t give it to them. They were afraid that they would never get it back. But the Bordeaux people begged and even agreed to send sons of the rich families as hostage to Limoges as insurance.  

The staff was traded and when the bishop hurried to the tower and touched the wall, the frightened dragon burst out in a stunning noise and jumped into the Garonne where he went up in flames and smoke. Nicolette was saved and all the people of Bordeaux gave her a wonderful celebration. She was proposed to by a rich and beautiful lord of the region. But the staff was never given back, because they just washed and dressed up some poor men of the streets that they did’t want them back.

I loved the story and the way the french lady told it to me but of course i had to research a bit more. So here are some additional info about the legend:

The name of the girl allegedly was Nicolette. She was very pretty, very intelligent and a ploughman’s daughter. The dragon told her he could only be forced to leave the tower by presenting him with the miraculous stick of Saint Martial, a pastoral staff endowed with miraculous powers, which Pope Saint Peter had given to Martial a long time ago before sending him to convert Aquitaine to Christianity. The staff had been in the Limoges Cathedral for years. Twelve jurats from Bordeaux were sent to Limoges to negotiate the loan of the famous staff, six were held hostage to guarantee the loan and the staff of Saint Martial finally arrived in Bordeaux. The sad end of the story tells us that the people of Bordeaux, having learned of the other magical powers of the St Martial’s staff, in particular its ability to bring rain, decided to keep it in the Basilica of St Seurin. As for the hostages, in other sources i read that they were not jurats but in fact poor heirs paid for this mission. Because of the Bordeaux refusal to return the staff of St Martial, they were buried up to their necks and massacred in a square in Limoges.

The legend about a dragon in Bordeaux originates from a time, in that the city of Bordeaux belonged to the English.  In the famous tower there was a cannon, used to announce the curfew or to sound the alarm in time of war. At the top of the tower, floated the english standard decorated with leopards that the Bordeaux people called “dragons”. Extraordinary things were reported very quickly about the tower and the children who were shouting were threatened to be handed over to the dragon. Even though in the legend the dragon dies, scary stories of a dragon in the tower continued to be told to the children so that they would remain well-behaved.

The dragon’s tower allegedly still stands today, but now it’s part of Hôtel Tour Intendance so you can’t visit it anymore, a tour guide told me.

Discovering Quedlinburg

My second-to-last stop on this trip of discovering hidden UNESCO gems is Quedlinburg – a beautiful little town in Germany, full of typical half-timbered houses and medieval streets. I chose Quedlinburg as part of my itinerary for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had never heard of this place before, and neither had any of my friends. So my curiosity to discover the undiscovered arose. And secondly, the city looked absolutely stunning when I looked it up.. And it was even better in person, if I have to be honest.

Main Square

Quedlinburg’s Old Town has been put on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994 and this year the city celebrates a few occasions, one of which is 25 years since becoming a world heritage. Quedlinburg also marks 1100 years since the return of King Henry I’s reign to become the first German king, as well as 30 years since the peaceful revolution.

The streets of the Old Town

I had two days in this little paradise and it was more than enough to see everything Quedlinburg has to offer. Since I had never seen the typical German half-timbered houses before, I honestly thought I was walking in a fairytale. My eyes just couldn’t believe how beautiful this city actually was.

Amongst the main tourist attractions in Quedlinburg are the Schlossmuseum and Stiftskirche, Münzenberg, the main square with the city hall, and, of course, the cobbled streets of the Old Town.

View of the castle

An interesting fact is that the government doesn’t usually finance the renovation of the old houses, but instead encourages citizens to buy them and renovate the facades themselves. Even though most of the old town has now been renovated, there are still a few houses here and there that do not look as new as the rest – this means they are still waiting to find their new owner.

Quedlinburg is a lovely getaway for a day trip for everybody, interested in history and heritage. And an absolute must-see if you’re in the region of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany.

 

Discovering Luxembourg

After three days spent in beautiful Regensburg, it was time to head west. After a long overnight bus journey, I found myself in one of the smallest countries in Europe – Luxembourg. Yet again, I was greeted with rainy weather. Are we surprised? – Definitely not! Thankfully, I had three days there as well, so the weather eventually turned out to be perfect.

The very first thing on my agenda for Luxembourg was to meet up with the lovely Claudine who works for OWHC and agreed to greet me and show me Luxembourg City through the eyes of a local. We went on a tour around town and I got to see all the major attractions in one go – this is how small the capital actually is! I made a long list of all the places I wanted to go back to and explore even further, but a quick tour was exactly what I needed in the very beginning, just to get a feel of the place.

The Streets of Luxembourg

Fun fact – Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the world. In the city centre you can see the Grand Ducal Palace, and only during the summer months you can visit it. Luxembourg is also where many European institutions are seated. They even have a whole area dedicated to European Union buildings.

The fortress and the old city centre of Luxembourg have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994. Because of its strategic position, Luxembourg had one of Europe’s greatest fortifications between the 16th and 19th century. Despite its compactness, the Old Town offers plenty of sites to visit, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, The Bock and the City casemates, the Lower part of the city (Grund) and much more.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Luxembourg’s population is just about 600 000 people. Did you know that most of the inhabitants are foreigners, mostly Portuguese? The country has an incredibly high standard of living, which makes it the perfect place to settle. On top of that, most locals speak at least 4 languages fluently – Luxembourgish, French, German and English, which makes Luxembourg one of the easiest countries to get around.

One last important thing you shouldn’t miss when visiting Luxembourg – checking out the view from the Chemin de la Corniche, also called “the most beautiful balcony of Europe”. It is definitely not surprising with a view like this.

View from the Corniche

the one with the moon

Bordeaux – the Port of the Moon always has been and will be a melting pot of cultures and ideas. A local told me that the only people not welcome in Bordeaux are those who want to keep people out. And that’s exactly the feeling i got from my stay in the city.  Bordeaux has a proud number of 347 listed UNESCO buildings. Wandering through the city, i noticed a lot of them: the Basilique Saint-Michel, Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grosse Cloche and other belfries and city gates. Colorful wooden shop facades and many beautiful green areas. For over a decade the city is working on transforming itself into a much greener place. Every year the city f.e. plants at least 1000 trees, from this year on, the new major, doubled the goal.

Tourism increased immensely since Bordeaux became World Heritage in 2007. The city tries to minimize the impact of tourism f.e. by allowing only 50 cruise ships a year into the port. And there are other World Heritage sites only an one or two hour train ride away. This helps to stretch out the the big tourists numbers in summer. The city is perfectly situated for day trips f.e. to St. Émilion with it’s amazing monolithic church carved out of a limestone cliff. Bordeaux and St. Émilion are both very famous for wine, which is an intangible World Heritage as part of French cuisine since 2010.  But more importantly on it’s own as the ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method. In Bordeaux i visited the new wine museum Cité du Vin and studied up on some wine facts.

In front of the World Heritage Center of Bordeaux at the Place de la Bourse is a unusual sight: The Miroir d’eau was built by the city as a meeting place. For rich, poor, locals, travelers, adults, children … In the summer is also perfect for dogs to cool down. The mirror is even more spectacular in the summer months when the water transforms into a field of fog every 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

While staying in Bordeaux i got the chance to meet with Leila, a architect from the city. We talked a lot about the measures that are in place to keep the city as beautiful as it is. The world heritage of Bordeaux includes many 18th houses and shops, which are in use every day. That’s why the regulations for the old town are very strict: f.e. the doors should always be painted in classic

 

 

 

 

 

 

colors. A deep blue, red or green is fine, but no pastels. Leila also goes from house to house documenting every building . This work is time consuming but she says she loves it, because she gets to go out of the office . She also often gets approached by people who are interested in her work and wanna discuss or make her aware of a problem in the area.

 

Discovering Regensburg

The third city on my list happened to also be the place where The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) Regional Secretariat for Northwest Europe and North America is seated – Regensburg. This place cannot be described with anything less than immensely rich history, medieval remains and large heritage. Regensburg was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006 because of three major criteria.

The beautiful Old Town of Regensburg

First of all, the architecture of the Old Town in Regensburg represents and proves the city’s important role as a trading centre in medieval times. Thank to the Danube river, which runs through the city, Regensburg was a transition point for traders between Italy, Bohemia, Russia and Byzantium. The look of the city has also been largely influenced by different cultures and architecture styles throughout the years.

Secondly, Regensburg was part of the Roman Empire, and roman remains are still to be seen around the city. People can also see the remains of two Palatine palaces from the 9th century, as well as numerous other historic buildings, which showcase the importance and wealth of this are and its community.

Porta Praetoria

Thirdly, the centre of Regensburg was lucky enough to survive the period of the Second World War, and thus preserve its authenticity and medieval vibes. The UNESCO listed part of Regensburg – The Old Town with Stadtamhof, exemplifies what a medieval central-European trading town used to look like.

Stadtamhof

Now a bit about my adventure in Regensburg..

Despite the rain being my company throughout almost my whole journey until now, Regensburg still greeted me in an extremely warm and welcoming manner.

At this point of the journey, realising I still have a long time ahead to spend roaming around Europe completely by myself, gave me a certain level of anxiety. Luckily, I got to meet up with one of the other scholarship winners – Klara, who currently lives in Regensburg. Experiencing the city through the eyes of a local, as well as the night life, was exactly what I needed at this point. Did you know that Regensburg is home to over 500 bars in the city centre alone, which makes it the largest concentration of drinking establishments in all of Germany!?

The next day was spent learning a lot about Regensburg’s history and heritage from the lovely Monika – the organisator of this whole amazing project. Thanks to the fact that she is also a tour guide, Monika was able to tell me so much about her city.

Old Town

Visiting the UNESCO Information centre is an absolute must for everyone who wants to learn more about Regensburg’s history and importance. The centre consists of many interactive displays and ways of learning, suitable even for children. In the same building you can find the stairs, leading up to the top of the clock tower and revealing a fascinating view over the Old Town and the Stone Bridge.

View from the Clock Tower over the Stone Bridge

One of the highlights of my visit in Regensburg was a boat tour along the Danube river. And when I say boat, it is more like a decently sized ship. There were three major reasons why this boat ride turned into an exceptional experience. On one hand, you get to see the city from a different perspective. Observing the beautiful Old Town and Stadtamhof from the water should be on your list of things to do in Regensburg. On the other hand, during the 1-hour trip (one way) I got to make friends and talk with some locals and tourists about why we all chose to visit Regensburg and what other places around the country are worth visiting. And thirdly, the boat took me to one of the biggest attractions of Regensburg – Walhalla – a hall of fame, that honours distinguished people in German history. Walhalla may look impressive in photos, but once you see it in person, you get a completely different feeling for how large and spectacular it is.

Walhalla

I spent 3 days in total in Regensburg and this time was perfect to see pretty much everything and also be able to feel and enjoy the vibes of the city.

the one that wasn’t planned + Legend

Leaving Budapest right when the Hungarians started to celebrate their national holiday, i was dreaming of Zagreb. Sadly i had to cancel my stay there, to visit my sister, who was vacationing on the Garda Lake near Verona. She had a old extra mobile phone with her for me.

Largo di Garda is a vacation destination beloved by Germans. It’s perfect for a holiday with children. You don’t have to drive to long and some of the locals that work in the tourism sector can even speak German. I just spend half a day there, but i had the feeling that, while it was not too over crowded, the town existed still because of tourism. The structure of the city is hidden behind all the touristy shops and restaurants. Still beautiful but for me not real.

In Verona I stayed near the train station. So every day I wandered along the old city walls into the old quarters. The Scaliger, one of the important families of Verona, rebuilt those walls to expand the city beyond it’s original roman quarters. The city dates back to the first century b.c. Situated on the river Adige and in the center of North Italy, the city was perfect for a roman colony. Amazingly two city gates, the Arena, the Theatre and the Ponte Pietra bridge still standing from those times.

Verona is a World Heritage City since 2000. There are so many antiquity, medieval and renaissance style houses and churches, i can’t even count. This and the preserved military stronghold distinguish the city as a World Heritage site. Many backpackers i meet adored the city but also said that there is not much to do. In my opinion Verona is wonderful to look at and when you leave the crowded shopping streets behind. In the evenings i always found myself coming back to Piazza Corrubbio near the Basilica di San Zeno with her impressive bell tower. At this Piazza children are playing way into the night, family and friends are meeting after a long day. You will find ice cream and some benches with good lighting so you can read a book.

Last tip: Don`t get distracted by the many tours/ reenactments surrounding Romeo and Juliet. Talking about Romeo and Juliet:

Verona is in general known as the setting for the shakespearean drama. The balcony of Juliet is a tourist magnet. I asked a lot of locals if they knew any legends about the city. Nobody could tell me one. Online i didn’t find specific ones either, so i looked in to the Romeo and Juliet Story, everybody seems to be crazy about. The story about the tragic lovers was no original by Shakespeare. Back than it was “chic” to copy themes from Italian stories. Tales exist because of reason, for example to warn young children to stay in at night. Legends additionally often are centered around true events or involve famous 
people from the past.

Tho the Casa di Julietta with her statue, grave and balcony and the  lesser known Casa di Romeo want us to believe the lovers were real people, that’s not true. In the time the stories were written, there was a family feud: Italy was divided by the Ghibellines and the Guelphs. The influential families in every city swore their allegiance to one of those factions. Everyone who had something to do with the rivaling family was a enemy too. So the starcossed lovers with there intrusive families could have been from everywhere in Italy.

But Shakespeare might still have taken inspiration for real life. Some Shakespearean scholars believe that the writers patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo. Henry’s  stepmother was a descended from the Viscount Montagu. Sounds a lot like Montague. Henry Wriothesley had an unapproved relationship with Elizabeth Vernon. Queen Elizabeth I was not amused about their marriage, the queen put them both in jail as their union was a political threat to her reign.  Unlike the real Romeo and Juliet, the Wriothesley and Vernon were later released and  lived “happily ever after” outside prison.

Discovering Augsburg

On the 9th August, my adventure took me to Augsburg – the third largest city in Bavaria, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2019. Augsburg is also Germany’s third oldest city, after Neuss and Trier.

The city welcomed me with a heavy rain, which lasted throughout the whole time I was there, but this didn’t stop me from seeing the reason why Augsburg was listed as a World Heritage Site. The numerous canals and water management systems in the city are impressive, to say the least.

The water system of the city is first mentioned in historical writings in 1276. The city’s first dam was built seventy years later. It is documented that the waterworks at the Red Gate is the oldest existing building of its kind in Germany, perhaps even in Central Europe.

Using a highly advanced hydraulic method for that time, engineers pumped the water into water towers and led it from there. Constructors then used this type of water elevation system in other cities too, such as Vienna, Brussels and Munich. This way of  separation of drinking and waste water was considered unique in 1545. The waterworks at the Hochablass, built in 1879, was also regarded as the model and origin of today’s modern water supply. The water management system includes 22 stations in and around Augsburg, including 190 kilometers of Lech Canal.

Apart from its impressive water management, Augsburg also surprised me with beautiful architecture, lovely streets to roam around and interesting sights to visit.

Walking around town, one cannot just miss the building of the City Hall, as well as Perlach Tower right next to it.

 

 

A must-see, in my opinion, is the ‘Goldener Saal’ in the Town Hall, which is a ceremonial room, famous for its ceiling paintings, murals, and golden wall decoration. It was finished in 1643 and is considered one of the most important cultural monuments of the late Renaissance.

 

 

Another point of interest is the beautiful baroque palace Schatzlerpalais. The palace is home to  dozens of magnificent rooms, courtyards and gardens, as well as an impressive art collection.

 

 

Last but not least, I got the chance to visit the Botanical Garden of Augsburg. The place was incredibly peaceful and full of beautiful flowers of all kinds, that I spend a couple of hours just wandering around.

 

Legend of Budapest

The legend i chose for Budapest is one of the many about  King Matthias of Hungary.

Matthias the I (Hungarian: Hunyadi Mátyás), was King of Hungary and Croatia for 32 years between 1458 and 1490. In this time he was also elected to be King of Bohemia and had the titel of Duke of Austria.  After his father, the regend of Hungary died, Matthias was imprisoned along with his older brother, on the orders of King Ladislaus the Posthumous. King Ladislaus was as Duke of Austria, and King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia. He feared the regands sons. Matthias elder  brother was executed,  the people rebelled and the king fled the country. With the help of his uncle Matthias than became king after King Ladislaus died shortly after he fled Hungary.

Matthias Corvius is now and was for a long time before that prasied by the people. But in his time he was hated and cursed out for the high taxes he introduced to finance a new standing army. Sadly after him there were worst kings and politicans. Because of that and the conquests he made, his reign is now rememberd as a positiv time.

There are many legends about “Matthias the Just”, which he was named because he was rumored to wander among his subjects in disguise, to see for himself if somebody was treated unjustly. He also  rather promoted the careers of people with abilities than of those born into aristocracy.

Matthias is not only part of many hungarian legends, he can be found in many other slavic folktales too.

Today i bring you:

King Matthias and the Shepherd Who Never Lied

also known as: The Lamb with Golden Fleece 

Once upon a time, the Prussian king was a guest in the court of the Hungarian king Matthias. They were good friends.

“I hear you have a lamb with golden fleece” – he said. “Is this true?” – asked the Prussian king. – “Yes” – said Matthias. “And I have a very good shepherd, too. He never lies.” – replied Matthias. – “I can make him lie” – said the king of Prussia with a smile. – “I don’t think so” –  king Matthias doubted. – “Do that, and half of Hungary is yours” – Matthias said. “But I know my shepherd well, and no one can make him lie.” – “I can” – said the Prussian king. “Or half of Prussia is yours, Matthias.” – “Very well” – said the Hungarian king. They agreed.

The Prussian king left to find the shepherd. But first, he changed his clothes and dressed as a peasant. Then he went to look for the shepherd. The Prussian king said hello to the shepherd. – “Greetings, Lord King!” the shepherd answered. – “How do you know me in these clothes?” – “I can hear your voice, and it’s in the way you speak” – answered the shepherd. “What do you want?” – “I have six horses for you” – said the Prussian king. “But first you must give me the lamb with the golden fleece.” – “No!” – said the shepherd. “I can’t steal from King Matthias.” – “I’ll give you a lot of gold if you give me the lamb with the golden fleece” – bargained the king. – “I’m not interested in money, and I can’t give you the lamb. King Matthias will execute me” – the shepherd replied. – “What about ten horses?” – asked the Prussian king. – “No!” – answered the shepherd.

So the king went back home to Prussia. He told his daughter about the shepherd. – “I’d like to meet him” – she said. And she took a bag of gold and a bottle of wine with her.

“Look!” – she said to the shepherd. “I can give you a bag of gold for your sheep with the fleece of gold!” – “Never!” – said the shepherd. “I don’t need your money!”

The princess stayed and persuaded the shepherd to drink some wine with her. After a while he began to feel very happy. “All right” – he said. “Take the sheep with the fleece of gold. But first you must give me a kiss and be my wife.” – “Very well. But I want only the sheep’s fleece, not the meat” – she answered. The girl took the fleece back to her father. And the Prussian king was very happy.

The next day, the shepherd was very upset. He didn’t know how to explain this to King Matthias. He came up with many lies in his mind, but they were all doomed. Finally, he arrived at the throne room. What can I tell him about the fleece? He thinks. I don’t want to lie.

“Good morning!” said King Matthias to him. “What is the news from the field? Where’s the lamb with the fleece of gold?” “I don’t have it any more” – said the shepherd. “I changed it for a black one. Now I have a black lamb.” “I see. And where is this black lamb?” – Asked Matthias angrily. “She is sitting next to you!” – said the shepherd. And he looked at the Prussian king’s daughter. “You told the truth!” – King Matthias said. “As a reward, I’ll give you the Prussian king’s half kingdom that I have won.” “And I give you my daughter” – promised the Prussian king. “I can see you’re in love with her.”

And so it happend that a  shepherd did become the next Prussian king.

The Prussian princess and king are depicted in prussian blue and King Matthias in the colors of Hungary. The shepherd has also some green tones in his trousers to represent hiss loyalty to the King. As said before, there are many tales about Matthias and in general you can’t take a legend as historical accuracy. At the time Matthias lived, Prussia f.e. was not yet a kingdom, only a dukedom in the polish kingdom. But the tales very well show the principes King Matthias lived by and which were important to him f.e. that he valued honesty.