Monday, 7 May 2018

zwischenstopp: nordheim vor der rhön

Lying on the continuum of the Streu, a tributary of the Frankish river Saale, like its easterly neighbor, the village of Nordheim is dominated by an ensemble of vernacular architecture known as a Kirchenburg or fortified church that dates back to the settlement’s founding over twelve hundred years hence that looks over its half-timbered houses and series of bridges that cross the northern bend of the stream.
The old footbridge features—as do many bridges across Europe—a statue of John of Nepomuk, a fourteenth century saint who was royal confessor and counsellor to the Queen of Bohemia. Despite threat of death, Nepomuk refused to betray the privilege of priest and confessor to a jealous King Wenceslas who ordered Nepomuk cast into the Vltava (Moldau) for being obstinate.
The martyr’s most famous representation is the figure on the Charles Bridge (Karlův most) in Prague on the spot where he was drowned. Because of his fate and discretion, John of Neomuk is the patron saint protector from drowning and floods as well as respect for the seal of attorney-client privilege, doctor-patient confidentiality and comparable arrangements.