Thursday 25 February 2021

hรผgel und tal

Taking a rather long, meandering afternoon walk now that Spring has arrived, I headed towards the former border and thought to follow the patrol road, the Kolonnenweg to its terminus understanding that there was a large tri-colour marker to be found there. I think I took a wrong turn or failed to go on long enough but came to a rise below the Hohe Schuhe and hill top clearing that provided a good view of Hermannsfeld and the border tower now a monument beyond. 
Believing I knew a way to return home without backtracking, I followed a logging trail around the mountain and down into a valley of pastures, which I though was familiar at first but then realised I had gone considerably further out of the way than I had intended and ended up in the fields north of EuรŸenhausen where the former control point and crossing to Meiningen is conserved as a monument.

Trying to get my bearings and finding a cycle path to follow, I discovered the ruins of a church belfry belonging to a settlement called Elmbach or Ellenbach—vacated along with surrounding property during the era of divided Germany as it was too close to the border (see previously), the ruin a reminder of a sixteenth century desertion but yet a poignant symbol, lonely in the fields whatever the circumstance. The tower houses a chapel and since 1989 has been re-consecrated as a symbol of reunion.