A Month of Christmas: The Nativity and the Grabow Altarpiece

Taking a look through my Christmas stamps in preparation for this “Month of Christmas” series, I noticed that the vast majority show scenes from the Nativity with significantly more images of the Madonna and Child than the Adoration of the Magi or the Adoration of the Shepherds. Portrayals of Santa Claus, gifts, Christmas trees, and reindeer are in the minority. Ironically, I have never been … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Nativity and the Grabow Altarpiece

Lower Oder Valley International Park

 The Lower Oder Valley International Park (Internationalpark Unteres Odertal in German and Międzynarodowy Park Dolina Dolnej Odry in Polish) is a shared German-Polish nature reserve. It comprises the western banks of the Oder river within the Uckermark district in the German state of Brandenburg as well as the steep eastern banks in the Gryfino and Police counties of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship further north. … Continue reading Lower Oder Valley International Park

Tearing Down That Wall

On November 10, 1989, Germans began tearing down the Berlin Wall following its premature opening the evening before. The Berlin Wall, Berliner Mauer in German, was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting in the dead of night on August 13, 1961, the Wall cut off (by land) … Continue reading Tearing Down That Wall

Mozart’s Linz Symphony

On November 4, 1783, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria. The Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425, (known as the Linz Symphony) was written by Mozart during a stopover in the Austrian town on his and his wife’s way back home to Vienna from Salzburg in late 1783. The entire symphony was written in … Continue reading Mozart’s Linz Symphony

National Stamp Collecting Month: Letter Boxes and Post Boxes

One of the many things I enjoy about collecting stamps that I am constantly learning something new; it is one of the reasons I started the A Stamp A Day blog as it gives me daily reasons to do research. For today, I had planned to write about what we Americans call “mailboxes” (called letter boxes, letter plates, letter holes, or mail slots elsewhere). I had always assumed … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Letter Boxes and Post Boxes

National Stamp Collecting Month: The Post Rider

Today’s article follows yesterday’s with its history of the earliest forms of postal systems and features a German Stamp Day (Tag der Briefmarke) issue portraying a post rider.  Horses were a primary method of delivering mail and messages for many years in different countries around the world. Riders on horseback could take small bundles quickly, while carts pulled by horses could take large amounts of … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: The Post Rider

Germany’s Beer Purity Law

Germans are deadly serious about their beer. In fact, they have a phrase for it:  bierernst  which translates literally as “beer serious.” With more than 1,300 breweries producing some five-and-a-half thousand different types of beer, what is now Germany has had a beer purity law known as the Reinheitsgebot for more than 500 years. Introduced in 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria, the decree allows … Continue reading Germany’s Beer Purity Law

The First Car Race & the Early Years of German Motorsports

Motor racing dates back to the days of the early motor car itself. Back then, however, it wasn’t motor racing as we know it today. There were cars which were far from sophisticated. They were huge gas guzzlers and low on power. They were unreliable and would break down at any time. They even lacked bare essentials like the windscreen, and a proper cockpit. The … Continue reading The First Car Race & the Early Years of German Motorsports