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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Amöneburg Castle - Amöneburg Germany

Amöneburg Germany

We came across the village of Amöneburg on our trip to Marburg and back.  We found a ruin of a castle there and wondered what it was.  When I got back to my hotel the lady there told me that it was Amöneburg.

The Amöneburg Castle was built in 1100 AD at the top of a basalt hilltop amidst a quaint village by the same name.

Amoneburg Castle Ruin

Related Post: Hardenburg Castle Ruins - Bad Dürkheim, Germany 

The village market square is today was set up in the 1700's.

Here is a topographical drawing from 1655 by Mattaus Merian that shows the size of the castle and the layout of the countryside.  It must have been so beautiful.

* ** Amöneburg: from the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian 1655 See bottom of page

Before this, the area was once a Celtic settlement long before the castle was here.

Related Post: Weisenheim am Berg Germany - Searching for my roots George Clapp and Anna Barbara Steiss 

There are also several towns that are here that have been abandoned that you can explore.  
The archeological discoveries here have found evidence of a "new stone age" communities.

Earlier missionary groups came to this area as missionaries to the early Germans.  They worshiped Thor, Odin, Freya, and other Norse gods.  but not until the 8th century was this a major effort to bring Christ to this part of the world.  Saint Boniface or Winfrid as was the name he was baptized was born in Devonshire England to a Christian family of nobility in about 1680.

Statue of Boniface

When Winfrid was a small boy he enjoyed listening to the monks visiting his family home speaking and was drawn to the ministry. His father had great dreams for this bright boy of his that did not include the ministry but after a serious illness Winfrid was sent to the abbey of Exeter that was in a neighboring village for his education  Later he went to the abbey of Bursling to finish his education and when he was finished there at the abbey they made him head of the school. His teaching was wildly popular and his students took copious notes that were copied recopied and shared.

Related Post:  Löwenburg Castle - Kassel, Germany 

Ruin of the Abbey
When he was thirty he was ordained as a priest and would add preaching to his duties.  Although his popularity in Europe made for an easy journey in the ranks of the church God called him to other lands and a journey not so easily won. He sought out his superior with his desire for missionary work and when in his 40's he gave up his successful career and headed out on the mission field.  He sought an audience with the Pope Gregory II for a commission in 718.  The Commission received and his new name Boniface he headed to over the Alps through Bavaria and through Hesse the following spring.

The church in Bavaria was strong and healthy so he continued on the Thuringia and there he found an established but corrupted with many of the priests that had gone into paganism so he tried to bring reform to the church there which results were not what he was completely pleased with.  From there he heard of the death of the King of Friesland that had been persecuting the church. He went to help another missionary for three years and the aging man begged him to stay and help him but he felt called to the unchurched.   He moved on to Hesse in the year 722.

 He witnessed to two chieftains there Dettic and Deorulf who had already been baptized at some point but had not had any instruction.  Under his teaching, they became devoted Christians and spread the gospel.  They gave him a grant for this land that you are seeing and later he built a monastery the ruins which you can still see and tour.

Because of his excellent work, the Pope upon hearing all of the gains for Christ called him back to Rome to be made a Bishop over the area where he had been working to spread the good news of Christ.  The pope also gave him a letter to present to the Frankish King Charles Martel. On his journey back to Bavaria he stopped and gave the letter to Charles Martel and received a notice of protection from the King.

This gave him courage and on his way back to Hesse he stopped at Fritzlar which is today less than an hour drive to the N.E. of Amoneburg he called together the pagan chieftains. At this time worship was largely centered around sacred trees where the people would gather, worship and give a sacrifice.  In Fritzlar this place was the giant oak of Geismar also called Thor's Sacred Oak that sat on the summit of Mt. Gudenberg.  This tree was supposed to be sacred to Thor the god of thunder.

Related Post: Marburg Germany and the Marburg Castle 

Boniface saw that the people were drawn to Christianity but they could not leave behind the pagan rituals. So Boniface called them there and with an ax chopped down the sacred tree.  They say that the tree split into four pieces and fell in the shape of a cross.
The village people were horrified and thought that Boniface and his friends would at once feel the retribution of their god and be punished but when nothing happened they were in awe.  Thor could not even protect his own place of worship.  To show the victory of God Boniface had a church built there on that spot out of Thor's oak tree and the gospel spread across Bavaria. The church that sits there today is St. Peter's Church in Fritzlar Germany.

Tradition tells that Boniface used a small triangular tree Tannenbaum or evergreen tree to teach about the Nativity and the Trinity and how the one true God sent his son to save us from our sins.

Later small fir trees were hung in homes and churches from the rafters since the 1100's as a symbol of the Christian faith.  Sometime later people would decorate them with apples and sweet treats symbolizing the gift that God gave to mankind in his son Jesus.

Boniface was martyred in 754 on a missionary journey to Holland where he and his fellow missionaries were killed.

This is a beautiful village and the views atop the mountain were stunning

Photo of the Amöneburg: from the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian 1655 is in the Public Domain
{{PD-US}} – published in the U.S. before 1923 and public domain in the U.S. 
** {{PD-GermanGov}} – for public domain images from Germany statutes or other regulations.

Check out our other travel articles

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

South Of The Border Burger


Black Beans
Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Beef Pattie
Jalapeno Cheese Hamburger Bun
Garlic Powder 
Himalayan Pink Salt
Onion Powder


Heat beans in a small pan. Cook burger patties sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and onion powder. Melt mozzarella over pattie. Spread mayonnaise over the bun, cover with a piece of lettuce top that with the meat. Spoon beans over the top, sprinkle with cheese then spoon over salsa and guacamole.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Israel - The City of David


The City of David

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Psalms 85:11 KJV
How many critics have there been of the Bible?  How many scholar’s claim the Bible is fiction and not the inspired word of God?  There are 66 books in the Bible, written by 40 authors over 1500 years. Each time a new discovery is made it proves the Bible is correct and the critic is wrong.  Time after time.
This entire trip to Israel is a testament that “truth does indeed spring from the earth”.

Prior to the last 100 years, archeologists thought that the digs in Jerusalem should be confined within the old city walls of Jerusalem as that is where they believed “history” would be revealed.  

During the last 100 years there have been many more discoveries right outside the city walls and that is what we saw today.


We left slightly later than normal since our destinations were very close to the hotel.

Our first stop was the City of David.  

We exited the bus and after walking a short distance entered the gates (visitors center gates).  

 There was a courtyard and then we climbed quite a few steps leading to a building rooftop.  All 150 of us were able to fit on the roof and huddled together in order to listen to our guide Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel brief us.

Model of the Ancient City one of these buildings we are standing on.
He told us that the place were were currently standing was on top of the palace of King David.  This discovery was made starting in the 1990’s and besides this structure itself, they have found clay seals used to secure letters or a package.  The seals contained names in the Bible of people that were advisers to King David! They also found a gigantic retaining wall to the palace! So the building our feet stood was one of the buildings shown in the model of the old city of Jerusalem above.
 The roof is on a hill facing south.  To the left is the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley (more about this on another day).  
Mount of Olives

To our right is another valley and a hill formerly called the Western Hill.

 In front of us a little to the left was another hill called the Hill of Scandal.  This is the place where King David's son, King Solomon built the homes for his pagan wives. In fact, they discovered the tomb of his first wife, the Queen of Egypt in that very area. Click 1 Kings 3:1-2 and 2 Chronicles 8:11 to learn more about this and why it was done.
Mount of Scandal
Straight ahead of us still another called the “Hill of Evil Council” where the high priest Caiaphas lived and where the apostle Judas went to arrange the betrayal of Jesus. The hill currently is the place of the United Nations.

Behind us is Mount Moriah where the Temple was located and now where the Dome of the Rock and Old Walled City of Jerusalem lie and somewhere to the North that we could not see is Mt Scopus where the Roman General Titus commanded the siege 2000 years ago that destroyed Israel.

Below the Mt’s obviously were valley’s.  
Mount Moriah

One was the Hinnom Valley or Ghenna that is a deep, narrow ravine that separates Mount Zion to the North from the ‘hill of evil counsel’. The Valley of Hinnom was the place where some of the kings of Israel were influenced by the Canaanites and began idol worship carrying their children into the valley to be sacrificed to the idols Baal and Moloch. (We have an amazing book series that we just love on this time period that you should not miss. Click here for more information.)

Interesting facts:

King David took over the city by force during a war with the Jebusites.  However, he PURCHASED the top of Mount Moriah from the King of the Jebusites so that he would have a place to put the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant.  Later, that is where Solomon would build the temple of the Lord. This is supposed to be the most contested piece of real estate in the world.  However, since it was purchased, it should be the least contested place.  This is why and how when Jesus returns, he will sit on the throne of David in the temple!

At the top of the Western Hill to the right you can see another Catholic Church the Church of the Dormition.  It is built on the site where Mary the mother of Jesus is supposed to have "fallen asleep".  
Also on this hill (not seen in the photo) is the “Upper Room” where Jesus and His disciples had the “Last Supper”.

Sadly, the Hill of the Evil Council is where the Pharisees and religious leaders plotted Jesus’ death.  Today when you look to the top of this very hill, you can see flags and a building.  I don’t believe this is a coincidence that this is now the headquarters of the United Nations.

Mount Moriah toward the Temple

Behind us, Mount Moriah where the Old City is now, the former Temple etc. is not the original Old City.  The original Old City they believe is the valley in front of us and continuing to the right towards the base of the Western Hill.  The right side doesn’t really look like a valley anymore because it was outside the “Dung Gate” of the walled in part of the city.  Needless to say, like all landfills, what once was a valley leveled out.
There were lots of oohs and ahs when we were told that we were actually standing on the rooftop of King David’s palace!  As Amir said “You all know what happened on that rooftop!”  
It’s easy to see from the vantage point of that roof how King David could look down and see the rooftops of the house below.

Back then there were no sophisticated bathrooms with running water.  People would catch the rainwater on the roof and actually bathe on the roof.  It was easy to imagine King David standing on his roof and being able to see the beautiful Bathsheba bathing.

That was a bad decision.  

It led to another bad decision and worse sin.
God loved David and said
“He is a man after my heart, …

 ” David loved God and was an honorable man and king. Many of the Psalms were written by David praising God…. And yet like all of us, he sinned.

If this wasn’t bad enough, it got worse when he tried to cover up the sin.  

Bathsheba was a married woman and her husband was fighting with David’s men and that’s where David should have been too.  He sent for Uriah, her husband, so that he would spend time with the family and sleep with his wife to cover the sin.  Uriah may have visited with the family, but he refused to sleep at home.  Instead he slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of the lord.  He was honorable and wouldn’t sleep at home when his fellow soldiers were sleeping in the field.
Now David continued down the slippery slope of sin, getting deeper and deeper.   He sent Uriah back to the battle, but instructed Joab, the leader of the forces to

After Bathsheba mourned the death of her husband, David took her as his wife and thought the sin was covered up and all was settled.  No one knew the better.  Don’t we all think that sometimes.  But God always knows when we sin and in our soul, we do too. That is the conscience that God has given us, our moral compass.  
Then the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. And he came to him and said “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.  The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little wee lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children….a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refused to prepare a meal from his own flock, but instead took the only little lamb of the poor man.” 2 Samuel 12 with some paraphrasing.  David was furious and said the rich man would surely die because he had no pity.  2 Sam 12 7:  Then Nathan said to David “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel”.
The thing that makes David different from King Saul and so many of the rulers who committed sins in the Bible is that David was genuinely remorseful and repented to God.
Psalm 51 shows David’s heart as he cried out to the Lord for forgiveness.  

There were and are consequences to his and our sin… the baby died and I think his commander probably lost respect for him.

Thank the Lord that God is not looking for perfect people!
Before Jesus died for our sins, the Holy Spirit would come upon some people and leave, come upon and leave.  The Holy Spirit had been on David since he had become king and he didn’t want to lose that close relationship he had with the Lord.
David truly was sorry.  He truly in his heart wanted forgiveness and God gave him forgiveness.
We are all sinners,

Romans 3:23”
But, God is loving and gracious.  Slow to anger and quick to forgive if we are sincere!  

Ask Jesus into your heart and ask for His forgiveness, He will give you a clean heart and the Holy Spirit will come upon and into your heart!  What a priceless gift! I know!
Many things happened on that rooftop and many lessons learned- for King David and all of us.
Praise God!

Debbie lives in Southern California with her husband Doug and her children and grandchildren.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Elderberry Syrup


3 Cups water
1 Cup honey 
1 Organic cinnamon stick
1 Cup fresh organic elderberries  or 1/2 Cup dried

Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes or until it reaches a syrupy thickness.

Smash the berries to release remaining juice, strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool completely. Stir in raw honey. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

This article contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls so we can continue bringing you recipes, travel posts, garden and farm posts and so much more. 

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Frankfurt Germany, Fasching

Frankfurt Germany


 Hello, again friends!

Here we are again in beautiful Frankfurt Germany.

My friends and I took the train here and when we arrived we surprised that we were in the middle of the festival called Fasching also known as Karneval, Fastnet, Fosnat and Fastnacht.

 This is the German version of what American's would understand as Mardi Gras.  It is referring for the preparing of the season of Lent and was started back in the 1200's


This used to be only a religious ceremony done by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, but now it is mainly just a festival like the American Mardi Gras.

We walked down to the main street and were greeted by parade floats, costumes, street parties and well, drinking... lots of drinking.  There was a strong presence of the police there to keep order as the merriment and revelry unfolded.  To be honest I have never seen so many police officers in one place before. It was a bit intimidating getting off of the train to see such a heavy police presence there.

Fasching is the period before Lent as I said before.  Lent is a time that falls 40 days before Easter (The 40 days signify the 40 years in the desert the Israelite's wandered before being allowed into the promised land) and it is a time where you give up certain foods by fasting, give up vices, spend more time in prayer and more time reading your bible.  You spend 40 days in self- examination and meditate on Christ, his suffering, life, death, burial, and Resurrection.