Sunday can be tricky in Germany, depending on where you live. Many places don’t do Sunday opening, meaning most shops are closed and other amenities keep limited Sunday opening . Sunday here is very much a day to relax, go to Church, go for a stroll, maybe visit the ice cream parlour (Even in Winter. Never too cold for Eis!) It’s a lovely way to live, once you get used to it. Its taken me a very, very long time to get there. I was the girl who loved going to Ikea, or anywhere else come to that, on a Sunday to buy things I didn’t need.
But having finally managed to embrace low-key Sundays, I’ve come to love them. Being a home with British passports but German hearts, we’ve married the very German concept of Familientag with that quintessential British meal, the Sunday Roast. Nothing gives us greater pleasure than to be out and about exploring for a while and then coming home to gather round the table and tuck into a huge family roast, followed by a highly calorific pudding. Calories don’t count, or at least are not counted, at the Sunday Table.
Das Gastliche Dorf- translated literally, Hospitable Village- is one of our Sunday discoveries. It combines two things I really like- outdoors-ness (I know, that’s not really a word) and history. The Dorf, or village, is an ensemble of farm or rural buildings that have been saved and relocated here from other parts of Germany. In order to keep them in the right setting, so to speak, the Gastlich Dorf is laid out as a mini village around a duck pond, complete with pretty bridges and old fashioned water pumps. Crossing the Bridges out of the Dorf will take you onto some beautiful canal side walking along the Boker Canal, with views across the surrounding farmland.
I loved the old Chapel, with its country-style stained glass windows. The Chapel is still used for worship, weddings and baptisms. It’s amazing that despite its age and relocation, it is still used in the spirit of its original purpose.
The Old Bakehouse, the first building to be relocated and restored, has also been returned to its original purpose. The original ovens have been retained and yet a modern kitchen has been sympathetically installed, so the old bake house still produces bread and other bakes. The smell of freshly baked bread was mouth-watering. Luckily, the café is just next door. We do like to round off a Sunday walk with a little something and so that’s where we ended up.
Apart from being a beautiful and charming place to spend some time , what I really liked about this place is the way the founders have found a way to repurpose old buildings in keeping with the heritage, whilst still making them appealing and useful to modern-day users. I believe the key to preservation is finding a way to keep something relevant ,useful, appealing. Housing history isn’t easy, but its been beautifully done here.
Find details of the Gastlich Dorf, including information on its founders and how it came to be here. If this sounds like your kind of thing you might also enjoy reading about our visit to the farm cafe with its beautiful chapel in A Tiny Chapel and A whole lot of Ladybirds….
Until next time,