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We have arrived to the Folk Arts Centre in Balingen

We have arrived to the Folk Arts Centre in Balingen

Thanks to my participation in the Ukrainian-German cultural exchange as an interpreter, I managed to visit Balingen more than once. We were guests of Frommern Folk Dance Ensemble. I was honored to be an interpreter of a Ukrainian folk dance group from Luhansk.

At  the Folk Arts Centre

At the Folk Arts Centre


Pub at  the Folk Arts Centre_

Pub at the Folk Arts Centre_

At  the Folk Arts Centre

At the Folk Arts Centre


The Ukrainian folk dance group was a participant of the traditional International Folk Dance Festival in Balingen and was invited by "Frommern" folk dance group from Balingen.

During a city tour of Balingen_1

During a city tour of Balingen_1


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During a city tour of Balingen_4

During a city tour of Balingen_4


During a city tour of Balingen_5

During a city tour of Balingen_5


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I do not know how many concerts the group gave during its stay in Baden-Wuerttemberg. It was a caleidoscope of stages and halls where our group gave performances... We received a fine welcome and a lot of applause. Thanks, dear spectators and organizers of our stay there. It was a great experience! This traditional Maypole Dancing was amazing! It was a real people's holiday. And the dancers were not professionals at all. They were all amateurs who have deep love of fold dance and convey their love and respect to people of other cultures... Frommern Folk Dance Ensemble has a huge area at its disposal: two old reconstructed buildings that were purchased and renovated by the dance group members with the help of the community.

Walking along the city streets

Walking along the city streets

Walking along the city streets

Walking along the city streets

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Balingen is located in what is called Swabian Alb (517 meters/1,700 ft) above sea level. The city hills range from 460 to 950 meters (from 1,510 to 3,120 feet) above sea level. The population comprises about 35,000 inhabitants. The city consists of thirteen districts: Dürrwangen, Endingen, Engstlatt, Erzingen, Frommern, Heselwangen, Ostdorf, Rosswangen, Stockenhausen, Streichen, Weilstetten, Zillhausen.

The City Hall was completed in 1811. It used to accommodate not only the town hall, but also other establishments: the notary, the prison, a warehouse and even a post-office for some time. The building is famous for its roof bells with a Westminster chime.

Adam and Eve bas-relief at Sonne Inn

Adam and Eve bas-relief at Sonne Inn


Walking down to the folk arts center from the mountain_3

Walking down to the folk arts center from the mountain_3


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Walking down to the folk arts center from the mountain_1

Walking down to the folk arts center from the mountain_1

Cattle Market and “Sonne” building also belong to architectural landmarks of the city. The huge half-timbered “Sonne” (“Sun”) building overlooks the market place. It was saved by Balingen Citizens Association and is preserved now. It was built in 1792 and was originally the stage post for carters and coachmen. Not it serves as a restaurant, a coffee house and a jazz cellar.

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The Museum House is located not far from Balingen Castle in a huge building called Tithe Barn. The dates on the building tell us the story of reconstruction after the fires that happened in the 17th century. Now this building houses several establishments: the Local History Museum, Eckenfelder Gallery and the unique museum of scales and weights. Many scales and weights were manufactured in the old Balingen and they are still manufactured there. You can see Little Venice to the left of the museum building. It’s a small alley and a wooden bridge leading to Tanners’ Quarter across the mill canal. This nice place was affectionately called by the city residents Little Venice.

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Holy Ghost Church was completed in 1899. That was the time when the number of Catholics in this town exceeded the number of Protestants. Balingen used to be a purely Protestant town until the beginning of the 20th century. The church is famous for its old statue of the Virgin. Now it has a replica of it. It is called Balinger Madonna. They say it was the work of Joerg Syrlin the Younger from Ulm. The original is kept in the Dominican Museum in Rottweil. The church is also famous for its glass windows.

Ulrich the Knight statue at the fountain

Ulrich the Knight statue at the fountain


The city cathedral

The city cathedral

You can see a historical building at 52 Friedrich Street. The building is also called “Laemmle House”. It was built in 1810. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who visited Balingen in 1797, wrote, “The place itself would not be bad; it consists practically of a long wide street. There is water running through it and here and there are good wells; but the neighbours have built their dung-heaps in the middle of the road, alongside the stream they use or washing and various other needs…”

On the way to/from Balingen by the ICE

On the way to/from Balingen by the ICE


We reached the top of one of the mountains

We reached the top of one of the mountains


Our group at the mountain top

Our group at the mountain top


Our group at the Peace Cross on top of Felskopf

Our group at the Peace Cross on top of Felskopf

I remember some great experiences in Balingen:

  • Sitting near the Ullrich fountain in Friedrich Street in Balingen. Ullrich the Knight became one of the symbols of the city. If you are tired of walking, shopping and window-shopping, you can just come here, sit and talk with your friends about your impressions. Market Well incorporates a replica of an original knight’s statue made of sandstone. That is Duke Ullrich statue. The duke was a famous knight in this area (1498-1550). The original of the statue can be seen at the local history museum.
  • Having a stroll in the streets of Balingen a must. There are a lot of nice quiet streets in the city of Balingen, as well as in the majority of other German cities. You would call those streets typical German streets…
  • Visiting some of the old castles that are numerous in Germany, you will admire how history is cherished in every city. We paid a visit to Balingen Castle, that is an hour's drive to the south of Stuttgart.
  • Visiting some of the modern and ancient churches that are very special and impressive. The Evangelical Church in the city of Balingen was built in 1914 and represents modern German church architecture. We attended a service there and shook the hand of the cathedral dean after it. He was glad to know we were from Ukraine. No doubt this Protestant Church belongs to the most attractive places in the city. It combines the old buildings of Nickolas Chapel, a Gothic hall church, and the medieval tower whose construction began in 1443 and was only completed in 1541. The tower is one of the architectural landmarks of Balingen and can be both seen and heard from afar. It is 61 meters high. You can see a sundial at the tower. It was constructed by a well-known mechanic Philipp Matthaeus Hahn (1739-1790).
  • Driving about Zollernalb County located to the south of Stuttgart we discovered an ancient church, got out of the car and walked around it. The church is now just a monument of the past. No public worship is held there. Nevertheless, it still looks wonderful!

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There are lots of sites here: the Castle, the Scales Museum, old churches, fountains, etc. Since I was the interpreter of dance groups from Luhansk, I had no time for any independent exploration of the city for I had to accompany the group as an interpreter from morning till night. However, we had many organized tours, and our group managed to see the main sites of Balingen. I remember my visits to the main street, museums and castles. In addition, I visited my friends there when I was in Balingen on my own once.
The city has favorable transport location between Stuttgart, the Black Forest and Lake Constance not far from A 81 and B 27 Federal Motorways.

After visiting the New Castle

After visiting the New Castle

I was lucky to visit Stuttgart several times. Each time I go there, there is a lot to see and I want to see the places I have already seen. The city is very impressive indeed. At first, you feel at a loss deciding where to go and what to see first. This city is famous for its restaurants. They say there are about 150 of them all in all. Besides, there are about 500 cafes - isn't it a huge choice!

Visiting the Parliament of Baden-Württemberg

Visiting the Parliament of Baden-Württemberg


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The hills around the city are extremely picturesque and the houses are all very special. This is the city where you will neither get bored nor get lost. Although the city is large enough, the orientation is quite easy, especially if you have a map about you.

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At the TV Tower

At the TV Tower

We visited the TV tower built in 1956 and rode up the elevator to the top, where we had a wonderful view of the city from the observation platform located at the height of 152 meters and had some coffee afterwards in the café downstairs.

Have a ride by the city trains (S-Bahn) that travel every five or ten minutes about the city. You can reach city's most remote places in no time by S-Bahn if you have a map with you.

I enjoyed drinking Stuttgart beer and tasting the wines from that area. It was great - you feel you could drink it no end.

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The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

Koenigsstrasse (King's Street) is the central shopping and business street in Stuttgart. It's close to the railway station. Even if you have little time for your stay in the city, you can go there and visit a lot of stores or just take a stroll and window-shop.

I remember visiting Market Square and the Rathaus - the City Council building - especially on Christmas when the square turns into a big market are very beautiful sites. All stands were handmade and carefully decorated by people from all over Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Another key attraction in the city is Altes Schloss - the Old Castle built in the 16th century.

You can see a lot of ancient chambers, arcaded floors with museums here.

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Exploring the streets of Stuttgart

Exploring the streets of Stuttgart

Visiting Neues Schloss - the New Castle - is a must for tourists coming to Stuttgart for the first time. You can admire its pavements, fountains and the interior of the castle. We were lucky enough to be taken inside the castle and to see the marble walls and sculptures, pictures and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The monument to Friedrich Shiller

The monument to Friedrich Shiller

Friedrich Schiller, a great German poet, is especially beloved in the city. There are two monuments to Schiller: one in front of the Opera Theater and another in Schiller Square opposite the Old Castle.

Approaching the Column

Approaching the Column

The Column to King Wilhelm erected in the middle of the 19th century stands in the centre of the city opposite the New Castle and is seen from a distance. The Column is a manifestation of the people's love and loyalty to their kings.

King Wilhelm monument in front of the Local Lore Museum

King Wilhelm monument in front of the Local Lore Museum


The king's monument in front of the Local Lore Museum

The king's monument in front of the Local Lore Museum


The monument to King Wilhelm of Wuerttemberg in front of the national museum. The National Museum is a piece of history, a good place to reflect on the course of history in a quiet atmosphere.
One day our hosts, Frommern Folk Dance Group, took us to Lake Constance. During the day trip we visited Friedrichshafen, where we had a guided tour of Zeppelin Museum. The museum address is: Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Seestrasse 22, D-88045 Friedrichshafen.

Visiting Zeppelin Museum

Visiting Zeppelin Museum

The museum was dedicated in 1996. It occupies the building of the former port station located on the shores of Lake Constance. The museum contains the largest world collection dedicated to the history and technique of aeronautics (from the origins to the manufacture of Zeppelin airship). The legendary zeppelins were created and manufactured in this city. You can see a huge replica of a part of zeppelin hanging at the entrance to the museum. As the museum booklet reads, “The 33-meter reconstruction of one of the parts of the legendary zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg is presented in its original form.” You can get on board and pass through the originally equipped passenger rooms. This is where you can feel the illusion of flying a zeppelin and then familiarize yourself with the history and technique of movement of airships.
It seems to the uninitiated person that the airship was a simple bag of fabric into which gas was pumped. In fact, this is far from the case. The airship, and even more so the metal airship of rigid construction, was a very complex spatial engineering structure. Just look at the cross section of the apparatus.
A separate place in the museum is dedicated to the legendary Maybach “Zeppelin” car, built in 1938.

This featured blog entry was written by Vic_IV from the blog My Impressions of Germany.
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By Vic_IV

Posted Tue, Jul 16, 2019 | Germany | Comments