Greetings from Deutschland! Yesterday a hometown girl, Gisela Bollhoeffer, gave the Americans a tour of our host city, Detmold. Gisela was in her teens during World War II and saw the city rebuild itself from post war depression to the thriving artists' culture it is today. Gisela took us around the city, starting with the Princess's Palace in the center of town, reconstructed during the Renaissance. She personally had breakfast at the palace with the Princess that morning with her husband who is president of the historical society of Detmold. As we toured around the Palace we saw the fortifications of the old medieval castle remain as well as parts of the original moat.
Also in the town are incredibly old homes, some as early as the 1600's. The buildings have inscriptions carved in them including the builder, dates constructed, and prayers for the prosperity of its residents. The school of music, in fact, is a converted palace that the residents rebuilt after World War II, when more than just the economy needed to be healed. Gisela explained that the music and arts of the town helped the hungry and homeless Germans have hope for the future. The artists established the school of music and along with that a beautiful concert venue, built by one of the Princes which now has performances every week from ballet, theatre, and music. The Detmolders are dedicated to preserving these historic places.
The love and pride of Detmold's long history was displayed on Gisela's face. Here is a clip of our new friend and guide, Gisela, sharing how music has touched her life.