In Search of Schwichtenberg
When I first learned about the German town of Schwichtenberg over 10 years ago, I added “visit Schwichtenberg” to my list of things to do at some point in my life. When I visited Berlin, I rented a car and sought out my family’s namesake.
As I headed north out of Berlin, and I saw more green space, fewer people, and rolling hills full of glistening snow, I started to feel more comfortable. The older I get, the more I realize that I’m a small town girl at heart, and that I tend to feel more at home in open spaces with lots of elbow room. As much as I like cities and what they have to offer, I feel at home in the country.
And boy, is Schwichtenberg out in the country. After driving on the autobahn for a few hours, I took several country roads that took me through some beautiful valleys that actually reminded me of Wisconsin (near Barre Mills, where my mom grew up). These roads were lined with lovely trees that I can only imagine looked beautiful in the spring and summer months, lush with leaves and welcomed shade. Even in the starkness of winter, where the shades of grey, black and white overpower any other color, they still looked pretty.
At the end of one of these roads, I saw my first Schwichtenberg road sign. It was such an exciting moment! As I entered the town, and took a drive through the main street, I realized just how small this little farming village actually is: my drive literally lasted about five minutes. I parked my car next to the center of town — the main church — and walked around a bit. Strangely enough, I didn’t see any headstones in the graveyard for any Schwichtenbergs, but I did see a large sign for the Schwichtenberg museum. When I walked over to the doors, I learned that it was closed. When I went to the museum’s website, I learned that 336 inhabitants call Schwichtenberg home.
I must admit, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit the town where my father’s family came from so many years ago. Not many people have the opportunity to investigate something like this, and it was quite an adventure to not only find this little town but to feel the energy of the area.
<Map credit: Google Maps
Images and video credit: Jet Set With Mary