group of 27 who visited Liederbach in June 2013 travelled independently.
members travelled by car with 3 travelling on the morning flight from
and the remainder travelling on the afternoon flight to "Frankfurt
am Main". All members eventually met at the "Liederbachhalle
Wchenheimer Str. 62."
shortly after 7 p.m. for a drink and a chat on a warm summer evening
where all guests were presented with a bag and an apron (yes, men as
well). All, that is except for the afternoon group who were due to arrive at
17:50 p.m. at "Frankfurt am Main" but whose plane was delayed
for over an hour. They were eventually picked up in the Red Cross mini
bus and met up with the rest of the group.
Saturday morning the German families took care of us and in the
afternoon at 14:30 a twinning tree was planted near the Rathouse (town
Hall) by our new Vice Chairman before
continuing on to the Street
Festival. Guests had been supplied with vouchers for their chosen food
and drink available from the many stalls except for that run by the
Chinese community who would only accept €'s. This chinese community has now
purchased the large residence where the initial Verwood / Liederbach
twinning was held over 20 years ago.
the day on Sunday guests were entertained by their hosts until the
meeting at 19:00 hrs. in the Kulturscheune (Liederbach's Cultural
Centre)for dinner. After the meal gifts were exchanged between the 2
communities with the new Vice Chairman of Verwood Twinning Association
excelling at his mastery of the German Language. French will be his next
Monday the 17th of June most guests and hosts met at the "Liederbachhalle
Wchenheimer Str. 62." at 08:30 p.m. for the coach journey to Würzburg.
day turned out particularly hot with temperatures reaching 36 degrees
guide met the coach on arrival for our walking tour of the town
afterwards a meal was arranged by our hosts.
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower
Franconia and the regional dialect is Franconian. It lies about 120 kilometer,( or 75 miles)
from Frankfurt am Main and a similar distance from Nuremberg. It is the seat of the district's
administration and the city's population was 133,00 in 2008.
On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city
was destroyed in 17 minutes by 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. All of the city's churches, cathedrals, and other monuments were heavily damaged or destroyed. The city
centre, which dated from medieval times, was totally destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished. Over the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and accurately replicated. The citizens who rebuilt the city immediately after the end of the war were mostly women – Trümmerfrauen ("rubble women") – because the men were either dead or taken prisoner of war. In comparison, Würzburg was destroyed to a larger extent than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month.
This was mainly due to the fact that the buildings were mainly old and
built of wood with smart stone facades.
On April 3, 1945, Würzburg was attacked by the US 12th Armored Division and US 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the final German resistance was defeated 5 April
After the war, Würzburg was host to the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Hospital and various other U.S. military units that maintained a presence in Germany.
From the early 1950's reconciliation started, friendships developed and
the Americans were very involved in Würzburg's reconstruction.
May 1962 Würzburg twinned with the French city of Caen which was also
severely damaged in 1944, this was followed with a twinning with Dundee
in Scotland followed by a twinning with Rochester, N.Y. In 1964. It was
awarded the European Flag in 1973. In
2001 Würzburg became a member of of the "Cross of Nails"
initiative founded in Coventry which was destroyed in 1940. It
was a sad day in 2008 when the U.S. units were withdrawn, bringing an end to over 60 years of U.S. military presence in Würzburg.
the evening after returning from Würzburg,
about 20 visitors went to a local Guest House for an informal
relaxing chat, light meal (some were heavier than others) and drink, prior to separating on
Tuesday for the return journey home friendships having
Those travelling by air met at the "Liederbachhalle"
for their lift to Frankfurt airport.
Thanks must go
to our hosts and Liederbach for the warm welcome.
pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.