Bredenborn is this really small town in Germany about an hour and a half from Hanover. This is where my cousin Katharina lives with her family.
It’s surrounded by tons of farm land and mountains with stunning landscapes that remind me of what people build surrounding model trains:
I actually had relatives living here in the 1800s and before World War II so I feel really connected to my family history when I visit this part of Germany. I’ve been here a few times before including last summer when a Holocaust memorial was put up honoring members of our family who once lived here. They published a big article in the newspaper about the event, making it feel even more special. I think it’s worth noting how parts of Europe and specifically Germany are making efforts to acknowledge the overwhelming history and what happened before, during, and after the Holocaust. It took this town close to seven decades to make a memorial for those lost who once called this place home, but at least they did it.
Like many German villages, this town celebrates something called Shutzenfest every year. I had to ask a few questions about this to have an idea of what it was because we don’t have something like this in America. From what I learned, it’s a big weekend-long celebration that people from all around the local towns come to where a girl is made the queen and honored with parties, drinking, food, and old traditions. It was very cool to be there for some of it and get a better idea of what it is all about.
There was a carnival, a dance party similar to prom, huge breakfasts, and parades!
The history in this town is pretty incredible. They have buildings that are hundreds of years old like this church that was built 800 years ago. As an American, that kind of age behind something manmade is remarkable because we don’t have many old buildings in the States – (200 year old buildings practically seem ancient).
This is Grevenburg, an aristocratic home that is about 600 year old. This aristocratic family basically owned the town and were once extremely wealthy. They still have seats reserved in church and own a lot of property throughout the town. The family crest remains at the entrance of the home even now.
I had such a wonderful visit seeing the town and my family there.
But as great as it was, I was really excited to get going on our next adventure and head to Berlin!