Posted by: Nazausgraben | July 6, 2009


Sunday morning; our first in Pinswang.

We set the clock to wake us in time to get ready for Mass at St Ulrich’s Church. Strange…the bells are ringing now; not the usual “better get there fast” call to Mass, but the ringing that accompanies the transubstantiation of bread and wine to Christ’s Body and Blood. We increased our pace, winding our way by the grassy Celtic ruin mound and it’s Erschbach pond, all guarded over the centuries by the medieval Schloss im Loch Festung ruins built into the mountainside above.

Wending our way between the white shuttered and awakening houses, we reached the walkway up to the Church on the hill. What’s this? People were leaving! Mass was over, and we’d missed it! It was then that we realized that today’s Mass was held an hour earlier than usual…to make time for the celebratory Kirchweihfest.

A Kirchweihfest celebrates the founding of a parish Church, cathedral or chapel. Our village Church, the Ulrichskirche, is a Baroque jewel, set amidst Unterpinswang’s homes at the base of the rolling Stiegelberg mountain. The current onion domed and fresco-bedecked structure was built in 1725 atop the grave where St. Ulrich is said to be buried.


The story goes something like this: When Brother Ulrich knew he was to die, he asked to be placed into a wagon pulled by two oxen. The oxen were then free to roam where they would. At the place they stopped, there, a Church would be built for Ulrich. Well, the oxen did not travel far; a few kilometers later they came to a halt. It was here, in Pinswang, where the Church of St. Ulrich was built.

Perhaps if we entered and left the Church quickly, noone would notice. No, this is not going to work. There are many of our friends and acquaintances from the village, already heading toward us with arms outstretched and greetings aplenty. It is WONDERFUL to see them again after so many months (we were last in Pinswang during this past Christmas and New Years celebrations).

Servus! The village was alive and at 10:30am already well into a celebratory mood. The long tables were filled with everyone from the Mayor, Pinswang’s notables, and locals. There were also visitors from Musau, Pinswang’s ‘sister village’ sitting directly across the Lech River.

Pinswang’s uniformed band started to play; Sigi announced the various polkas, marches, and waltzes…all performed beautifully by this award-winning ensemble. 

The bratwurst, kartofelsalat (potato salad), beer and cakes bombarded our gustatory senses with great delight! The music, the food and drink, and the general gemuetlichkeit that pervaded this scene lasted all day, through rain showers and sun, summer heat and cloudy chills. 

It was our first Sunday in Pinswang, our first Kirchweihfest, the first of many firsts that would soon become part of our daily lives here in this very beautiful land.

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