Friday, July 16, 2010

Ravensburg, Germany

I'm high on a hill standing next to a schloss (castle) taking in the view of Ravensburg's downtown. With its well-preserved medieval city center Ravensburg (population 50,000) is a delight. That tall white circular building is a guard tower and was built in 1425 to protect the castle (where I'm standing).

In medieval times cities like Ravensburg were completely walled-in with fortifications atop the walls. Going in and out of town was usually restricted through four gates. Built in 1432, Obertor (Upper Gate) is the only one remaining. There's a bell atop the tower which was rung during executions.
Weingarten (population 25,000) lies only three miles from Ravensburg. Though it isn't as big or as lively, Weingarten has something in its town center that Ravensburg can't match: a massive church. It's Germany's second largest church and the country's largest Baroque church.

The church is impressive inside and out.

I've traveled extensively through Germany and absolutely love the country. However, there's one thing about the country that really, really bothers me. Why does the government allow cigarette vending machines to be placed in residential areas? I'm not talking about busy intersections, business, commercial areas or outside next to gas stations, convenience stores and so on. I'm talking about stand alone cigarette vending machines being plopped down in residential areas with no commercial activites for blocks and blocks. Do they know how easy it is for minors to help themselves. It's no wonder the country has one of the highest smoking rates in Europe.

1 comment:

  1. There is usually only one reason-the cigarettes are heavily taxed so that is easy revenue for the government. Apparently, nicotine addiction is worse than cocaine.