Nordlingen - A Bavarian Town In A Crater
Last weekend, I planned on going to Nordlingen in Germany, as I was invited for a lunch by a friend who lives in some village, which is close to Nordlingen. I was very much looking forward for this, because the person who invited me (and some other folks) told me that she's gonna cook some Indian delicacies. My mouth was already watering before starting off to that place (because its been ages since I'd some genuine Indian stuff).
Nordlingen is a small town in Bavaria state (Bundesland) of Germany. I was a bit interested in seeing this place because this place is said to be located inside a huge meteor crater, which was created 15 million years ago and has a diameter of 25 kms. Nordlingen is not exactly located at the centre of the meteor, but it is the largest city inside the crater. one more important thing is that Nordlingen is one among the only 3 walled medieval towns existing in Germany, apart from Rothenburg (which is also in Bavaria) and Dinkelsbuhl. Also, Nordlingen is on the 'Romantic Strasse(Road)' route, which is called so because it was a trade route during the middle ages and still retains much of its medieval character.
Nordlingen is around 80 kms from where I stay. I set off to Nordlingen at around 10 AM on Saturday and reached in 1 & 1/2 hrs. The weather was so good that day, that its an ideal day for doing outdoor things like swimming in the lake, biking, et al things. Here are some pics that I took on the way to Nordlingen:
After driving for a while, we were just a couple of kilometres away from the village, where we were invited for the lunch. At that moment, I could see a sign board which said that the meteor-crater starts from that point. I couldnt identify much difference, but I could notice that the soil was a bit different (which is obviously not a abrupt change) and I dont know if thats something related to meteor hitting that place. After that, we reached that village, called Minnendorf. One of things that I like about Germany is the general respect that people give for the country side (specially in Bavaria). Here are some pics from that village:
After that, we all speculated about different things, had lunch and went out for a short walk around that village. After we spent a couple of hours in that place, we drove around some places inside the meteor crater. There were a couple of places inside the boundary of the meteor crater, which were well-known in Germany, like 'Oettinger', where Oettinger brewery is located and also a famous monsatery at a place, the name of which I cant recollect. Here are some pics:
After that, we also drove a bit along the perimeter/boundary of the meteor crater and this is when I could clearly see the depth of the crater that was formed millions of years ago. Here are some pics (In these pics you can see the depth of the crater from the point I took the picture):
From the inside of the crater, the perimter of the crater just looks normal like any other hill around a town or village. After that we went to Nordlingen and looked around a bit. Nordlingen is a walled medieval town, which has 18 towers and 5 gates on the wall and are still in working condition. Also, Nordlingen boasts of a couple of famous churches and museums. Among the museums, the crater museum is the most famous one. This is where Apollo 16 astronauts trained in 1970. As a gift for hosting them, these astronauts gave a piece of 'moon rock' (I know about the controversy regarding the landing on the moon. So, I presume these astronauts got it from the expedition to the moon..haha). to this museum and so, if you happen to visit this museum, you can probably see that. Apart from that, there are lots of geological and planetary exhibits.
After that, we looked around the downtown and walked around some some narrow and typical streets, where I saw a lot of cute, old and well-preserved houses. I also looked at the Daniel church tower (which is a main landmark in Nordlingen), from where you can have a panoramic and great view of the meteor crater. Here's a pic that I shot:
I couldnt take many pics of Nordlingen, as my camera-battery was down and also because it wasnt really a touristic thingy that I did, but you can find loads of info and pics about Nordlingen, on the internet.
If you are interested in meteor craters and pics of Nordlingen, I would suggest you to google it with specific keywords and you will find loads of great info and pics. Also, here's a link from a fellow blogger, that has some great info and pics about Nordlingen and the crater:
Nordlingen And The Meteor Crater