Here follows a really quite geeky post.
When I was an undergraduate, I absolutely loved studying the Reformation and Early Modern German history. I had to take a European history course in my second year and my professor just sold it to me without even trying. So hooked.
Anyway, he still gave me the best advice ever - if you want to understand European history - go to Europe. He never actually said come back and so I've been here awhile now ;)
It was really good advice though and some of the things he said in his lecture I've gone to see. Like the Shambles in York, for example. It's an amazing thing to understand the idea of a closed in Early Modern street but you can really see it in the Shambles.
Today we're in Münster where 2 things of fairly significant note happened (in history but also from my history classes).
The first was during the Reformation when Anabaptists took over the town. It was put under seige and eventually the town was taken back over. The ring leaders, including John of Leiden were tortured, killed and their bodies displayed in cages for all the town to see.
And here I am. And you can see behind me, in the church tower, the friggin' cages.
I reckon they are replicas (as it looks like there are more in the city museum) but holy crap. What a visceral reminder of what happened during the Reformation (especially to Anabaptists). You can read all the historical accounts you want but there is something immensely strange to see cages still up there after almost 500 years.
So the second thing, and more nerdy photos tomorrow when it's open, was the Treaty of Westphalia which is my favourite treaty as it ended the Thirty Years War. I spent a significant amount of time researching the financing of the Thirty Years War in my final year of university. It's probably one of my favourite essays but the one I think I spent the most time writing. It wasn't so much that I had to but I wanted to. Such an amazing, insane topic and time in history.
There were multiple places where the treaty was signed but one was right here in Münster. Tomorrow we're going to go to the Peace Hall where the one of them was signed (this one also ended the 80 years war between Spain and the Netherlands). HOW COOL IS THAT?
Here is my nedy face in front of it.
We arrived quite late into town but we just had to go see it! I was giggling so much. I love history. More nerding out to be had in the morning.