Photos: Summery Views of Vechta

As longtime readers may remember, I taught at the University of Vechta for a while. And yesterday, I had the opportunity to teach in Vechta again, though not at the university this time, but at the St. Antoniushaus, a conference centre and retreat run by the Catholic church*. I was teaching or rather moderating an English class for pregnancy counsellors to help them offer support to pregnant refugees and immigrants who don’t speak German. I filled in on fairly short notice for another teacher who had to drop out. So I spent the afternoon watching and critiquing six lovely ladies role-playing counselling sessions. This was quite a change from what I usually do and also very interesting. I also gained a lot more insight in and respect for what pregnancy counsellors actually do.

Vechta sits right in a middle of a Catholic enclave in otherwise largely Lutheran North West Germany. The religious difference is very visible in the form of roadside crucifixes (I passed five or six on my way there – photos of some of them can be found in this old post), street names, religious bookshops and Catholic organisations and charities running hospitals, schools, kindergartens, care homes, etc… Vechta is a very friendly place, though, even if you’re not Catholic and/or not religious at all. Coincidentally, Vechta was also the first place in Germany where I saw LGBT wedding cards – in a religious book and card shop of all things.

Since I arrived early, I had some time to walk around town, buy books and patronise two of the best bakeries in North West Germany for bread and biscuits. Unfortunately, one of the formerly three independent bookstores in Vechta is gone by now; the owner retired. But the other two are still there, as are the many excellent bakeries.

I forgot to take my camera along, but I still had my smartphone, so here are some summerly views of Vechta, Goldenstedt and Moordeich:

St. Georg Church, Vechta

The late gothic St. Georg church in Vechta with a background of feathery clouds.

The Old Kamponier, a former ammunitions depot and the sole surviving part of the former citadel of Vechta. It overlooks the Vechtaer Moorbach and was built in 1706.

The Old Kamponier, a former ammunitions depot and the sole surviving part of the former citadel of Vechta. It overlooks the Vechtaer Moorbach and was built in 1706.

Meyer's Mühle, Vechta

Meyer’s mill in Vechta: There has been a mill on this spot since at least the Thirty-Years-War. The old windmill is no longer active, but the modern mill across the road still is, as is the adjacent bakery, which has been providing excellent whole grain bread since 1860.

Streetsweeper Martin

A statue dedicated to Streetsweeper Martin, a local original who kept the streets of Vechta clean.

Jan and Libett

More Vechta originals: Jan von Dählen and Stuken Libett, a farmer couple attending Vechta’s famous summer fair, the Stoppelmarkt. Based on a drawing from 1912, they are the fair’s mascots. This statue of the pair adorns a wall in Vechta.

Edith Stein chapel, Vechta

The newly built Edith Stein chapel at the University of Vechta. The building houses the chapel as well as a cafeteria. When the chapel was still under construction, this was the view from my office window at the university.

Vechta crucifix

This bronze crucifix adorned the wall of the room at the St. Antoniushaus, where I taught yesterday.

Goldenstedt Martin Luther church

Another church, this time in the town of Goldenstedt some fifteen kilometers north of Vechta. This is the Martin Luther church, built in 1850.

St. Gorgonius, Goldenstedt

Goldenstedt’s other church, the Catholic St. Gorgonius church, built in 1910 and named after a third century martyr.

The following photos were taken not in and around Vechta, but in Moordeich, a village close to where I live. The lake looks so beautiful and peaceful that it’s easy to forget that it was created to separate Moordeich’s cemetery from the surrounding residential neighbourhood.

Lake, Moordeich

A view across a lake in Moordeich.

Lake Moordeich

Another view across the same lake in Moordeich. Note the pond scum.

Flammkuchen

And this was my lunch yesterday: Flammkuchen a.k.a. tarte flambee. The traditional style only has onions, cheese, sour cream and bacon, but of late there are plenty of variations available. This one was called Greek style.

Books

And here is yesterday’s book haul: Great science fiction by women writers. A pretty good haul, especially since the bookstore only carries about fifty English language books, half of which are by Jeffrey Archer.

*Until 2014, the St. Antoniushaus was run by nuns. At least one of the nuns is still there, but nowadays the house is run by laymen.

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2 Responses to Photos: Summery Views of Vechta

  1. Sherwood Smith says:

    Lovely pix–as always. I’ll bet that was a terrific experience.

    • Cora says:

      Glad you like the photos. It was a lovely day and I had a lot of fun. IMO one of the best things about both teaching and translating is the many different things you get to do and people you get to meet.

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