The Test of Time

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Last time I was in Freiburg, Germany, I noticed a different-looking church near one of the tram stops. It was modern architecture, which definitely makes it stand out in a country of old churches. (The church around the corner from our apartment is more than 1,000 years old.)

I didn’t take a picture, or go inside. Time constraints – I had shopping to do and the stores don’t stay open late here. Maybe next trip.

I also didn’t know there was a St. Albert, though a quick search informs me there was  St. Albertus Magnus, who died in Cologne, Germany, in 1280.

But I did take a picture of the cross in an enclosure outside the church. It is much older than the church building; you can tell that from just looking at it. If I understand correctly the cross goes back to 1299, erected to commemorate a battle in which the city of Freiburg was saved from its enemies.

There must be a story to that, one that I’d like to hear. Not just about the battle, but how the cross got to this spot. Maybe it is the site of the battle; the church is a newcomer. Maybe it was moved here to allow the church to take care of it. It does look a little worse for wear with the passage of time. Though you could also say it looks remarkably well preserved for something almost 800 years old. It is all a matter of perspective.

Canada is a relatively young country, which means at home I was unlikely to see anything quite so old. Stumbling across history is part of what makes living in Europe fun.

 

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