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Our excursions
Bus excursions once a year give our American guests and friends the chance to get to know our country better. We plan these trips to a variety of interesting places in our home state, Northrhine-Westfalia. Most of the excursions are accompanied by professional guides.
Below is a short list of our trips within the last few years.
Cloister Dalheim   ...Excursion to East-Westfalia  -  Cloister Dalheim and Wewelsburg
Target of our excursion on June, 9th, 2013 has been Cloister Dalheim and the Wewelsburg in East-Westfalia. We could welcome 5 students from the USA, who actually visited Münster under the program of Prof. Klabes (Vassar College). In Dalheim we got a well-informed guided tour through the monastery and the museum. Architecture and furnishing showed 600 years monastery history. The first nun-cloister from 13th century deteriorated pretty soon and at the beginning of the 15th century only the Augustinian canons who created an economical and cultural accendency for the cloister. During the baroque period in this area bishops were sovereigns so as Bishop Clemens August from Münster, at the same time bishop from Paderborn, and the prior in this system had high standing responsabilities. By this reason the working quarters of the monastery were reconstructed into a baroque palace which would have done credit for any aristocracy home. In the grounds around the buildings we could admire the reconstructed baroque gardens and the garden of herbs. Napoleon (and his brother Jerome as king of Westfalia) secularized church estates and so cloister Dalheim. In 1802 Dalheim became Prussian domain and remained an agricultural enterprise up to 1979, which clearly meant changes in building structures. Thereafter the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe took over all buildings and the grounds and developed within 20 years a concept to make apparent again the medieval cultur of monasteries, in our mind successfully done. Very impressive were the buildings as well as the furnishing, traces of old paintings and the transformation of all this for use as a museum. Useful was the cloister tavern, where we were served a good brunch. Our comfortable bus drove us to the Wewelsburg which originally had been a fortified castle of the rulers in Paderborn. During the 3rd Reich it was misused by Heinrich Himmler as school for SS-leaders and this history was shown in a memorial which got high interest in our group. Some of us took a guided tour showing the history of the castle and of the princedom diocese where traces of the NS-history were seen as well. On the castle terrace coffee and cakes were consumed before we started the journey home.
The Jagdschloss Falkenlust  ...DAG Excursion 2012 to Brühl
Unfortunately the weather was unfriendly and rainy when on Sunday, June 3rd, 41 curious guests and members of the DAG took of for the UNESCO World Heritage Brühl at 8 a.m. from the Schlossplatz Münster. During the trip the chairman Prof. M. Korda gave a detailed preinformation on the castles of Brühl, their construction and on important relevant persons. At first we visited the Jagdschloss Falkenlust. Experienced guides not only explained the building, the rooms and the hunting with hawks but showed us as well the origin of some words in use today using symbolics of baroque architectural style. A short drive took us to the Max Ernst Museum very near to the Schloss Augustusburg and the railway station Brühl. In the bistro of the museum Chez Max we took lunch and refreshments. Befor we went in the museum Prof. M. Korda gave an overview on life and work of Max Ernst, a son of the city of Brühl, and on Peggy Guggenheim, who lived together with him many years. After the guided visit of the museum only few steps took us to the Schloss Augustusburg where we were guided through the magnificent stairwell constructed by Balthasar Neumann and some show rooms of the Schloss. Unfortunately the weather did not allow a visit of the wonderful baroque garden. Exactly on time we started at 5 p.m. our return, which made us arrive on the Schlossplatz Münster shortly after 7 p.m.. Prof. Korda said words of thank to our member Dr. R. Sappok for his excellent preparation and organization of this dense but extremely informative excursion.
The NRW House of ...DAG Excursion 2011
It was a marvellous bright summer day when 36 participants, amongst them as guests 8 students from Fresno (Münster city partnership) with their professor and 2 more American students, met on June, 2nd, 2011 (Ascension Day) at 8:30 a.m. on the Hindenburgplatz for the this years excursion to Düsseldorf. Prof. Korda reminded the participants to the deceased DAG secretary Ulrich Kuschnerus, who still had organized this excursion in all details. In Düsseldorf we at first had a panorama view from the top of the Rhein Tower and were then guided through the Media Harbour of Düsseldorf by the deputy head of the Stadtplanungsamt of the city of Düsseldorf, Mrs. Orzessek-Kruppa. Following a lunch in the restaurant Eigelstein – Kölsch beer was offered in Düsseldorf(!) – we continued our trip into the valley of Neander to visit the local Neanderthal Museum. We were given two extremely excellent guided tours in English respectively German language and learned by this not only the reason for the different spelling in German Neandertal and Neanderthal Museum but as well the history of mankind from the beginning in East Africa up to the Neanderthal Man and the todays Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Exactly on time we returned to the Hindenburgplatz in Münster at 7p.m..
The invitation   ...Liebesmahl at the 1 German-Netherland Corps
By invitation of the Commanding General Lieutenant General Ton van Loon Prof. Korda and Dr. Hölscher representing the DAG Münster took part at the traditional Liebesmahl of the 1 German-Netherland Corps on November, 16th, 2010, in the Lützow Barracks, Münster-Handorf.
Museum Insel Hombroich - ...DAG Excursion 2010
Fortunately weather conditions were completely different to last year and really marvelous, when on Thursday, June 3rd 2010 (Feast Corpus Christi), 27 members, guests and friends of the DAG met at 8:30 a.m. on Hindenburgplatz for departure to Museum Insel Hombroich, near of Neuss. This is a park and terrace scenery created by architect Bernhard Korte, has its motto “Art parallels Nature” and shows 16 sculptured buildings, in which work of art are exhibited from the extensive collection of the Foundation Insel Hombroich including pieces from antiquity, from classical modern age and from contemporary art. Following a snack in the Museum cafeteria our bus took us to the former NATO rocket station, located near-by, and being a part of Museum Insel Hombroich as a kind of art lab. In this former NATO rocket station the architect Tadao Ando in 2004 created the art and exhibition building of the Langen Foundation which is separated from Museum Insel Hombroich and in which changing exhibitions of contemporary art are to be seen. At 7 p.m. our safe return to Hindenburgplatz marked the end of a highly interesting day.
The participants   ...Excursion2009
The weather was not particularly friendly on Thursday , June 11th, when nevertheless 26 society members and guests met at 8:30 a.m. on Hindenburgplatz for departure to Duisburg. In the Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord we were shown by well informed guides – unfortunately mostly in the rain - , what had happenend to a 200 hectare industrial fallow, the former Thyssen blast furnace plant, after the total demolition had been stopped. Parts of the plant still demonstrate the process of Iron making including all relevant side processes; top item is a visiting tour of a blast furnace from the bottom to the very top (70 m above ground). Other parts of the plant are used today in different ways; part of the old shelters for ore as climbing area for the Deutschen Alpenverein, a gasometer filled with 20000 cubic meter water as training center for diving and diverse cultural events in the former workshops. After a refreshing lunch in the restaurant of the Landschaftspark we continued our trip to the Museum of the Deutsche Binnenschifffahrt in Duisburg Ruhrort. Still Duisburg Ruhrort has to be seen as one of the worldwide greatest harbours for inland navigation. Well informed as before we were guided through the historical development of inland navigation from the beginning in form of a 30 m long ship made about 2300 years ago from one oak tree up to the most modern pushing freight ship systems. Extremely interested participants despite heavy continued to visit the Museum ship – a side wheel steamer -, while most of the others favoured a refreshing coffee and some cake in the Museum cafeteria. Exactly in time at 6:30 p.m. we arrived back in Münster – unfortunately still with rain coming down. But despite the weather all participants and in particular the American students were highly impressed by all what we have seen and heard.
The Embassy from south; ...The new US-Embassy in Berlin
The new construction of the US-Embassy had been opened officially on July 4th , 2008 at the Pariser Platz in Berlin exactly at that place where it had been before 1945. With this the buildings around this central place in Berlin had been completed finally. The Embassy building had been heavily discussed before its completion already as regards urban development. One headline under many others reads: “A sanatorium? A fortress! – Berlin: The new US-Embassy went wrong.” (from Kunstzeitung 143/Juli 2008). In 1996 already the Californian architects Ruble and Yudell from the office of the heroe of postmodern architecture Charles Moore, died already in 1993, had won the competition for the new Embassy. The increased security requirements for foreign US-Embassies and the time consuming discussions with the Berliner Senat referring to this probably have caused some changes to the original design during the 10 years phase of planning. Some pictures made in August 2008 will show you the Embassy from all sides, from the south, the west and for sure seen from the Pariser Platz. Additionally there is a picture of the French Embassy diagonally across in the other corner of the Pariser Platz so to speak for comparison
Welcome at the salt ...Excursion 2008 - From White Gold to fine Fabrics
Our this years excursion started on Sunday, June 15th, at 8:30 a.m. as usual from the Hindenburgplatz. Despite not very friendly weather forecasts 24 society members and guests together with 4 American students were keen to learn more on "White Gold" and "fine Fabrics". Our bus took us at first to the salt-works "Gottesgabe" in Rheine-Bentlage. A guided tour teaches us the practice of salt-manufacturing from an underground salt water "sole" to solid salt, which had been practised here since medieval years. This very costly manufacturing process gave reason to name salt "White Gold". By a short walk through a very nice park we reached the cloister Bentlage, where we had lunch in the refectory. After lunch there was opportunity to visit the cloister and its museum which shows some interesting paintings from Westfalian artists and very valuable relics. In the afternoon our bus took us to Nordhorn, where we were guided through the cultural center "Alte Weberei". Up to the end of the last century Nordhorn had been the center for indutrial fabrics production in Germany. Globalisation processes have forced an end to this kind of industry in Germany. Forner fabric workers - one at the age of 81 - sowed us the way from raw cotton to fabrics made of thousand of threads. We could see different technologies of spinning nd weaving mill machines in action - from 130 years old veterans to most modern techniques as "air beam" loom. After a relaxing cup of coffee on the center of Norfhorn we safely returned to Münster at 7 p.m..
Bild vergrößernExcursion 2007 - To the Park and Museum Kalkriese - the Battle of Varus
35 participants – including 5 american students and some guests of our society – were curious to find out if the Battle of Varus had been fought in Kalkriese or not and left for this excursion on June 7th 2007 at 8:30 a.m. from Hindenburgplatz. In the museum Kalkriese we were welcomed by the former managing director Katharina v. Kurzinski. In 2 groups we were given introductory lectures on the historical background and other frame conditions of those events nearly 2000 years ago by employees of the museum. Following that we were given a guided tour through the museum and to a running excavation field. It was smashing to learn that an antique battle field is excavated here in Kalkriese for the first time worldwide; methods and experiences developed here will help other projects elsewhere. With 3 hours full of explanations and informations lunch time was welcomed as break and rest. The announced surprise lunch turned out to be a roman-teutonic buffet which simulated old  roman and teutonic dishes in a very rich and delicious form. The afternoon was relaxation only; after a short drive we reached Lehmbruch on the shore of Lake Dümmer. Enjoying the beautiful weather we let the excursion end  by drinking coffee or taking other refreshments, by walking on the lake shore or by riding a pedal boat on the lake. At 6:30 p.m. we returned back to the Hindenburgplatz.
A first conclusion: Is Kalkriese the real place of that Varus Battle? Very much is in favour and much less is against; very probably a final prove can not be reached at all because of lack of sources. But anyway a greater fight involving roman soldiers had taken place here for sure not later than 9 a.C..
A second conclusion: It was common feeling of all participants – who had not participated in this excursion  missed a lot.
Bild vergrößernExcursion to Bremerhaven on April 23th 2006
Together with guest students from USA we visited  Bremerhaven on April 23th 2006. After having a short lunch on the old sailing ship “Seute Deern”, which serves today as a museum, we got a guided tour through the German Emigration Center (Deutsches Auswandererhaus). We learned how and why emigrants left Bremerhaven for the USA. Especially impressing had been some situations reproduced to the original on the emigration quay and on board of various ships, which transported millions of emigrants into the New World during the 19th and 20th century.
More informations  www.dah-bremerhaven.de.
After that we had opportunities to intensify our impressions by discussing with Prof. Dr. Antonius Holtmann from the Carl von Ossietzky Universität in Oldenburg, where he is in charge of a research center for german emigrants to the USA (Deutsche Auswanderer in den USA , DAUSA). Prof. Holtmann presented a very interesting book, in which he documented the life of a german emigrant from the westfalian village Ochtrup, who died in the Civil War at Vicksburg 1863.
More informations on the research center DAUSA  www.dausa.de.