Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 5, 2011

Concert at Burg Namedy Castle and Visit to Katzenelnbogen

On Sunday, September 4 we travelled from Sossmar to Andernach, approximately 400 killometers. We arrived at Burg Namedy castle at around 4 pm.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to visit the breathtaking Burg Namedy castle and to play a concert with Andrei at its magnificent concert hall. Following the concert, we were invited to a dinner with Princess von Hohenzollern and her son and guests. I enjoyed the lively conversation and the extraordinary wine which came from the neighboring winery.

Throughout my visit, I was deeply impressed with the Princess’ inspiring love for art, and her passion for sharing it with the community. We were all humbled by her friendly character and wonderful personal warmth. It demonstrated to me that you can not be a great person without being a real human being. I appreciated her willingness to take the time to talk with us in length about the joys and challenges of owning and operating the castle.

The following morning, the Princess graciously gave us a personal tour of the castle. It was fascinating to hear about its rich history, and to appreciate the true nature of the Burg Namedy castle as a home for the Princess and her family. I also enjoyed very much listening to Andrei and playing myself on the grand pianos in the two distinctively different and equally beautiful blue and red music rooms.

After a heartfelt farewell from the Princess, we drove from Andernach to the town of Katzenelnbogen, where my ancestor Rabbi Meir Katzenelnbogen was born in 1482. Upon the news of our arrival, the Mayor of Katzenelnbogen, Horst Klöppel, invited us to meet with him and Uwe Welker in his office. It was a wonderful meeting and I am very grateful for their hospitality. We were photographed together and Mayor Klöppel kindly gave me a coat of arms bearing the Lion symbol of Katzenelnbogen and the book “Katzenelnbogen und der Einrich” by Rev. Rudolf Herold. I told the Mayor that thirty-two years ago my parents and I visited Mr. Herold at his house in Katzenelnbogen.

Following our meeting with the Mayor, we went to visit the Katzenelnbogen castle. I vividly remembered the stunning castle and felt a strong feeling of homecoming. It functioned as a hotel and restaurant until recently and is currently vacant. I thought to myself with a smile that if I lived in it, my address would be: Eyran Katsenelenbogen, the castle of Katzenelnbogen, Katzenelnbogen.

These two fairytale visits, to Burg Namedy on September 4, 2011 and to Katzenelnbogen the following day, would not have taken place without the good intention and resourcefulness of Gerhard and Bettina Hummer. I cannot express how moved I am by their miraculous friendship and how inspired I am by their kind, respectful and peaceful human nature.

In the photos above:
1. Burg Namedy Castle in Andernach
2. Arriving at Katzenelnbogen
3. From left to right: Gerhard Hummer, Edmitro Vanella, Eyran Katsenelenbogen, Mayor of Katzenelnbogen Horst Klöppel, Andrej Ivanovitch, Uwe Welker (v.l.)
4. Eyran Katsenelenbogen at the castle of Katzenelnbnogen

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