October 12, 2006

Water alarm?

No posts for almost a week - I was caught by the first cold of this season...
As far as the house is concerned, everything is going well. We had an appointment with our banker the other day and - to make it short - they'll give us the money! We are now thinking about the different possibilites of financing. We are not sure whether it's better to chose a conservative financing with little risk or one with more risk but the possibility to reduce our debts earlier. Suddenly a lot of decisions to take...

But here's another (more) interesting story:


Our house is situated in "Wasserstrasse" - means Water Street in english. Sounds like any houseowner's nightmare, doesn't it? And in fact there really is a creek flowing underneath the pavement. BUT - and that's the interesting thing about it - it's absolutely necessary that it continues flowing, as the following example may show:
In the Seventies, the city council decided to regulate the creek. Within the next couple of years, the old timberframe buildings began to move and slump. Fortunately, this was quite an obvious development and the people in charge led the creek back in its natural channel. Almost immediately, the houses moved back into their original positions. Amazing, isn't it!?!

Means of course, that the cellars of these houses are always a little dampish, but as I said before: perfect wine cellars. The cellar in our house is, as the carpenter told us, even older than the rest of the house, probably 15th or 16th century. Really great!! Here's a (not really good...) picture of it:

7 comments:

Chris and Mandy said...

I love that history! What a cellar that is - I'm imagining a tomb right behind the photographer with a wall of skulls...it looks so eerie...but in a good way!

Anna said...

Hi!
Well - that's actually a good idea! Maybe we should open our house to the public and tell everybody that our cellar is a Roman catacomb... Could turn out to be an extra income, wow!
The only problem is: where do we get the skulls from?
Anna ;-)

Laurie said...

Fascinating. I'm enjoying your blog, as I ponder what my family might have been like in Germany. My grampa's family is from Schleswig Holstein. I know they lived on "the mud flats" although I have no clue what a mud flat is...do you? Laurie

Anna said...

Hi Laurie!

Thanks for stopping by! From what you wrote, I got an idea of your family's origins:
They obviously lived on the Western Coast of Schleswig Holstein at the "Wattenmeer" (The Wadden Sea). That is an absolutely delightful spot! You call it mud flat because mud is deposited by the tides and forms a bizarre but really beautiful landscape.
At the low tide you can do some low-tide sea-walking, but make sure to be back before the beginning of high tide...

When did your grampa leave Germany?
Anna

Laurie said...

Hi Anna, thanks for the information, it really makes me look forward to visiting Schleswig Holstein someday (on my list of places to go). I thought my great-grampa came from SH, but I chatted with my mom and it appears it was my great great gramma and grampa and they came seperately around 1878. Their surname was Hansen, my mother's maiden name. Definitely a long time ago, but still not as old as your house! :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm a late arrival to your blog. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There is a waterway (Bassett Creek) that was covered over around 1920. Its flow has to be protected, because it wets the foundation of some timber-framed warehouse buildings that would slump if it was stopped. This is very important now that some of the warehouses have been converted into condos.

Anna said...

Hello Elizabeth and thanks for stopping by! That is an interesting piece of information - I have the impression that a lot of the knowledge of traditional craft was lost in the course of the 20th century, often accompanied by the pollution of the environment. Are you a member of the Friends of Bassett Creek?