Previous Page Next Page

UTC:       Local:

Home Page Index Page

1634: The Bavarian Crisis: Chapter Twenty Seven

       Last updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 10:32 EDT



Munich, Bavaria

    München-unlike many German cities, it was not named for a castle, nor a mountain. Monacum, the town of the monk. Leopold Cavriani paused long enough for Marc to take a good look.

    Munich was impressive, even compared to Nürnberg. Over the past couple of years, Marc had become accustomed to measuring every other town and city by the standard of Nürnberg-its population of forty thousand people, its churches, its civic buildings, its guild halls, its music. Jacob Durre was, passionately, a Nürnberg local patriot. He had managed to share part of his love of his adopted city with Marc. From his perspective, one of the greatest blessings that the coming of Grantville had brought to the Germanies was that in this world, the battle of Alte Veste had not resulted in the deaths of about two-thirds of the population of that city and the equally harsh devastation of a wide swath of the hinterland around it.

    The capital of Bavaria wasn’t as large, of course. It’s population was less than half that of Nürnberg, probably not much over eighteen or nineteen thousand, if you counted only the citizens and their households. In Munich, though, a person would have to add the people living at the court and the far larger numbers of clergy. And, of course, the beggars; Duke Maximilian had issued a strict ordinance regulating the poor just a few years previously. Still, though, even with those, it was only about half as big as Nürnberg.

    According to his father, if life was fair, Duke Maximilian of Bavaria ought to be just as grateful to Grantville as Jacob Durre was. Even the very general descriptions of Gustavus Adolphus’ 1632 campaigns in Bavaria that were in the history books that came back in time made it clear that the Swedes had devastated the duchy in that other world. In this world, after Alte Veste, with the exception of leaving Banér in the Upper Palatinate and Horn in Swabia, the Swedes had withdrawn to the north. Bavaria was still, in this summer of 1634, except for Ingolstadt, essentially untouched by the war’s devastation, its great abbeys and convents intact and its castles unburned.

    Maximilian was prepared for war, though. Munich’s fortifications were impressive. Marc had been expecting the church towers-he had seen the old view of the city, from about seventy five years before, in a book about the cities of the world, while he was in Nürnberg. That book proclaimed that Munich excelled and out-dazzled all the other seats of German princes in its “elegant cleanliness.” Since then, around and outside the old medieval walls, smooth curtain walls in a sort of irregular egg-shape, the dukes of Bavaria had constructed another set of modern walls with every imaginable innovation. The arrow-shaped extrusions almost looked like they were weapons themselves. Marc was hoping that he would have time to get a good look at them.

    They were coming in on the Augsburger Strasse, from the southwest. Leopold had cut directly south from Neuburg, until they intersected it, saying that arriving from that direction would attract less attention than coming from the northwest on the Nürnberger Strasse, since entering there led visitors directly past the Residenz itself, where security would certainly be highest. The view lacked the drama of Nürnberg, where the old medieval fortress stood high above the rest of the city. The walls were impressive enough without it.

    Leopold had been giving considerable thought to where they should stay. Cavriani Freres de Geneve did not have a factor conveniently located in this most Catholic of Catholic cities. The first question was “inside or outside the walls?” Either had its advantages and disadvantages. If they stayed outside the walls, they would not be trapped within the city when the gates closed at night. That would give them somewhat more flexibility. Also, because of the wedding, lodgings inside the city would be hard to find, as well as expensive. While Marc looked at Munich’s walls, his father looked at the parking area where the baggage-wagons for the duke’s guests had been collected. He looked even more closely at the constant stream of servants going back and forth through the gates to the wagons.

    It was that, finally, that decided him-not that he would have begrudged the money that an inn inside the walls would have cost, precisely, but still. Staying outside would work better. They would be in a camp in which, basically, almost nobody knew anybody else, so no one would be in a position to watch them doing something they “shouldn’t” or keeping a routine that they “oughtn’t.” He turned his horse toward the baggage wagons; Marc followed. Renting a place to stake their horses and put out their pallets at night took less than a half hour.



    Marc was still feeling a little deprived. At the very least, he thought, they should have needed to sneak around, peeking into dungeons and making secret signals, until they found the damsels in distress whom they had come to rescue. Well, not damsels, precisely. At any rate, until they found Frau Simpson and Frau Dreeson. Instead, the newspaper had announced the duke’s decision that they would be interned in the house of the English Ladies. It had even conveniently provided the name of the street on which the house was to be found.

    His father said that the first order of business was to become familiar with the city and its streets, before they went anywhere near that house. Munich wasn’t all that large; an energetic man could walk across it, north to south or east to west, in fifteen minutes. The bridge across the multiple channels of the Isar River was on the east, opposite to where they had entered the city through the Neuhäuser Gate, leading from the Salzburger Strasse past the Jesuit collegium.

Home Page Index Page




Previous Page Next Page

Page Counter Image