Our second move in town! This time into a 'build it yourself' house. What a crazy idea! We joined together with 11 other families and bought the bit of land where the old school house in Vötting used to stand. The old school was taken down many years ago, leaving a sizeable empty lot. We were fotunate that the city of Freising chose to sell it to us. The entire group of families was involved in all aspects of the design and construction. It was often not the most efficient or stress free method of building, but the end result retains nice little parts of all the participants ideas. Countless group meetings, two architecture firms, a few building contractors, dozens of subcontractors and huge amounts of personal 'sweat equity' later the project is complete and we are all the proud ( and exhausted ) occupants of a nice little row houses on the west end of Freising.
Our new neighborhood is dominated by the Weihenstephan University and the brewery of the same name. The old apartment was around the corner from the Hofbrauhaus Freising brewery and our new address just down the hill from the Weihenstephan. I'm wondering if this was pure coincidence or if hops and malt are fundameltal to our feeling of community. Weihenstephan claims to be the oldest brewery in the world, pre dating the venerable Hofbrauhaus Freisng by 120 years. History has it that the Hofbrauhaus was founded by the Friesing Archbishop Albert in 1160. The hop gardens at the Weihenstephan Abbey were first recorded for tax purposes in the year 768. The city of Freising gave the Benedictine monks a brewery licence in 1040, hense thier claim to the title of oldest conitnually operating brewery.
The University Weihentephan is well know in many areas of study and research including, not surprisingly, brewery science. There is also a well regarded school of landscape architecture, a broad array of departments invloved in the study of plants, foresrty and bio-technology as well as world reknown perrenial gardens. On a less scholoarly note, there is also a wonderful old beer garden at the top of the universtity hill that has a stunning view and enourous old chestnut trees that gaurentee plesantly cool tables even on the warmest summer afternoons.
From our bedroom terrace there's a pretty view of the small St Jakob parish church which is relatively young having been built in 1857. It has a good set of bells and I've come to rely on their familiar presence each quarter hour. Although the first few mornings the especially long fanfare at 7 a.m. was alarming.
Our area of Freising is called Vötting. Previously it was a seperate little village, but now it is the western edge of Freising. There used to be a charming little village center here but almost all traces of it have been removed. Property values near Munich have risen sharply over the last 20 years and sadly the traditional houses and impressive farm buildings of the region don't offer the profitability of high density modern housing developments. Happily two old businesses remain. The best is the little backery accross the street called the 'Veiregg' which sells delicious breads and a well thought out selection of groceries. It's delightful to buy bread there, the women who run it are invariably friendly and seem to know know every man woman and child in the neighborhood. The other long standing face of Vötting is the guest house Lerner with it's resteraunt and shady beer garden. Although the Lerner has a somewhat split personality, the old resteraunt was expanded at some point with a drab multi story cement block extension full of guest rooms that looks anything but quaint. Fortunately, under the umbrellas and horse chestnuts of the beer garden you really don't notice.
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