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Laura Hunt

Why not in Bavaria?

Johanna Kaestner

The Bavarian flag has blue and white diamonds. A native will tell you that these colors stand for the blue Bavarian sky and its white clouds. Yet, Bavaria has much more to offer. Germany's most southern State is famous for its lakes and mountains, its castles and Rococo churches, and the stately farmhouses with geraniums and petunias hanging in colorful magnificence from the wooden balconies. Munich, world-renowned for the Oktoberfest, is sophisticated and artsy on one hand and earthy and rustic on the other.

Last year we were invited to the wedding of our niece, which took place in Fischbachau, a quaint village in the foothills of the Alps. (See: A Wedding with Heart) Bride and groom, avid hikers, knew the Aurachhof in Fischbachau as a conference center and corporate retreat.

They loved the elegant Bavarian-style hotel with its park-like surroundings, the shaded garden, and its exceptionally helpful and friendly staff. The Aurachhof can accommodate about 100 people in 37 double and 28 single comfortable rooms. The reception can be celebrated outside in the garden, shaded by chestnut nut trees, or inside in the reception hall with an elegant, yet rustic Bavarian feel. The Hotel has a list of excellent event professionals who have worked at the hotel before.

The couple, true gourmets, had picked a wonderful meal. It had nothing to do with the rustic sauerkraut-sausage-Bavarian-fare of the countryside; it reminded me much more of California Cuisine with German fusion. Later in the evening the lights were turned down and two servers pushed a decorated cart carrying the wedding cake set amidst sparkling Roman candles.

If you want to entertain your guests, there are lakes for swimming and mountains for hiking. There are serviced alpine huts along the way where you can quench your thirst with cool beer and apple spritzer, have a simple meal, and enjoy the breathtaking view. The famous castle Neuschwanstein and other castles of the Bavarian King Ludwig are close by, as is great shopping for clothes and souvenirs. Whatever you plan, the English-speaking staff of the hotel is happy to help you.

How to get there:

You can rent a car or use the extensively developed train and bus system to reach your destination. If you come from Munich, it is about a one hour ride with the Bayerische Oberlandbahn. You will share the train with hikers and bikers in summer and skiers in winter; they love to take advantage of the great outdoor activities Bavaria has to offer.

The Ceremony

The population in southern Bavaria is predominantly Catholic. Therefore, you will find many Catholic churches and chapels all over the countryside, in the villages, on the meadows, and even on mountain tops.

The church in Fischbachau is among the oldest in Bavaria and dates back to the beginning of the 12th century. The cheerfully painted Romanic basilica has a church tower that sports the region's typical onion-shaped stipple. The richly decorated inside in late Baroque is just beautiful.

Birgit Brubach, the director of the Aurachhof, did the research for having a Catholic ceremony in Fischbachau. Here it is:
Provided the American couple signs the papers at home, it is fairly easy to tie the knot in a Catholic church. A precondition is that either bride or groom is Catholic and neither one has been divorced previously. Then bride and groom are required to take marriage preparation lessons at their local church in the US. At least two months prior to their wedding, the couple's pastor has to send the paperwork to the Archbishop in Munich. To have smooth sailing, it is advisable that the couple also contacts the pastor in Fischbachau. After he receives the permissions from the Archbishop, the pastor can marry the couple.

Birgit Brubach
Bahnhofstrasse 4
83730 Fischbachau
Phone: +49 8028 903-0
Fax: +49 8028 903199

Rooms, breakfast buffet included:
double occupancy: €110
single: €60
average four-course dinner with wine for fifty people €4,800 to €6,500
Catholic Church
Katholisches Pfarramt
Martinsweg 3
D-83730 Fischbachau
Phone: +49 8028 90670

Send papers to:
Erzbischöfliche Ordinariat München
Referat 12
Postfach 33 03 60
D-80063 München

Important: Allow 2 to 3 months for the processing of the permission!

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