St. Martin Church in Amberg, Germany

The parish church of St. Martin in the heart of Amberg, Germany possesses some of the most amazing stained glass windows we’ve ever seen. They were donated by families in the 1870s and 1880s for the most part. They are brilliant and help bring light into this otherwise dark, Gothic church, built in the 1300s.

Amberg’s Magnificent St. Georg Church

The magnificent rococo church of St. Georg is one of the oldest churches in Bavarian Amberg, Germany. It was built as a Gothic church in 1359. Later, it was taken over by the Jesuits and then in the 18th century, redecorated in the rococo style with the bright colors and stucco work of Johann Baptist […]

Bavarian – American Day in Amberg, Germany

We were lucky to combine our visit to George Then’s father’s birthplace with the annual “Bavarian-American Day” held each year to celebrate the friendship between this town in the Oberpfaelzische Wald with the American soldiers who were stationed here from 1945 to 1993. The market square was a hub of activity. Locals up near the […]

Seeing the handiwork of an ancestor in Munich

George Then had the unique opportunity (a first for a European Focus guest) to see the figures of the famous Glockenspiel atop the tower of the Munich Town Hall up close. A family member in Germany had something to do with the creation of these figures. Exactly what, is still to be determined. But through […]

From Villefranche to Menton and why Menton is better than Monte Carlo

We took a Sunday drive today from our home base in Villefranche-sur-Mer over to Monte Carlo, in Monaco. I think we can all attest to why nearby Menton is 100,000,000 times more charming and likeable than Monte Carlo. The city has lost all sense of itself amongst the many ugly behemoths that crowd the waterfront. […]

After all of the Genealogy, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and a lunch stop in Ulm

The Packwoods had just completed a rather intense week of experiences visiting their ancestral villages in Rheinland-Pfalz. As the trip wound down, we made a stop for a couple of nights in the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber before continuing on the 4th to Dachau, where their escorted trip ended and their independent […]

A New Relative in Waldsee Found

Thanks to a short article published in the local newspaper, Gini Packwood and her husband Bill were able to touch a letter written by Gini’s great-grandmother in 1923. The letter was sent to her sister, Elisabeth Graef, back in the village of Waldsee, Rheinland-Pfalz. Clara Graef Spindler had left this village suddenly many years prior, […]

A Chance Encounter in Waldsee Results in a New Relative Found

Gini and Bill Packwood have a new friend in Ludwigshafen, an industrial community located south of Frankfurt am Main. About a year ago, Gini Packwood ordered a “Familienbuch” published by the community of Waldsee. The book was painstakingly researched over a period of six years by octogenarian Paul Schwaningner. The book lists her entire family […]