Denise has asked me to prepare an itinerary of sights to see in Europe concerning our ancestors before they arrived in the colonial United States.  The following quotation is found on pages 99 and 101 of my book, “Swiss Roots: A History of the Happes Family to 1800.”


            Some of the land occupied by family members has changed markedly; some only superficially.  A tour of locations in which the family held real estate would include:


o        the Habichtsburg manor: the picturesque farmland adjacent to the ancient fortress of the Counts von Hapsburg overlooking the Aare River Valley.  These grounds are still worked by diligent Swiss farmers.  Today a cluster of farmhouses forms a village in front of the castle ruins.  The castle, itself, is disappointingly small; its importance was largely due to its strategic location near the confluence of the Aare, Reuss, and Limmat Rivers.  The Hapsburg manor can be reached either by car from the town of Windisch or from Route 5 south of Brugg, or by an invigorating 45-minute walk through pine forests from Brugg's railroad station.


o        Ricketwil: an isolated plateau of farmland that can be visited by driving or walking up the roads behind the villages of Oberseen or Raeterschen.  Ricketwil is so peaceful and idyllic that it is easy to envision the Haps family living here for over 150 years.  During their stay the pronunciation of the family name was shortened from Hapesburg to the contraction Hapsen or simply to Haps.


o        Toess: a dull, industrial suburb of the city of Winterthur.  Today Toess retains little of its former prestige and glamor.  The sprawling factory of the Maschinenfabrik Rieter AG occupies the land on which the mighty Toess Cloister once stood.  An ugly, concrete shopping center rises near the former residences of the Haps families along the main street to Winterthur.  In the meadow south of Toess, the words "Hell's Angels" are scrawled on the side of the New Mill (Neumuehle).  However, progress has not completely obscured the landmarks of the past.  About three miles upstream the lofty Kyburg Castle still rises above the River Toess, reminding us of the old Counts von Kyburg and the officials comprising the Grafschaft Kyburg.  Under their influence, and that of the Cloister and the Black Death, the fortunes of the Haps family waxed and waned.  With the passage of time, even the family name changed noticeably during the Toess era.  In the late 1400's and early 1500's, the name often was written as the contraction Hapsen/ Habsen.  One hundred years later it was beginning to be written as Happes/Habbes with increasing frequency.


o Brombach:    a remote village surrounded by the dense forests of the Odenwald.  Situated at a relatively high altitude, Brombach can be reached by ascending winding roads from the towns of Hirschhorn or Heddesbach.  Here Uli Haps from Toess supplemented his meager income as a master tailor by cutting wood in the surrounding forests-- with disastrous results.


o          Altneudorf: an elongated village located in a narrow valley midway between the towns of Schoenau and Heiligkreuzsteinach in the southern Odenwald.  In the early 1700's, Michael Haps from Brombach moved here after he married into the Zimmerman family.  During Michael's lifetime the Happes/Habbes variation of the family name gradually replaced the one-syllable Haps/Habs version.


o          Schoenau: a pleasant town near Heidelberg famous for its Cistercian Cloister.  Outlying farms considered part of Schoenau include the Hasselbacherhof to the west and the Linnebach to the south.  Some of the buildings in the center of Schoenau predate the departure of the brothers Georg and Michael Happes Jr. for the New Land in 1751.




            Recently, I’ve been asked to suggest a 10-day European itinerary for distant cousins interested in both “fun and family.” They plan to arrive in Germany in time for this year’s Oktoberfest (21SEP – 6OCT, 2003) in Munich.  If anyone is interested in 10 days of both “fun and family”, my suggestions would be:


DAY 1:


_____ AM                               Arrive Munich (Franz Josef Strauss Airport); Pick up baggage and rental car/minibus.


_____ AM                               Arrive at Hotel _________, 45-60 minutes from Airport.


11:00 AM or 12:00 noon          Take public transportation to Marienplatz and watch glockenspiel figures move on Rathaus façade.


11:20 AM or 12:20 PM           Lunch at Ratskeller underneath Rathaus (entrance on side street on right-hand side of Rathaus).


2:00  PM to 4:30 PM               City sightseeing bus tour arranged at hotel upon arrival.


8:00 PM                                   Munich by night dinner tour arranged at hotel upon arrival.



DAY 2:


9:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel.


10:00 AM                                Morning at leisure for shopping/walking in downtown area.

Visit Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady - heavily damaged in WWII bombing, but now restored). 


11:30AM to 1:00PM                Lunch in Hofbräuhaus am Platzl (behind Marienplatz).


2:00 PM                                   Take public transportation to Oktoberfest held in the Theresienwiese.  Enjoy midway.


5:00 PM – 10:00 PM               Eat, drink, and be merry in beer tent of a local brewery.


10:00 PM                                 Return to hotel by public transportation.


NOTE: If you are not in Munich while Oktoberfest is in progress, you might want to try a museum such as the Deutsches Museum (science & technology; open 9-5 daily; EURO 7.5), the Alte Pinakothek (renaissance-era sculpture and  paintings; open Tuesday – Sunday 10-5; EURO 5), or the BMW Museum (cars/motorcycles; open 9-5 daily, EURO 3).



DAY 3:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


9:00 AM                                  Depart Munich via autobahn to Augsburg.


10:00AM                                 Drive through historic Augsburg, taking Route 17 south toward Landsberg.  Drive through Landsberg and Schongau. Stay on Route 17, stopping to visit the Wies Kirche (Meadow Church) near Steingaden. Proceed to Schwangau, have lunch there and visit one or both of Ludwig’s castles: Hohenschwangau (tour interior) and Neuschwanstein (much longer walk up to castle, not much inside but the more famous of the two).


3:30 PM – 4:00PM                  Depart via Füssen, taking Route 310 Þ 309 into Kempten.  Then Route 12 to Lindau on the Lake of Constance (Bodensee).


6:00 PM                                   Check into hotel on or near Bodensee and have dinner there.


NOTE: If you want to spend an extra day in scenic southern Bavaria, visit Mittenwald, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberammergau, the Ettal Cloister, and Castle Linderhof prior to visiting Mad King Ludwig’s other two castles near Füssen.


DAY 4/5:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


9:00 AM                                  Drive around east end of Bodensee to Bregenz; then Route 202 into Switzerland. Take Swiss autobahn to Winterthur.


11:00 AM                                Check into hotel in Winterthur; have lunch there.  Drive to Kyburg and visit the castle (home of the Kyburg family into which Rudolph von Habesburc’s father married; later home of the regional administrators who governed Töss).


3:00 PM                                   Leave Kyburg and retrace route back toward Winterthur.  On city outskirts, take street leading to Seen; then street leading to Oberseen; then narrow road leading to Ricketwil (road signs point to each).  Enjoy peace and tranquility of the Ricketwil plateau, where our ancestors lived for 170 years (1290 – 1460) or more.


4:30 PM                                   Return to hotel; go shopping, sightseeing, and/or have a night on the town).



DAY 5/6:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


9:00 AM                                  Leave Winterthur on Tössfeldstrasse near railroad station.

Stop in suburb of Töss, visiting site of old cloister by turning onto Cloisterstrasse.  Then get onto autobahn heading toward Zürich.  Drive into Zürich, then get on Swiss autobahn heading toward Baden and Brugg in the Aargau.  Stay on autobahn, passing south of Brugg until you can exit onto Route 5 going north toward Brugg.  Turn right off Route 5 at sign for Habsburg.  Go up to castle.


12:00 noon                               Have lunch on veranda of castle and tour it either before or after lunch.  Time permitting, pay a short visit to the Roman encampment (Vindonissa) at nearby Windisch.


3:00 PM                                   Get on autobahn to Basel and reenter Germany, heading north on the German autobahn and turning off at Freiburg in the Black Forest.


5:00 PM                                   Check into hotel in Freiburg and enjoy dinner and the evening downtown. Buy a cuckoo clock and/or other souvenirs of the Black Forest.       


NOTE: If you have an extra day available, spend it in Zürich.  Take a city sightseeing tour; while visiting the Grossmunster remember that Swiss mercenaries, including the Haps boys, met here before crossing the Alps into Italy.



DAY 6/7/8:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


9:00 AM                                  Get back on the autobahn heading north and turn off at the first exit after Offenburg.  Head west to Strasburg, France and enjoy the famous cathedral and a fine Alsatian lunch there.


1:30 PM                                   Get back on the autobahn heading north and head in the direction of Speyer.  When you reach the Walldörfer Kreuz (autobahn split just south of Walldörf). Follow signs to Speyer (aka Speyer am Rhein).


3:00 PM                                   Visit the famous cathedral built in the 11th Century.  Walk along right side of church interior passed the altar.  Take stairs down into the Kaiser Crypt, the burial place of eight German emperors and kings, four queens and a number of bishops.  Enter small room on ground level holding the sarcophagus lid of King Rudolfus de Habesburc and pay your respects to the great one.


4:00 PM                                   Get back on autobahn and go back to the Walldörfer Kreuz.  Take autobahn E12 toward Heilbronn. Get off at Neckarsulm and take Route 27 north along the scenic Neckar River to Mosbach. Stay there overnight.  If prearranged, say hello to your distant cousin, Hans Happes (a high school principal who speaks excellent English.  He also is very interested in the history of our family and knows all the sites in the Odenwald where are ancestors lived in Germany. His address is: Hans Happes, Arnold Janssen Str. 14, 74821 Mosbach, GERMANY; telephone #: 011-49-6261-17303.)


DAY 7/8/9:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


9:00 AM                                  Visit Happes sites in the Odenwald by driving along the Neckar River on Route 37 toward Heidelberg.  In the town of Hirschhorn turn right and drive north past the castle, following signs leading to Brombach.


10:30 AM                                After pausing in Brombach in memory of our first German ancestor Uli Haps, wind your way through the forests to Heddesbach and then Heiligkreuzsteinach, where many of the Happes clan attended church sevices. 


11:30 AM                                Lunch in Heiligkeuzsteinach


12:30 PM                                 Head south to Altneudorf, formerly Neudorf, where the brothers Georg and Michael Happes were born.  From local signs, note that some Happes families still reside there.  Say hello to some, if you are so inclined.  Then drive south to Schönau, visiting the area on the southern fringe of Schönau known as the Linnebach or Lindenbach.  It was from Heinrich Kern’s farm here that the borthers Georg and Michael Happes departed for the New Land in 1751.


2:00 PM                                   Then trace their route from the Odenwald by heading north through Altneudorf again and, after leaving the town, take the road east through Wilhemsfeld down to Schriesheim (Many important churchbook entries were found here).


3:00 PM                                   Take Route 3 south, passing through Dossenheim when descendants of Martin Happes lived for many years.  Arrive in Heidelberg and stay there two nights.


6:00 PM                                   Try dinner at the Perkeo Restaurant (or at the Hotel Zum Ritter, built in 1592 and one of the few buildings to survive the French invasion of 1688) on the Hauptstrasse.  Enjoy the sights of the old town with its famous university.



DAY 8/9/10:


8:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel.


9:00 AM – 9:00 PM                 Have a great day sightseeing in downtown Heidelberg.  Be sure to take a tour of the castle from which the Counts of the Palatinate ruled the land.  Visit the Heiliggeistkirche and note the wooden altar figures from 1509 by the famous wood carver Tilman Riemenschneider.  Walk across the old bridge originally built by the Romans and then back again.  Have lunch or dinner in one of the old student restaurants (either Zum Seppl or Zum Roten Ochsen) near the upper end of the Hauptstrasse.


DAY 9/10/11:


7:00 AM                                  Continental breakfast at hotel and then checkout.


8:00 AM                                  Drive to Frankfurt and leave from Frankfurt International Airport to return home.