Its name comes from the location of a castle built in 920. Eck is the German word for corner. The Vils river has a tight bend where the Burg is located. Thus, the name Vilseck.
24 hours later…….safe arrival, much to her surprise based on the road signs 😀
We’ll share more Vilseck stories as the week progresses. At first glimpse, it’s a beautiful small German town (6,000 population) and every bit as beautiful as you would envision.
The previous Monastery road leading to the church.
A church built in 1407, can you imagine this environment during this historical time period?
Around 1300, centuries of prosperity and growth in Europe came to a halt. A series of famines and plagues, including the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the Black Death, reduced the population to around half of what it had been before the calamities.
Along with depopulation came social unrest and endemic warfare. France and England experienced serious peasant uprisings, such as the Jacquerie and the Peasants' Revolt, as well as over a century of intermittent conflict, the Hundred Years' War. To add to the many problems of the period, the unity of the Catholic Church was temporarily shattered by the Western Schism. Collectively, those events are sometimes called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages.
Despite the crises, the 14th century was also a time of great progress in the arts and sciences. Following a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman texts that took root in the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance began.
Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing, which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning. Those two things would later lead to the Protestant Reformation.
(We will later see how the Protestant Reformation led in part to some of our families moving around, and eventually out of, Germany).
Toward the end of the period, the Age of Discovery began. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire cut off trading possibilities with the East. Europeans were forced to seek new trading routes, leading to the Spanish expedition under Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492 and Vasco da Gama’s voyage to Africa and India in 1498. Their discoveries strengthened the economy and power of European nations.