VISIT TO THE HOHENPEISSENBERG OBSERVATORY
In a carefree spirit, 44 participants were on their way to their destination, the Hohenpeißenberg Mountain. The weather was splendid, a fine blue sky let us enjoy an almost unlimited clear view.
We were met by Herr Kronier who, in a competent way, delivered insight into the function of the Observatory, the oldest weather station in the world. Naturally, having worked there for 35 years, he was versed to the last detail. The first meteorological readings were gained already in the middle of the 18th century. Even today, weather monitoring is performed similarly. A staff member, in his 12-hour-shift, has to go outside and keep track of clouds, precipitation etc. visually and then record his findings in writing. Of course, these days meteorological data are mainly collected with the help of high-tech instruments. However, it is surprising that these instruments are being counterchecked by traditional methods. In order to monitor the CO2 content in the atmosphere, balloons are raised three times per week to radio the measured data to the station. Herr Kronier ended the nice tour with two poems about Nature, composed by himself.
Afterwards, we went to the Restaurant Bayerischer Rigi for refreshment. This was badly needed since another guided tour was pending, namely at the pilgrimage church St. Mary’s Ascension with its Chapel of Grace.
Our guide, Frau Welz, in her witty address, familiarized us with the history of the chapel. The chapel on Hohenpeißenberg was raised in 1514 by local farmers. Purportedly, the site was chosen because of its central location for the local residents. The ducal governor, Georg von Pienzenau, transferred a wooden Madonna statue from the chapel of Schongau Castle to the chapel on Hohenpeißenberg. The statue soon acquired a reputation as an image of grace and the site became a place of pilgrimage.
Before we returned to the bus we once more enjoyed the terrific view of the Alps. The Zugspitze was right before us and we could even see the Großvenediger Mountain in Eastern Tirol.
On our way back we stopped over in Weiheim to treat ourselves to coffee and cake at Café Krönner.