Day 5: Meet St. Nick at the Sophienburg

Tonight we visited the Sophienburg Museum, which was built on the site chosen by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels in 1845 for his bride.  Unfortunately, Lady Sophia, Princess of Salm-Salm, refused to move to Texas, so the Prince stayed in Germany and never returned. Today, “Sophie’s Castle” holds many wonderful relics from the original German settlement here in New Braunfels.

In the newly renovated building that held the very first library in New Braunfels, the kids were treated to the story of St. Nicholas, who, we found out, is NOT Santa Claus.  In fact, the story goes that St. Nicholas comes in and asks children to say a prayer.  If they do, they are given fruit and candy in their stocking on Dec. 6th.  Otherwise, they get a potato!  Interesting!  We were taught a German prayer:

Ich bin klein
Mein Herz ist rein
Darf niemand drin wohnen als Jesu allein.

Which means…

I am small
My heart is pure
Nobody may dwell in here but Jesus.

When St. Nicholas came in, he asked the children to recite the prayer in German, and then they each got a candy cane and a photo.  A woman standing next to me leaned over and said, “We used to have to say this prayer every year back in Germany.”  Cool!

We then headed to the main museum, where the kids made a cute little craft that will become a paper fan when the glue dries.  They glued two strips of scrapbooking paper together, folded it like a fan, then glued two popsicle sticks to both ends.  Cutting a small notch on both sides about a cm from the end & tying with a string was the final step.  (This is the closest I could find to what the kids made:  http://www.hannahmade.net/2011/05/crinkle-fans.html.)

And then we decided to tour the museum.  We learned some interesting facts…like they used to hang a light at the pharmacy–blue for safe to come into town and red for sickness–stay away!  The boys’ favorite part, I think, was the gun exhibit, but we all stopped to take a look at the buggy.  We wonder…was it built in the shop above Henne Hardware, where Ryan has his office now?

All in all, a wonderful December 5th!

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