Tambach, Thüringen, Germany

On 2-8 August I attended the German Baha'i Summer School in the village of Tambach-Dietharz on the edge of the Thüringen forest in central Germany. The theme was "Bringing Baha'i ideas into social discourse", with sessions on social action, the environment and climate change, migration, women's issues and education. Each topic started with a short introduction, followed by two workshop sessions on selected references from the Baha'i writings and statements. I was responsible for the second topic on environment and climate change. There were three wonderful evening presentations on the Covenant and the Baha'i Holy Places in Israel by Jamshid Ardjomandi of Surinam who with his wife had spent 17 years there as custodians of the Shrine of Baha'u'llah. There was also a games night and a final variety evening with music and singing by various groups from the toddlers to the singing workshop. There was a strong family atmosphere, with many children among the 150 participants. It seemed like half the people there held a baby in one arm.

There was a break in the middle of the school when many of us crossed the Thüringen mountains to visit a garden show in the old village of Schmalkalden with its 16th century castle. We also could go for walks in the forest, and visit a nearby spring where Martin Luther claimed that the water cured him of a kidney ailment from which he thought he was dying.

While it was difficult for me to be one of only three people there (with the Ardjomandis) who did not speak German, there were many helpful translators when needed.

The German Summer School

Berghotel Tambach . in front of the Berghotel . in front of the Berghotel
Berghotel Tambach; gathering and children playing in front of the hotel
opening of the summer school . opening of the summer school . games evening
Opening of the summer school; games evening

Jamshid Ardjomandi . audience . audience
Jamshid Ardjomandi sharing about the Covenant and the Baha'i Holy Places with Mike Law translating

Igor Akhtar-Khawari . the Ardjomandis . Igor and Ardjomandis
Olaf Akhtar-Khawari presided; the Ardjomandis and a friend; thanking the Ardjomandis

Variety night performances
variety evening - music workshop . variety evening - music workshop . variety evening - small children
Composition by the music workshop; the small children perform and show off their craftswork

variety evening - preschsoolers dancing . variety evening - children . variety evening - children
The toddlers danced; the children sang

variety evening - junior youth play . variety evening - junior youth play . variety evening - junior youth play
The junior youth put on a play
variety evening - junior youth . musicians . audience
The junior youth; musicians; the audience was enthusiastic

Forest excursion . Lutherbrunnen spring . Lutherbrunnen spring
Learning about edible and medicinal plants in the forest; a walk to Lutherbrunnen, the spring visited by Martin Luther

Lutherbrunnen, Martin Luther's spring near Tambach
Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring) .

Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring)
Marker at the spring quoting Martin Luther

Lutherbrunnen (spring) . walking in the forest
Panel explaining Martin Luther's stay in the region 500 years ago; walking through the forest from the spring to the stream

forest behind Tambach . forest . old and harvested forest
Spruce forest around Tambach; younger trees; mature trees and recently harvested area


The garden show spread over a former industrial site that has recently been restored.
garden show . garden show . garden show
Visit to parts of the Thüringen garden show in Schmalkalden restored from a heavy industrial site

garden show . garden show . garden show bird houses
Flowers and bird houses at the garden show

Town of Schmalkalden
Schmalkalden . Schmalkalden . walking in Schmalkalden
Church, market and narrow streets


Schloss Wilhelmsburg (Castle) in Schmalkalden
Schloss WIlhelmsburg entrance . Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Entrance to Schloss Wilhelmsburg, leading the first gateway

view of Schmalhalden from Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg first courtyard . Schloss WIlhelmsburg gardens
View of Schmalkalden from the castle; the first courtyard; gardens below the castle walls

Schloss WIlhelmsburg  Schloss WIlhelmsburg  Schloss WIlhelmsburg tower  Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Castle courtyard; second tower; tunnel to the second courtyard

Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen . Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen . Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen
Castle kitchen

Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Gardens alongside the castle

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Last updated 14 August 2015

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2015