The Dancing Plague in Strasbourg - medieval mystery

The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518.
 In July 1518, residents of the city of Strasbourg were struck by a sudden and seemingly uncontrollable urge to dance. The hysteria kicked off when a woman known as Frau Troffea stepped into the street and began to silently twist, twirl and shake. She kept up her solo dance-a-thon for nearly a week, and before long, some three-dozen other Strasbourgeois had joined in. By August, the dancing epidemic had claimed as many as 400 victims.

With no other explanation for the phenomenon, local physicians blamed it on “hot blood” and suggested the afflicted simply gyrate the fever away. A stage was constructed and professional dancers were brought in. The town even hired a band to provide backing music, but it wasn’t long before the marathon started to take its toll. Many dancers collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Some even died from strokes and heart attacks. The strange episode didn’t end until September, when the dancers were whisked away to a mountaintop shrine to pray for absolution.
Maison des Tanneurs Stasbourg at dusk France by Elisabeth Fazel

The Strasbourg dancing plague might sound like the stuff of legend, but it’s well documented in 16th century historical records. It’s also not the only known incident of its kind. Similar manias took place in Switzerland, Germany and Holland, though few were as large—or deadly—as the one triggered in 1518. A well-known recent incident generally seen as an example of mass hysteria is 1962’s “The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic” which affected only 95 people.
Historian John Waller, author of the forthcoming book, "A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518," studied the illness at length and has solved the mystery. "That the event took place is undisputed," said Waller, a Michigan State University professor who has also authored a paper on the topic, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Endeavour.
Waller explained that historical records documenting the dancing deaths, such as physician notes, cathedral sermons, local and regional chronicles, and even notes issued by the Strasbourg city council during the height of the boogying rage, all "are unambiguous on the fact that (victims) danced."

According to historian John Waller, the explanation most likely concerns St. Vitus, a Catholic saint who pious 16th century Europeans believed had the power to curse people with a dancing plague. When combined with the horrors of disease and famine, both of which were tearing through Strasbourg in 1518, the St. Vitus superstition may have triggered a stress-induced hysteria that took hold of much of the city. Other theories have suggested the dancers were members of a religious cult, or even that they accidentally ingested ergot, a toxic mold that grows on damp rye and produces spasms and hallucinations.
The dancing would end as mysteriously as it began.
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Wasserkunstanlage in Baden-Baden

The Paradies Cascade in Baden-Baden, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
The Paradies in Baden-Baden's old town is a complex of fountains and cascades constructed in 1925 and thought to be one of Germany's very first such projects.
Paradies in Baden-Baden
Photography Prints
The garden is aligned on both sides by exquisite mansions, which captivate and compensate with their own impressive shrubbery. From here, there is also a wonderful view of the town center.
Paradies in Baden-Baden
The cascade itself is served by an underground spring, its waters falling an impressive 40 meters. The cascade affords fine views of Baden-Baden and the surrounding countryside.
Paradies in Baden-Baden
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Fot. Elisabeth Fazel.
Baden-Baden, September 2016.

Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs - Bildern

Nikolaus, Teufel und Engel - Santa Claus Day 2016 in Telfs, Tyrol, Austria.
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol
Nikolaustag 2016 in Telfs, Tirol

Krampuslauf 2016 in Zirl

Traditional Krampus (devils) run in Zirl, Tirol, Austria, December 2016.
Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe (Austrian Tyrol, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech, Hungary, Slovenia and Northern Italy).
Krampus Demon Night In Zirl, Tyrol
Art Prints
People in this countries believed that Krampus accompanies Santa during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children. Usualy Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature.
Krampuslauf 2016 in Zirl
More about Krampus Read Here
Traditional Krampus Mask, Zirl, Tyrol
Sell Art Online
Krampuslauf 2016 in Zirl
Krampuslauf 2016 in Zirl
Krampuslauf 2016 in Zirl
Zirl, Tirol, Austria, 05.12.2016.

Märchengasse in der Innsbrucker Altstadt

Fairytale Lane in old town is a traditionally part of the Christmas market in Innsbruck, Austria.
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016 - The Snow Queen
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016 - Rabbit and Hedgehog
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016 - Tapfere Schneiderlein
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Märchengasse in Innsbruck 2016 - Red Riding Hood
Fot. W. Gatz

Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg

The Church of the Holy Spirit (German: Heiliggeistkirche) is a Gothic church dates back to 15th century.  It is the oldest  church and most famous  in Heidelberg, Germany.

The Heiliggeistkirche stands in the middle of the market place in the old center of Heidelberg not far from the Heidelberg Castle. 
Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg, view from castle
Photography Prints
At the beginning of the 1970s, the steps at the rear of the Church of the Holy Spirit were popular with the Hippies and the Flower Power movement and became a tourist attraction during this time.
Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg, the apsidal end with fountain
Grab Ruprechts III. und seiner Gattin Elisabeth von Hohenzollern-Nürnberg in der Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg
At the beginning Heiliggeistkirche was a Catholic church - currently the Protestant.
Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg interior
Heidelberg, Nov. 2016.
Fot. Elisabeth Fazel.

Deutscher Romantik – das Heidelberger Schloss

Heidelberg Castle (German: Heidelberger Schloss) is  the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Since the early 19th century, these impressive ruins have been synonymous with Romanticism.
Majestic Heidelberg Castle located on a spur called Jettenbühl on the northern slope of the Königstuhl mountain is definitely the most popular ruined castle in Germany.
Heidelberg; Famous Madonna Statue in the Corn Market and castle ruins
Photography Prints
The castle is a combination of several buildings surrounding an inner courtyard, put together with a haphazard look. Each building highlights a different period of German architecture - Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Schloss Heidelberg Friedrichsbau (built 1601 - 1607)
The castle has a history almost as old as the Heildelberg city. The first parts of the castle were constructed around 1300, but it wasn’t before Prince Elector Ruprecht III (1398 – 1410) that the castle was used as a regal residence. Until it was destroyed by lightning in 1764 leaving it permanently uninhabitable, the castle was the residence for most of the Prince Electors.
Heidelberger Schloss
In the late 17th century, the palace was repeatedly attacked and ultimately destroyed by the French in the War of the Grand Alliance. These catastrophic events are commemorated in a spectacular fireworks display, held several times each year. In 1764, after some makeshift repairs, the battered palace was heavily damaged again: this time by the forces of Nature, in the form of two devastating lightning strikes.
Heidelberger Schloss
The once-proud residence caught fire – and was left in ruins.In 1800, Count Charles de Graimberg began the difficult task of conserving the castle ruins. Up until this time, the citizens of Heidelberg had used the castle stones to build new houses.
Heidelberg Old Town And The Jesuit Church, Germany - view from castle
Art Prints
From either the Great Terrace or the gardens, one has an amazing view of Heidelberg, the Neckar River, and the Neckar valley far into the Rhine plain. 
Romantic Heidelberg Castle ruins
Schloss Heidelberg has inspired poets for centuries. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, well known philosopher, writer and statesman, used to walk in palace garden during his visit in the area in 1814-1815. Today Heidelberg Castle  is a huge tourist attraction and well known around the world.
Heidelberg Castle
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Fot. Elisabeth Fazel, Heildelberg, November 2016.