The Grossmünster

The Grossmünster

One of the first places we visited in Switzerland was Zurich. Although Zurich has a lot of attractions for the average visitor; we were interested in the religious history of the place. The Anabaptist heritage to some degree is rooted here in Zurich and especially in the Grossmünster.  Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) was a leader of the reformation in Switzerland. In 1518 he became pastor of the Grossmünster and began preaching on ideas of reforming the Catholic church. By 1525 he had replaced the Catholic Mass with a new communion liturgy.  It was along this time that some of his parishioners broke away from him and formed what would be know as the Anabaptists today. The Grossmünster or “Great Minister” or “Great Cathedral” is a very interesting building. Construction was started around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220. It was built on the site of an earlier church that had been commissioned by Charlemagne.  It is built on the banks of the Limmat River and it is distinguished by its twin towers. I wanted to show you more pictures of the Grossmünster and Zurich and the area where it is.   Here you can see the Grossmünster from the Rathaus Bridge over the Limmat River. The Rathaus is the building on the foreground left; built partially over the river and the Rathaus Bridge is part of that construction.       When you look at the larger version of either picture by clicking on it, you can get a better view of the double wide doors and the panels that are part of it.  There is a lot of history...
We Visit Mont-Prevoir

We Visit Mont-Prevoir

As you drive up the long driveway in the Jura Mountains in southern France up to the Graber Ancestral home at Mont-Prevoir; this is your first view. It is also the view that my uncle Ora Graber had put in his book, The Graber Immigrants 1650-1984. The place is currently a working dairy farm. The house is on the left and the barn right past it. On the left you can see an older building which is the first house Peter Graber(1745-1805) had built when he moved to this farm on the top of the mountain which he called Mont-Prevoir. In the photo you can see two of the current residents children; Leanna and Noah. Not sure of the spelling as this is in France and I am not good with French. A Graber cousin Stefan Graber was our guide and he was our interpreter.  When I showed the current owner and his children the book and the pictures in it, they were excited. They had no idea their farm was that famous.  They did, however say, that a few years ago some Amish people visited there but they had no idea what they wanted or why they came. Joseph wrote an earlier post about this area and posted some of the pictures from the Graber book. Read that here. This is a closeup of the front side of the house Peter Graber built when he first moved his family from Audincourt to Mont-Prevoir. The present owner said there used to be another room on this end of the house but it was bad and had been removed. There...
First Day in Switzerland

First Day in Switzerland

Our first day here we drove from the airport in Milan Italy to our first night stay at Hombrechtikon.  Above is a photo of the remains of a castle in the Swiss Alps that we drove by today.  We did stop near Maienfeld and visited Heidiland. We will have more coming on another post of that visit. For more pictures of our first day in Switzerland go to www.Facebook.com/MyAmishStory  –Lester...
Graber Family Ancestral Home

Graber Family Ancestral Home

In the seventies and eighties my dad, Lester F. Graber, helped my late Great-uncle Ora A. Graber compile a history of the Graber Immigrants from 1650 to 1984.  I don’t know how he got hold of them, but my Great-uncle Ora obtained some photos of the Graber Family home in Montbeliard, France. “The Grabers settled in the area of Couthenans. These Grabers were quite poor and one John Graber tried to make a living hauling charcoal for a manufacturing plant at Audincourt. The wife was a weaver by trade. The young John also took up this trade hauling charcoal after his father died, and one man by the name of Bardot saw how this young man was so faithful in his fathers footsteps, took compassion on him and asked him to rent his farm to him. This young John said he’s too poor he could not accept his offer but Mr. Bardot finally persuaded him and he took over his farm and was very prosperous and this farm has stayed in the Graber descendants yet to this day, known as the Couthenans home. The picture elsewhere shows how this home has been preserved to this day. The land to till was outside of the city. This John Graber was married to Fan Rich and John was a brother to our ancestor listed herein, Peter Graber, born 1741, died 1805 and married to Mary Rich, who (Peter Graber) was also the first owner of the Mont-Prevoir farm….quite a distance south of the original Couthenans farm and home. “Peter Graber lived at Audincourt and his occupation there was cheese making….this Peter Graber family stayed...