European Association
of American Square Dancing Clubs e.V.

Friendship is Square Dancing's greatest reward



EAASDC-Bulletin March 2011


Die Burgen- und Schlösser Tournee
a special Special-Dance since 1979

Rosita Spätling, Bamberg Cornhusker SDC

Also this year we will dance again on Franconian castle ruins and castles on the occasion of the “Burgen- und Schlösser Tournee” (tour) der Bamberg Cornhusker. Yet, who had the idea for this tour?

The idea was born during an afterparty in 1979, we wanted to spend an entire day together, including our Hobby Square Dance. Still, it was not planned just to dance the whole day. It had to be something really special, that was different from the usual Square Dance events. We wanted to offer something to our club members, where also sociability did not go short. It was meant to be an event with enough time and room to get to know one another. Given that our club was only one year old, the companionship should be encouraged.

We wanted to bring close the beauty and particularities of Franconia to our American Club members, then approx. 80% were American. We pondered and discussed. The idea combining it with castle ruins, castles and palaces was born. Gerd Söllner, a former member, had the idea.

So we had to locate castle ruins and castles, create a programme and to win our former club caller Hugh Gibbs and his wife Patsy for our idea. Everybody was excited and nothing blocked our planning. Now we had to start organizing, which was not that easy. We even printed a flyer which was not a matter of course then.

On a Saturday, the 29th of July 1979, we started for our first Burgen- und Schlösser tour, using our own cars. At 8:45 hrs the first destination on the programme was Schloss (palace) Geyerswörth in the historic district of Bamberg; then we drove up to the Altenburg in Bamberg.

At 11:30 hrs we reached Schloss (palace) Weissenstein in Pommersfelden and around 13:00 hrs the Giechburg close to Schesslitz, where we ended the day with good food and drinks.

Afterwards, we even had badges made. This pleasant day should always be remembered, because it initially was meant to be a single event.

Because club members were still very keen on it, Biggi Skowasch, our president since 1985 and her husband Lothar reviewed the idea. The dance should be revived and open for all square dancers. So we had to reorganize, since it was impossible to reach the castle ruins and castles with so many cars.

A new concept was created; we had beating of the heart since we did not know whether the offer would be accepted.

On May 18th 1985 we started with a bus loaded with square dancers to our second Burgen- und Schlösser tour; it was a big success.

After we received a lot of encouragement, we felt committed to repeat the dance also in the following year.

Hence, this year we are hosting the 28th “Burgen- und Schlösser Tournee”. Again we were and still are redefining the concept, it is not that easy with so many dancers. Sometimes we need two busses in order to reach the premises that are partly in private possession.

But that exactly is the allure of this tour: We dance in the castle courtyard or in the castle garden, if possible even with a chance to tour the castle and personally be addressed by the castle owner. When can you experience something similar?

At any rate, every year this tour has been a great opportunity to spend a long weekend in the World Cultural Heritage city of Bamberg and its nice surroundings; you may even visit our club night on Friday prior to the dance.

The busses always start exactly at 09:00 hrs on the parking lot of the Giechburg close to Scheßlitz, approx. 10 kilometres east of Bamberg; the destinations are unknown, a little surprise has to be. The tour always ends on the Giechburg. The dance continues as long as there are two squares dancing in the castle courtyard.

The Bamberg Cornhusker would gladly be your host again.

Translation: Margot Wilhelm

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