While in Germany last summer, I noticed that there were many towns that had "Munster" in from of them. For example:
While driving around I saw a lot of the Munster-NAME.. (two words with the dash between) and seemed mostly associated to small hamlets.
Does the Munster indicate something to the affect of Upper or Lower if it's "Munster-"? What does it mean if it doesn't have the dash between names?
I ask because I always thought Munster mean meant Cathedral, or Large Cathedral.
Any insight appreciated.
This is indeed off topic. But interesting nevertheless. Maybe I can shed some light.
First of all you are of course right about the fact that "Münster" (don´t forget the dots on the u, the Germans are very particular about that
) is a word for a large church or cathedral. Originally "Münster" comes from the latin word "monasterium" which means (you guessed it) monastery. So in the earlies sense of the word a Münster was a church that was connected to a monastery.
Now for the meaning in German town names: it has none really... it might indicate that said town has, has had or was/is close to a Münster. Germans love to connect words, the longer the better. It´s actually quite funny sometimes.
By the way: next time you are in the South of Germany, visit the Münster of Ulm. It is very impressive and has the world´s highest church tower. (161,53m or 530 feet). And if you do, let me know. I only live 45 minutes by Bobber from there
As for the two parts connected by a dash: this most likely simply means that two towns grew bigger very close to each other and eventually were connected to one big town. Therefore the name was connected too. You can find this all over Germany and the word Münster does not have to be part of it. I for example live very close to the airport of Stuttgart which is actually located in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. Sometimes the part behind the dash just indicates a certain town district.
The upper/lower thing does indeed exist in the German language, as it does in a lot of languages I would imagine. I grew up in an little village called Unterboihingen ( "unter" meaning lower or under) which has the village of Oberboihingen ("ober" meaning upper) right next to it.
In general let me add that I do not envy anyone who has to learn German. I´m glad I don´t have to