Guestion about German town names - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Guestion about German town names

While in Germany last summer, I noticed that there were many towns that had "Munster" in from of them. For example:

Munster-Sarmsheim
Munsterappel
Munstermaifeld

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.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:03 PM
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I thought it meant this guy...

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by muensterDeath View Post
While in Germany last summer, I noticed that there were many towns that had "Munster" in from of them. For example:

Munster-Sarmsheim
Munsterappel
Munstermaifeld

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
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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I knew there were cats on the forum from Germany or in Germany, so thought I'd ask. When I was there, no one could answer my question on the matter.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:13 AM
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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
I've been there!


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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.
Like Oberammergau and Unterammergau?

I lived in Germany for four years. I learned enough German to order a bier.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't lived there but only visited. In the 90s was mostly around Garmisch-Partenkerichen area several times, and this last summer was at Wiesbaden.

Drank a lot of Bittburger.....I'm not a fan of Belgian Ales..
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:13 PM
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Drank a lot of Bittburger.....I'm not a fan of Belgian Ales..
Don't mean to get this off track but my favorite bier was Licher. I can't find it in North Carolina. It is big around Frankfurt.

* * * * * * *

To get back on track . . . I love the way Germans do things with city names and traffic signs. Even before the days of GPSs I never had a problem getting around Germany because the signs were so well laid out.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassbär View Post
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
This is a great explanation but it fails to include one important factor/fact. Germans are generally about half friggin nuts and are more hard-headed than a mule regarding what they do and why. This is based on decades of research I've conducted on my own family.

-GPz/Gary
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:04 PM
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This is a great explanation but it fails to include one important factor/fact. Germans are generally about half friggin nuts and are more hard-headed than a mule regarding what they do and why. This is based on decades of research I've conducted on my own family.

-GPz/Gary
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