Bad Karlshafen, founded in 1699 by Huguenots, French protestants fleeing papal persecution. The town was named in honor of Landgrave Karl of Hessen who provided these refuges with shelter and safety. Additionally it was also the home town from which my maternal great-grandfather emigrated in the late 1920s with his young Bartholdus family including his wife and two daughters, my Nana and Aunt Minnie.
Karlshafen’s regular and symmetrical city layout lend it an air traditional importance, very green and clean. One of the local highlights is the small Huguenot museum housed in the former tobacco factory. The museums three floors retrace the history of the Huguenots in France and their exodus to this part of Germany. We learned at the museum, that these Huguenots in the18th century, formed committees who annually distributed “saved” tokens thus determining who could and could not qualify for their yearly communion. Additionally, the museum celebrates ceramic artist Bernard de Palsy who was persecuted and beheaded in the Bastille but his art underscores the influence that the Huguenots had on crafts, science and the arts.