TAMH: Trading Ports

Centuries - 16 | 17 | 19

Memel in the 17th century

(Klaipeda, Lithuania)

The 17th century saw turbulent times in Memel with the city destroyed by the Swedes in 1678. Indeed, the city was so used to attack that until the 1600s, brick or stone houses were forbidden in case they provided refuge for attacking forces.

The German poet, Simon Dach, was born in Memel in the 17th century. He is commemorated in modern Klaipeda in Teatro aikste (Theatre Square) by a fountain with a statue of Aennchen von Tharau. She is the subject of an East Prussian lovesong originally associated with Dach although the words are now thought to be the work of Johann Albert, the organist of Königsberg cathedral.

The fountain and statue were destroyed during World War II but a replica was put in place in 1989 by the German Aennchen von Tharau society.


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© Douglas MacKenzie
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