Heidelberg to Leipzig

Via the Rhine River

9 August to

October 1886



  3. Heidelberg to Leipzig

Via the Rhine River *

9 August 1886 to 29 October 1886

9 August 1886 (Monday)

At 8:55 o'clock we leave Heidelberg where I have lived since 7 February [sic. This is probably a misreading of Rizal's handwriting by the translator.  The date should be 3 February.  In Rizal's letters he wrote that he left Paris on 1 February, stayed one day in Strasbourg and took the train for Heidelberg where he arrived on Wednesday, 3 February.   Thanks to Lucien Spittael for this correction.]. We pass by Weibling, a small town. We travel from Heidelberg through what is called Rheinstahl. [01] Tobacco, potato, wheat, and vegetable fields can be seen every where. The whole land is cultivated. Friedrichsfeld follows next. We cross a forest of pines. We arrive at Mannheim at 9:30 o'clock. We visit the Schlossgarten which resembles very much the Retiro of Madrid. [02]  We cross the Rhine on foot on a wide bridge for pedestrians, streetcars, and trains. On one side can be seen a beautiful monument with the inscription Erbaut unter dem Grossherzog Friedrik [03] and on the other side which ends at Pfalz is seen another with the inscription Erbaut unter Koenig Ludwig II [04] the drowned king. Each one of us paid a toll of 3 pfennigs. We visit Ludwigshafen which does not belong anymore to Baden but to Bavaria and the most beautiful that we have seen is the new church in Roman style. The Rhine Bridge is 375 feet long.

The Jesuitenkirche is a beautiful church in Mannheim, somewhat baroque in style: large, spacious, with fresco paintings, marble statues, and a grand organ. It has stained glass; on the altars can be seen beautiful oil paintings. Close to the statues of Dalberg, Iffeland and Schiller I have seen planetrees, wild cannas, [05] etc. In Mannheim there was advertised a couple of dwarfs of the size of a doll of a hand's length, both of correct proportions and each one weighing 7 pounds. My traveling companions had seen them. Their little sketches... [06]

At 3:07 we left Mannheim. Kaferstrat is not beautiful. There is an iron foundry nearby. Waldhof follows. Here go down those who are going to Worms to change trains. We are in the vast valley of the Rhine. From Waldhof on are big larch trees (Larchen). [07] Next is Lampertheim, Burstadt, and Biblis. The heat is suffocating; almost the same as in the Philippines. Follows Grossheim [08] which in spite of its name has nothing big. Gerzoheim, Biebesheim, and Stockestadt follow.  At Goddelau-Erfelden those who are going to Darmstadt change trains. At this station many common people boarded the train. Seeheim-Wolfskenlery, Dornheim. The people that are coming do nothing but sing in poor voices. Added to the heat this is a torment. We arrive at Dornberg Gross-Gerau8 where we have to change trains. At 5:05 o'clock in the afternoon of Monday I leave this place. This train goes to Hessen. An old woman and two grandchildren are in this coach. The old woman does not permit the boys the least movement. From here we travel towards the west passing by Gross-Gerau, Nauheim.

I arrive at Mayence (Mainz) in the afternoon, getting down at the Central Bahnhof. [09]

MAINZ [10]

       The hotel in which I am lodged is the Holland, a hotel of the first class, from whose windows can be seen the Rhine.  I have seen the exterior of the cathedral and also a part of the interior, which seems to have beautiful decorations.  In their respective squares I have seen the statues of Gutenberg by Thorwaldsen [11] and of Schiller by Scholl. The latter one seems to me much better than the other and better than that at Mannheim: well-defined physiognomy, elegant air, and the face reveals inspiration. In the left hand is an open book; in the right a stylus or pencil.  From the Terrace of Maliloc can be seen fairly well the entire city, although not as well as in Heidelberg, but it can be seen that almost all the roofs of the houses are flat.

It is curious to see an obelisk standing in the Neubrunnen made of red stone decorated with fantastic little figures.

The women in the market all have on their heads a white cotton kerchief with small dots. The Holland Hotel is expensive. The first class fare from Mainz to Bonn costs only 8.40 marks, the cheapest anywhere.

We left Mainz in a little steamer Niederwald at 7:30 in the morning of Tuesday, 10 August. The steamer has quite a number of passengers. Though it is neither as clean nor as shiny as the French boats, nevertheless, it leaves nothing to be desired. It is of the drum type which maltes much noise and is annoying. We pass under the bridge. The round trip ticket costs two marks.


We pass between Peters Aue and Jugelheimer Aue. The banks of the Rhine are in fact beautiful. The poplars stand up stiff and erect; our bamboos on the other hand are sweet and flexible. At our left is the new Mainz still under construction. The son of Charlemagne, Louis the Debonnaire, died in Peters Aue. Before us extends the horizon.

Petersheim, a small fortress which overlooks the Rhine, was built to guard the passage. I have not traveled on a steamer for three years. At this moment I am thinking of our Pasig. The factories on the banks of the Rhine remind me of Mandaloyon, near Sta. Ana. Biebrich reminds me of San Miguel with its handsome buildings and gardens. Through a comfortable pier the passengers land. At Biebrich other passengers join us, among them a sister of charity. Nassau Pension. Hotel Bellevue.

At Biebrich begins on the right side the Rheingau, a mountain ridge which rises on the north. Wheat fields form golden pictures. Were it not for the beautiful towns and extensive plantations on these banks, the Pasig would have been superior to them. The Rhine is wider than the Pasig near Malacañan. [12] We see some birds flying over the surface of the water. The gray mist extends to the far distance. Beautiful little houses surrounded with pine trees are found on the banks; at present the right bank belonging to Hessen is the most beautiful the left bank is lonely and sparsely populated.

In Eltville Aue on the right there is a beautiful little house with its tower, Lichtensternscher Hof.

From Eltville can be seen in the middle of the Rhine the Rhine Aue wrapped in mist. A very beautiful Gothic church in the midst of the poplars can be seen in Erbach, built by Lais. In Oestrich is found the castle of Johannisberg; standing on a hill. In the distance, in the middle of the Rhine, stands Fulda Aue.

I disembarked at Bindesheim. Round trip to Niederwald on cogwheel railway costs 1.25 marks.

The national monument in Niedenwald is beautiful but it is not as beautiful as I imagined it was and as I have told. I imagined a grand monument. [13] I imagined "Germania" as beautiful.

At the foot of the pedestal we read: "His Majesty Emperor and King William concluded his speech at the laying of the cornerstone of the monument on 16 September 1877 with these words: 'As my father at one time said to the Prussian people before the monument in Berlin so I say here now at this significant place to the German people that: this monument is a memorial to the dead, it is the expression of the gratitude of the living, and it is to serve for the information of future generations.

Walking towards the Jagdschloss I saw a squirrel which I pursued. The woods were lonely and peaceful; a bright day; the road well tended; the trees were almost all birches: On the 6th or 8th tree near the wooden placard I carved my initials: JR.

In the Jagdschloss, which is an old house with slate roof in the shape of an octagon, I drank lemonade. I must say that it is costly, 50 pfennigs. The soil is yellowish.

In Rossel, there is a tower in the form of an artificial ruin whose watcher is an old man with long beard.

The road from Rossel to the monument is through a forest of very old trees. I picked some oak leaves from the tree which grows beside the monument at Niederwald. At noon I return to Rüdesheim. The trains are always full. Each coach carries 80 persons. In the coach where I am there is a couple who quarrel over trifles such as, whether or not the train arrives before or after three minutes; if this coach goes before or after, if not, if so; they quarrel and call each other obstinate: Now they are quarreling about the omnibus, if it is going or coming or if they will take it. This couple could have spared everyone of this scene if they had traveled on foot only that is inconvenient. The husband is stubborn, the wife, domineering.

Vineyards of Johann Bapa Sturm.

Beautiful stained glass in the windows. The Rhine, Moselle, Main, the Lorelei rock. A gentleman won a large property for having drunk from a boot in a single draught. His name Is Poss von Maldouk.

The cost of living is higher in the Rhine than in any other part of Germany. A meal here costs me 3 marks. The temperature is 30o centegrade.

The Rhine becomes suddenly narrow beginning with Bingen. On the steamer Hohenzollern we left Rüdesheim at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. At Bingen so many passengers bearded the steamer that we were crowded. There was an old man who did nothing but praise Germania.

The Mauseturm is beautiful. The Ehrenfels is a beautiful ruin. There is a beautiful Jewish girl on board. There is a rock in the middle of the river. The castle of Rheinstein is beautiful. It reminds one of the Schwaltenert im Neckar Hainach. The left bank is now the most beautiful. Numerous castles can be seen: Rheinstein, Reichstein or Falkenburg, Sooneck. The poplar is common in Mainz. Rüdesheim ends here in this portion of the Rhine.

On the rock of Lorelei the face of Napoleon I has a too prominent nose. The Lorelei is the Malapad-na-bato [14] of the Rhine. At every point there is a castle. Even modern houses are built in the style of a castle.  At St. Goar many persons disembarked. Everywhere I turn my eyes there are ruins of castles. That of St. Goar is large, almost like that of Heidelberg. Boppard is picturesque and has many pretty houses. Many passengers disembarked here. Near Braubach the poplar appears again. In Braubach is the Marksburg, a well-preserved old castle.

In Oberlahnstein we saw youngsters on the bank and we shouted "Hurrah" and they shouted in turn, which reminded me of the youngsters of the Pasig River.

Above Pfaffendorf are modern fortifications. There is a bridge which opens and closes to let boats pass through. It was already afternoon when we arrived at Coblenz. [15] The Rhine here is wide. There are handsome edifices in Coblenz.

In front of Weissenturm we see a sunken boat with its poles and ropes protruding with a lighted lantern. At nightfall it begins to rain a little. At Neuwied are the factories belonging to Krupp and Germania. They are iron works. A thunderstorm is beginning when we arrive at Neuwied, a city where men of all faiths are equal; an industrial center. The storm begins, rain falls, and the wind is increasing, and the boat drags a pier. The women are frightened; no one however cries nor faints. We stop. A man says: "It is lucky that this happened near the land!" It continues to rain heavily. Cheerfulness prevails on the boat. They say that a man has fallen into the river. It is already 7:00 o'clock when we leave Neuwied, thereby losing 1 1/2 hours. On the boat are two young Dutch girls with whom I talk.

The banks of the Rhine at this point are more mountainous than elsewhere. The sunset is magnificent. A pinkish tint rises from the greenish silhouette of the hills; long clouds extending horizontally gather around the neck of the hills; the poplars disturb these parallel lines like the pointed towers of the churches and castles which, although they do not abound in this place, are nevertheless not missing.

The moon shines feebly on the Rhine; the trees can hardly be seen; it is cold. The boat is full of passengers. We arrive at Bonn. I took a room in the Rheineck. The Rathaus in Bonn is fairly beautiful. The cathedral seems to me ugly. The statue of Beethoven is slightly interesting. The Protestant church is a beautiful Gothic.

The railroad stations of Germany are in general beautiful. Steel, glass, zinc are visible in these structures; only wood is not used.

We left Bonn at 7:20 in the morning of Wednesday for Cologne. The environs are good plains. The round trip ticket costs 1.75 marks. The trip is one hour long. Brick houses in the environs. Almost all the houses here are made of brick.

I meet at the railroad station of Cologne Mr. Carvajal, a deputy. In Madrid this gentleman seemed to me very tall; here I find him short. Really the cathedral is superb. We talked a little in Spanish. Afterwards I visited the cathedral. Its lofty towers which point to the sky seem to touch the clouds that move slowly.

Going up the tower we saw the Kaiser Glocke made out of French cannons, a gift of the emperor. It is large and can hold a man comfortably inside. Cologne is magnificent. From the top of its towers can be seen a most beautiful panorama: Imposing edifices, churches with turrets, an extensive plain, the Rhine. It seems to me the highest tower I have ever climbed and in the world. The proportions of this cathedral seem perfect and the stained glass of its windows are most beautiful and superior to those of the cathedral in Barcelona in their proportions. Here the colors are beautifully combined, although the rose window of the choir is missing and in its place is the gift of the prince and princess of Prussia. To study all these stained glass windows would take more than a year. I have been walking everywhere and all I have done is to get lost. The treasures of the cathedral are beautiful and precious, enough to tempt a Herr Spazzo. [16]

I am going to eat at the Café Verny. The girls are dressed in blue with black blouses, carmine sleeves, and white apron.

Koeln (Cologne) is a city which offers many attractions. The monument to Moltke with his statue is beautiful and well delineated. The Café Verny is inexpensive and can be recommended. It is located on Salomonsgasse and the service is good.

I was greatly pleased with the Museum of Fine Arts which I did not expect to find in this city.  There is a beautiful painting by Werner showing Moltke in the Battle of Sedan. Moltke is a little inclined as if following closely the course of the battle and some officers behind are looking at him. There is another painting of Elizabeth of England signing the death sentence of Mary Stuart. In short I leave Cologne very much contented and satisfied with this city. Were it possible I would have stayed here.

We left Cologne at 2:25. In the coach where I am are three women of the middle class who speak English, French, and German. Cologne resembles very much Barcelona although it has many more and better houses. On top of the tower in Cologne the wind is cold.

I returned to Bonn at 3:04. I saw Mr. Carvajal who was still looking for his son. We left Bonn on the Gutenberg, a small boat, ugly and old, which has nothing that those plying in Laguna could envy. From afar can be discerned the Drachenfels where it is said Siegfried killed the dragon which made him invulnerable.

At Koenigswinter many persons disembarked to go to Drachenfels. From here was taken the hard white stone for the building of the Cologne cathedral. Of this old castle only a portion of the walls and tower remain. Beside it there is a fine hotel in the new Gothic style.

The Rolandsbogen, the arch of the castle built by Roland, stands on top of a hill and is covered with ivy. It is picturesque. In front of it is Drachenfels. In the direction of the station of Rolandseck the Seven Mountains [17] spread before us. The passengers have been reduced to a few. The afternoon is beautiful, the sun is shining but it is not warm. The Rhine reflects its rays. Instead of castles, here are vineyards which are thick until Remagen. In Unkel there is a statue of the Virgin. Near Remagen, on a rock under a beautiful hotel there is an image of a virgin.

On the right bank, at this moment can be admired a beautiful spectacle: the sun gilds with some of its rays wheat fields while everything around lies in shadows. The church of St. Apollinaris is a Gothic edifice built in this century. Of beautiful proportions it has four towers. Basalt rocks rise on the right bank of the river. The castles have not yet appeared on the banks. The people greet us by waving their handkerchiefs.

These basalt rocks are used for building houses and are exported to Holland for the construction of dikes. The ruins of the castle of Ockenfels covered with ivy stand on the high bank. Walls and a portion of the tower remain.

Linz is a large city with gardens on the right bank. It extends along the foot of the hill surrounded with vineyards.

The Ahr River as it joins the Rhine passes under a bridge. A Prussian officer in green uniform adorned with red galloons.

The Rhine in this region is less populated than in other parts. The officer smiles seeing some Englishmen measure the Rhine with a photographic card.

The Brohlbach is today dry. A beautiful island planted with poplars and shrubs and uninhabited rises in the middle of the Rhine whose banks in this part are mountainous.

In the evening three young German girls were singing in a low voice on deck. We arrive at Coblenz at night. I took lodgings in an inn. On Thursday in the morning I toured Coblenz and I saw a statue of August von Goeben with a beautiful pedestal. Coblenz is well fortified as befits the capital city of Rhenish Prussia. Lutzel Coblenz is a small town located on the other bank of the Moselle. It is connected with Coblenz by two bridges; one is of, stone and the other half stone and half Steel on which the railroad passes and whose columns are fortified. I take breakfast in Lutzel Roblantz.

In Neuendorf there is a chapel of a virgin called Mariahilf (Our Lady of Succour). There I saw a woman praying. For sale are replicas of eyes, legs, ears, heads and candles like in Antipolo. The chapel is surrounded with chestnut trees. In Petersberg I saw Prussian soldiers drilling. The precision and spirit with which they do it is indescribable. The tomb of Marceau, guarded by a soldier, has this shape: [18]

"Died at 27 years; a soldier at 16; general at 22."

The Austrian general, Baron of Kray, said to him: "would have given one fourth of my blood to have you alive as my prisoner, although I know that no emperor could have in his wars a tougher and more terrible enemy."

In the Clemensplatz there is a pyramid dedicated to this Elector. The post office is also in this square. It is a large building of red stone.  I crossed the drawbridge over the Rhine and I went to the opposite bank to Ehrenbreitstein where there is a beautiful fortress built at the beginning of the present century by General Alster. This fortress overlooks the Rhine, all the environs, and the mouth of the Moselle. The house of the old, Order of Knights Templars is in front.

On the boat where I am traveling there are three passengers who look like Japanese but I am not sure. One of them is already old.

At 10:00 o'clock sharp in the morning of Thursday we cast anchor at Coblenz. The boat was not full. There is a castle with Ionic columns before passing the bridge. It is called Koeniglich Schloss. The island of Oberwerth located almost opposite Pfaffendorf is inhabited although it is not very large. There are poplars. A bridge crosses it over which passes the train to Berlin. Many villas are found on the right bank with such names as Villa Helena, Vitoria, etc., etc. A cold wind blows over the river. It seems that this day will not be warm.

In almost every city of the Rhine one finds a hotel Bellevue. The castle of Stolzenfels rises to a height of almost 100 meters above the Kapellen. On the banks of the Rhine grow many alders.

The Japanese have difficulty in speaking European languages. The Hansa is a beautiful steamer, fast, elegant, clean, and well tended. One of the Japanese traveling with us, seen at the back, looks like Don Pedro, [19] even the mustache. The banks of the Rhine at this point are rocky. The Japanese have refined manners. At Cologne, while visiting the museum, I met a man who asked me if I had been there the previous Sunday. I said no, but he assured me that he had seen me. I suppose it was a Japanese. Now, on the boat one of them approached me and we talked. He told me that he had been at Cologne. Then I told him it was Sunday and he visited the museum with a guide. The Japanese was much surprised and he asked me how I found it out.

The ruined Mauseturm is still beautiful. The Rheinfels is large and reminds me of Neudsberg. They are beautiful ruins. Rows of walls surround them with ivy growing on them. The walls all have embrasures, some of which are embattled. The castle is built on a mountain of rock. Opposite Rheinfels is the castle of Katz, also in ruins.

The little city of Bingen seems to me boresome and ugly. The streets are dirty, narrow, and small. Only the houses on the banks of the Rhine are beautiful; those in the interior are small and ugly. The hotels are expensive and dirty. In the Hotel Germania where I am lodged, there is a fine veranda, it is true, but what rooms and what beds! The service is also pretty poor.

It seems warmer in this part of the Rhine than in other parts. This is the second time that I feel as warm as in our country or even warmer; perhaps this is also due to the woolen clothes we are wearing.

Of the three Japanese who are traveling with us only one knows European languages; the other two speak no other language but Japanese. The old one looks very much like Mr. Andres del Rosario; the one who speaks English and German Mr. Pedro A. Paterno, including the mustache.

Of all these Rhine cities the one that pleased me most was Cologne.

From the top of the mountain in Bingen is a commanding view of the Rhine; the Mauseturm and the Niederwald can be seen. The panorama is very beautiful. In the foreground is the Schloss Klopp. There is a legend concerning the Mauseturm. Bishop Otto II [20] ordered men to be burnt in time of famine, saying that they were as useless as the rats which ate the wheat. For this reason, the rats ate him when he took refuge on the island.

The Rochuskapelle is an hermitage. For the first time in Germany I have seen the moon rise in splendor in a clear, blue sky with some pinkish clouds behind the forests of Bingen.

Friday, [14] 13 August 1886 [21]

Today I see clearly the sunrise. One can look at the red disk without hurting the eyes. It rises little by little in the horizon.

At 7:15 we left Dinynnau. The Merkens is an old steamer with two chimneys. In front of the national monument is a sunken ship.

Many German women and above all English women wear their hair short like men. There was with us a young woman with short hair and without holes in her ears.

At 9:45 we arrive at Mainz. I cross the Rhine on a steamboat and I go to Kastel and from there take the train for Frankfurt.

Our farewell to the Rhine, to the old and poetic Rhine: Its waters will yet flow for many centuries like the generations of men. Perhaps the same waves that the sun evaporates and afterwards drops in the form of snow over the Alps, melted they again give life to the same river, and go over the same bed again and again like humankind that goes on taking the form of old dead beings. But, the spirit? Does the spirit return? Does it exist? I shall not see again the old Rhine. Dragged along by another impetuous current I shall lose myself also in other oceans. The Rhine is beautiful: It reminds me of the Pasig of my native land, and proudly I think that if the Pasig had on its banks more beautiful buildings, it would only envy the Rhine for its long course and abundant waters. (Read the legends of the Rhine.)


It is a fortified citadel in front of Mainz. Since my arrival at the place, I have seen only soldiers, infantry, artillery, etcetera. It's entirely a military city; I'll go from one side to the other.

We left Kastel on the express train at 10:56 in the morning of Thursday, 14th. [22] Ticket 2nd class: 2.30 marks.

In the coach where I am, there is a couple: He is young and not ugly; she is old and is not passable. They caress each other and she puts up her face to his as if wishing to kiss him. She has a mustache.

The roofs of the houses in these regions are of brick rather than slate. At our left can be seen the Taunus. In some parts to the right we have seen the Main River. We travel over the plain. We pass Horcheim, Hoechst.


The Staedel Institute in Frankfurt occupies a magnificent building. They used marble and mosaic in it with excellent taste. I was pleasantly surprised. It has an imposing entrance, a wide and beautiful marble stair with mottled balusters and walls of mottled marble. Perhaps the building is worth more than its contents.

The statue of Goethe is beautiful; only he looks more like a rich banker than a poet. That of Gutenberg together with his two companions does not attract my attention.

In the zoological park of Frankfurt there is a department marked: Testuesgeia and inside were rabbits.

In the Frankfurt zoological park are magnificent lions.

Saturday [23]

Frankfurt is a gay and beautiful city. The buildings are beautiful, elegant, and well built. The zoological park attracts attention for its handsome lions and tigers and also for the musical concerts held in the building.  The Ariadneum is also beautiful for the Ariadne. This is a siren.

The palace of the stock exchange is an elegant building decorated with statues and groups of raised reliefs in excellent taste. It is not inferior to the buildings in Paris.

The opera house in Frankfurt is an elegant edifice, the second beautiful theater that I have seen which is built of white stones and surrounded with pillars and lanterns. On the top of the theater is a beautifully sculptured figure of Pegasus; on the two sides two candelabras surrounded with genii. Below is the group of the Three Graces and in their niches four Muses. On top of the main body of the building is Apollo riding in a chariot drawn by two nymphs in bronze, etc. It is a pity that the building does not stand on a high pedestal which could show off its beauty. Undoubtedly that would have been better.

The new synagogue is much more beautiful than the old one. Both inside and out it is a beautiful temple with much good taste. It shows that its devotees are moneyed people. The Jews who are praying covered with the Taled [24] which they kiss before covering themselves with it. There are many worshippers in the temple. The minister has a beautiful tenor voice. The pillars are of composite order.

Saturday 14 [25]

At 10:10 o'clock I leave Frankfurt, the second beautiful city I have seen in Germany. The fare in a third class coach which will take me to Leipzig from the Neckar station costs three marks.

We stopped a long while (1/2 hour) in Sachsenhausen, a city said to have been founded by Charlemagne transplanting many Saxons. We pass Oberrad, Offenbach, a city of 28,000 inhabitants with a pretty station. Here many persons bearded the train. The environs of Frankfurt are really beautiful.

Mühlheim is on the left bank of the Main. Next to it are pine forests on the right side of the road and on the left plains and plantations extending to the River Main. The first station should be Dütesheim but we do not stop. We go on it seems towards Hanau crossing the Main on an iron bridge. We stop a while at Klein Stenheim.  At Hanau we stop quite a long time. Two military men are with me in the coach. Now we are crossing the Kinzig valley where Napoleon I routed an army of 40,000 men of the Allies under the command of Werder to whom a statue was erected in Heidelberg. Pine trees on the left. We find on the roadside a Reh, a kind of antelope, which ran to the interior of the forest. What has been done for those who died in this battlefield?

The two military men asked me if I was French. I said, "No." "Italian?" "Neither." "Farther away" I replied. "Farther" "Therefore, Turk!" [26]

The plain where Napoleon fought was wide. Now it is planted to potatoes. We arrive at Sangensebold at 12:12 o'clock.

(Liechtenstein is a small country which can offer 13 1/2 men in time of war.) [27]

We are going through Prussian territory now.

Gelnhausen is an old city. From afar it looks like a pile of bricks, situated at the foot of a mountain of red granite. The church is Gothic. Here we stop for 3 minutes. A storm is coming; the wind is blowing hard. The Empress of Austria has just arrived at this moment at Gelnhausen.  We have seen the ruins of the castle which Frederick Barbarossa built here. The train ascends gently. We arrive at Wachtersbach at 12:30 o'clock in the afternoon. This city is located in about one third of the road from Frankfurt to Bebra. I'm sleepy. We arrive at Salmünster at 1:20 o'clock. Here there is a castle called Stolzenberg. We are in the mountains of Vogel [28] or bird. We stop at Schlüchtern. The train is running with two locomotives because of the ascent. This region is very mountainous and reminds me of northern Spain. In Elm we stopped and ascended the mountain in zigzag. The top of the mountain is planted to birch trees; the rock is red. Beautiful red flowers grow on the slopes of the mountain. The mountain top is plain and cultivated. Over the mountain we pass through Neuhof and Kerzell.

At 1:20 we arrive at Fulda, the famous reputed cradle of apocryphal books which so becloud history and the Spanish religion. Here are the remains of St. Boniface and its numerous churches proves its ancient origin as an abbey. Here all the bishops of Germany assemble.

At our right I see the mountains of Thuringia. We are crossing rapidly part of the Haune.

In Hünfeld there is a factory of beet sugar. We arrive at 3:12. At Burgharm we arrive at 3:50. Nearby is a tunne which is quite short. Neukirche at 3:10. For the first time I see in Germany a herd of cattle near Hersfeld. In Hersfeld there is a gymnasium and the gymnasts wear caps like the students. Bebra is still 13 kilometers away. Bebra is 164,94 kilometers from Frankfurt. The Fulda River runs along our side on the right side of the road; not a very wide river, only about ten meters. It has more water than the Manzanares. There is an old wooden bridge over it. Here the rocks and the soil are red. At Mecklar we hardly stop. The first station, which follows, is Bebra where I hope we shall eat.

In Bebra I went down to eat, thinking that we would be allowed one hour; but I have hardly begun when we were called to the train. This game cost me 1:50 marks. We continue our trip. It rains. We pass a tunnel in the forests of Thuringia. We arrived at Gerstungen at 5:10. The houses in this place are painted red or they are made of very red bricks. The ruins of the old Wartburg Castle can be seen on the right of Herteshausen. We arrive at Eisenach 5:25 o'clock. The Wartburg Castle can be seen at the right before entering the station.

We left Eisenach at 6:20. We pass Wutha (take note that in this region abound names ending in "a" which is flat in German). Froesstadt is a small city.  At 7:25 we arrive at Gotha.

About eight o'clock we arrive at Erfurt, a city of 53,000 inhabitants, gloomy, paved, and with old houses, on the banks of the Gera a small river and gloomy like the city. Here took place the famous interview of Napoleon with kings, emperors, and princes who were courting his favor. The majority of the population is Catholic. I have seen two old bas-reliefs on the walls: one representing St. John the Baptist and the other, Christ crucified. The post office building is beautiful. The inhabitants must be very poor. I have not seen one passable restaurant. I take lodgings in the Silber which is not expensive.  The meat dishes are prepared differently from those in south of Germany. One eats well.


On the following morning there is much activity at the station. Dressed in Sunday clothes the people are going on short excursions. Some however are going farther perhaps judging by the tearful farewells and repeated adieus. The Germans have a notable convenience in their system of transportation: While in Spain hardly two trains daily leave for one point, here as many as 17 leave, and the third class is better than the second class there. Erfurt has a garrison of 3,000; its fortifications, however, are sinking and falling out. There are streetcars, but the railroad station is uncovered, although the building is quite large. The general the women are of regular stature, perhaps small for German women, and do not look very healthy. Erfurt is the place where I have seen the most stores of meat and sausages, relatively speaking. They save light during moonlit nights for the moon hardly shines in Germany. The sky remains blue. Nevertheless last night the moon shone splendidly in the sky and I could see it on the banks of the Gera through the poplars outlining the towers of the Catholic churches. The streets remain dark. At the station there are two dumb men who can understand each other perfectly through signs.

At 6:53 o'clock I leave Erfurt and I go directly to Leipzig, changing trains at Corbetha. [29] We pass a bridge over the Gera. We are in a fast train. The environs are well cultivated and planted. The poplar can be seen in the distance; red flowers adorn the roadsides. Without stopping at any station we arrive at Weimar at 7:20 o'clock. Weimar has a beautiful station with columns of composite order with many floral decorations. The landscape is beautiful and the horizon is extensive and vast. We pass through Apolda, Gross Hesingen at 8:10 o'clock (Bebra is 210.4 kilometers from Halle). At the right we see the Rudolsburg ruins. The Saale flows by; we pass Koesen at 8:00. Naumburg at 8:25 o'clock, the station is beautiful and simple.

In Corbetha we had to ride in a coach solely for military men. There is a sign which says: Lasst se nur gehre. (sic)

Durrenberg: We leave with many passengers. The coach makes a lot of noise.

I am passing through the place where three great battles had been Frederick the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, and Napoleon I.  Why does not laurel grow here instead of wheat and potatoes!


I arrived at Leipzig at 9:30 in the morning and I left my luggage at the station in order to look for a house.

Although it was Sunday and rainy, Leipzig pleased and surprised me, with its magnificent public buildings, wide and clean streets, and amiable inhabitants.  I took refuge at the University from the shower and there on the bulletin board I read a sad thing: A very severe decision against a student announcing to the public that the young Frederick Wensel is forever expelled from all universities because his conduct makes him unworthy to attend classes. This announcement is signed by the Rector and the Judge of the University. After much walking I found a room at number 40, Albertstrasse, for 21 marks, breakfast and service included. I got my luggage and I am now installed in it. The carriage and the deposit cost me 80 pfennigs. Until now I like Leipzig.

Leipzig, 14 October 1886

I arrived at this city two months ago and until now I cannot complain against it. I find everything cheaper than anywhere else in Europe. Four days a week I go to the gymnasium for a fee of 75 pfennigs monthly. It is said that more than one thousand five hundred of the students here work and this gymnasium is one of the most important in Germany.  I have visited what is called Napoleonstein [30] located on the west side from where Napoleon watched the battle of 18 June 1813.

I have also seen the fete of Sedan or the Sedanfeier on the 1st and 2nd of September. During the fete the beautiful fountain in front of the museum was inaugurated. It was built at the expense of a lady. It is red granite with bronze statues, sea-horses, tritons, sirens, and genii. It is very well made and molded and every figure is in pairs.

I have made the acquaintance of Doctor Hans Meyer, [31] author of one of the largest encyclopedic dictionaries of Germany. This gentleman is the chief of the Bibliographical Institute and traveled in the Philippines exactly two months after I have left my country. He presented me with a copy of his little book on the Igorots. [32] I have been correcting the proofs of a guide to conversation in Spain. [33]

Yesterday in the company of a schoolteacher named Hering I visited one of the two largest breweries in North Germany. It is located in Reudnitz; it is the property of Mr. Riebek; and it is as old as I am, having been founded in 1861. It is colossal. They made us visit, among other things, the storerooms where beer is preserved whose cold temperature is due to natural ice and the machinery. We visited one of the 30 divisions where 45 to 50 large barrels with a diameter of 2:50 to 3 meters each, are kept. It is estimated that the daily production is some one hundred thousand liters of beer. We have also seen the department where leavening is made in large cauas [34] which reminded me not a little of those of sugar. There are even steam apparatus for the washing of the barrels, etc. One of the curious things that I saw is the apparatus for cooling beer in a short time.

The beer that falls from above "A" is still steaming as it passes through pipes with running cold water inside. When it reaches "B" it has a temperature of 4 degrees. Such a rapid change takes place in a few seconds. After this we were invited to drink beer in one of the rooms. I had to take 3 glasses and I left completely merry. I am told that the lowest pay of a schoolteacher here is 1,400 marks; the maximum is 3,200 marks.


On the 21st of October I went to Halle from the Magdeburger Leipziger station. The third class round trip ticket cost me 2.10 marks. In the coach there were one old woman, a young woman, and myself. Afterwards one man joined us. The plain is well cultivated and populated. Pine trees grow on the banks at certain distances. In the distance can be seen poplars surrounding the towns. We pass Schkeuditz, 14 kilometers from Leipzig. Afterwards began the 2.2 kilometers from Leipzig, 9:30. In this part of Germany, perhaps because of the level sound, I see many windmills.  At 9:40 o'clock we arrive at Halle.

0'05/20 101/120 solution of nitrate of silver

Sublimat 20:10,000 = Borsandre 4/0

Cocaine 2/0 = Berlin Schweiger

In 22 months they have 10,800 patients


Medical Ophthalmoscopy


I have eaten luncheon for one mark, tip and beer included.  An observatory in the middle of the park.

An Explanation of Genesis at the University of Halle.

2:25 = 21 October 1886.

The majority of the students of theology become priests. The course of study is from six to eight semesters. They are taught the history of Catholicism

The professor speaks: it is not Genesis: the Pentateuch. First part, hour -- Nebum -- Getabum --

Genesis liber die. Gründung Gottesreiches in Israel -- Pentateuch = Gesetzbuch. Lepner la tora o vapros = Eodo 11 -- 14

Notice to Girls, etc.

In German newspapers it is usual to find announcements for housekeepers, companions, maids, servants, etc. The interested parties are requested to present themselves at certain stations in Holland, France, or England. The Rotterdam Association, in order to abolish prostitution, warns women and girls to be very careful with such advertisements. I return to Leipzig in an express train.


At 5:50 o’clock of the 29th of October I left Leipzig to go to Dresden.  Third class ticket: 4.70 marks.  Snow around Risi.

I arrived at Dresden at 8:20 o’clock in the morning and stayed at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Neustadt.  Immediately I went to the picture gallery where I found many paintings, the most notable of which is the Sistine Madonna of Raphael, many by Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese, Ruysdael, Van de Velde, etc.  The gallery is not rich in modern paintings.  It has more landscape paintings and one of the Purgatory of Dante, etc.  Afterwards I visited hurriedly the prints, sketches, and crayon drawings which, although they are all copies, are quite interesting.  Form there I went to eat at Kneist which did not impress me much.  Afterwards I went to the Bruhl Terrace at the Café Belvedere which pleased me much.  The service is good and it is not expensive.

30 October – This morning I visited the so-called Japanese Palace which is more Chinese than Japanese, because the very exhibits that are responsible for its name are more Chinese than anything else.  I visited the garden that surrounds it and I found nothing notable in it.  At 10:00 o’clock when what they call Antiken-Sammlung opened I went to see the statues and busts, the majority of which are antique restored or completed, many being meritorious; the boxes of mummies, funeral urns, Assyrian and Greek bas-reliefs, figures of Tanagra, and a statue of Augustus which I would not have seen until now.  It is of marble and nude from the waste up.  There are many important busts.

From here I went to the rich gallery in the royal palace which is called Grünes Gewolbe, that is Green Vault where the crown jewels are kept.  The entrance fee costs one mark and the catalogue costs the same.  It is impossible to list the wealth found there in one notebook.  The eyes are dazzled by so much silver, gold, and precious stones which the labor and intelligence of man have wrought in the course of years.  Big diamonds, a green one among them being of this magnitude. [35]  Yellow, white, clear and very beautiful diamonds fill some shelves; sword hilts which perhaps had not served either humanity or the fatherland nor contributed to the fame of their owners but after all are very precious; sets of topaz, emerald, ruby.  The Saxon monarch must be very rich.  This museum is a worthy pair of the gallery of paintings, both being very rich jewels of a nation.  From here I went to eat at the Englischer Garten where the service is very good and although the price is high, it is not, however, dear.  Afterwards I visited the Zoological, Anthropological and Ethnographic Museum, which is also very rich.  There I saw a collection of a few insignificant things of the Philippines placed beside those of other islands with little advantage to them.  Among the birds and reptiles, I saw some from the Philippines.  There is a rich collection of bird-flies and birds of paradise.  I called on Dr. A. B. Meyer, who, for being very busy with a man who was leaving for New Guinea the next morning, could not receive me.  However, he begged me to come back the following day at 10:00 o’clock so he could show me many curious things.  He regretted much that he could not be with me longer.  From there I visited the squares of Moltke, Bismarck, and Ferdinand.  There is here a very pretty statue of a thief of geese.  In the other is a statue of a nymph with the god of love.  From here I went to the Russian church, small but pretty, in the form of ++, Russian architecture, semi-Oriental with five towers, images of Christ, the Apostles and Saint Michael.  Wax lights on the altar, staring in the rest of the church, and gas at the entrance.  They have no organ.

       This morning I was again visiting the Anthropological and Ethnographic Museum.  Mr. A. B. Meyer received me very well.  He pointed out to me some interesting things of the Palau Islands, such as articles of adornment and instruments for ravishment and of priapism.  He showed me objects found in tombs in the Philippines whose origin is difficult to discover.  I also noted the shape of the houses on the Palau Islands, a large canoe, etc.  From there I went to hear the High Mass at the Catholic Church. [36] Truly I have never in my life heard a Mass whose music had greater sublimity and intonation.  The woman who sang had a voice so pure, clear, and pleasant that it is impossible to imagine a better one.  It is true that in music I am a zero.  The orchestra was perfect.  I noted one thing which attracted my attention very much.  On of the benches there are signs which say r Katholiken reservist,” that is, “Reserved for the Catholics.”  Therefore many who went to hear Mass out of curiosity, that is the Protestants, prefer to stand up to sitting down.  After the Mass I visited the Johanneum.

Truly the crown of Saxony has many jewels and precious things.  I thought all the boxes of jewels and watches were in the Zeinger.  Now I see that there are more in the Johanneum and they are certainly precious.  There is a grand astronomical clock ordered by the Elector Frederick the Wise, I believe; a very rich collection of saddles with precious stones, trophies, armor, and rifles: the boots Napoleon wore at the Battle of Dresden and those of Murat; the sandals worn by Napoleon I at his coronation; his death mask; the armors of Sobieski, of the Elector Moritz with the hole made by the bullet that killed him at Sivershausen, and of Augustus the Strong with dents, and the horseshoe which he broke.  In the tent of Emir Mustafa I found two objects which looked like the salacot [37] woven in Manila.

1st – The day is splendid.  Today I leave for Berlin.  Yesterday, after visiting the Johanneum I went to eat at the Restaurant Aussendorf which cost me 2.30 marks.  Afterwards I went to see statues and I took a walk in the large garden where a beautiful palace stood besie the pool.  From there at 6:30 I went to see at the royal theater in the new city the play Nathan the Wise.  The seat cost me 4 marks.  The actors were very mediocre and the show bored me.  Many Jews attended it and one beautiful Jewess sitting in front of me, was deeply moved and was crying.  The Saladin had nothing good in him except his figure.  Daja Alhafor and the lay-brother were the only acceptable actors.  Nathan the Wise was very mediocre.  I prefer to read Lessing to seeing his plays on the stage.  The Germans are decidedly not great actors.

This morning I took breakfast at the Café Passage which has very good newspapers.  Today the crafty coachman who conducted me from the hotel to the Berlin station tried to collect more than the regular fee.  Fortunately a policeman intervened.  I do not recommend the Hotel Jahreszeiten because of its desire to deceive.  The concierge connived with the coachman to fool me.  I am waiting for the Berlin Express.  I believe we are departing from here at 10:17 A.M.

The third class trains are heated.  I am very comfortable in my compartment.  The day is superb and in spite of the deceitfulness of the hotel employees, I am happy.  These third class trains are very much better than second class trains in Spain.  We have passed the Elbe.  We arrive at Weinboehla 19:25 (10:35) (18 kilometers).  Pine trees on the sides of the road.  Beautiful scenery, small cities.  Autumn gives beautiful tents to the trees: reddish yellow, green, orange.  I don’t remember having traveled in Europe in better weather.  We have met a hare on the road.  To the Germans this has a superstitious significance.  We arrive at Gossenham 11:10 (140 kilometers from Berlin).  Beside me sits a fat and reddish German who talks much, like a traveling Spaniard.  Fortunately he is going only to Elsterwerda at the nearby station.  We are traveling on the plain.  For having smoked he was taken to another compartment.  We arrive at Elsterwerda at 11:15.  The past decides the future of men.  There are many windmills.  The Express in Prussia runs one kilometer per minute: I walk one hectometer.  About 40 kilometers to Berlin the land begins to be sandy, but very sandy: the sand is white.

About 9 kilometers to Berlin we can see domes and towers which I suppose must e those of Charlottenburg.  At 1:25 o’clock we arrive at Berlin.

In Berlin I stopped at the Central Hotel where for three marks I had a room on the third floor with light, heat, service, and admission to the Wintergarten, which is really not expensive, considering that the service is good and the hotel is beautiful and first class.  It is the hotel which has the largest number of rooms which are 4:00.  I occupied number 294.  The heating system is by steam.  The bed is good but I think it is being worn out and it is crafty to require the guests to take breakfast at the hotel, otherwise one mark will be added to the room rate.  This is abusive.  The service is well regulated; the dining room is large; the reading room is beautiful although, like all hotel reading rooms, it has only newspapers and insignificant books.  The post office established in the hotel is good; it has two elevators and a large staff.  As soon as I arrived I fixed myself a little and went out to look for a room.  After eating and walking through the streets parallel to the Unter den Linden [38] I found a good one at the Jaeger, which is not very expensive: 30 marks with service without breakfast.  In the evening I attended the concert at the Wintergarten which amused me very much.  The farce and the tricks of the juggler made all of us laugh; the orchestra was perfect and the singers were accomplished.


       * The following diaries -- From Heidelberg to Leipzig via the Rhine, Halle, Dresden and Berlin; From Marseille to Manila; From Manila to Calamba; and From Biñan to Manila -- are found in one notebook. A Photostat was used by the translator.

[01] That is, Rhine Valley.

[02] The beautiful park in Madrid.

[03] Erected under Grand Duke Frederick.

[04] Erected under King Ludwig II.

[05] Rizal calls this plant tecas-tecas (or tikas-tikas). It is a Tagalog common name for the wild Canna indica Linnaeus. (Courtesy of the Filipino scientist Dr. Leopoldo B. Uichanco.)

[06] These are missing. 

[07] Larix.

[08] The prefix Gross means big or large; literally the name is Big Home

[09] Central Station.

[10] For images related to this leg of Rizal's travels in Germany, see the Mainz section of the Rizal's Heritage Trail in Germany site. There you'll see images of the Hotel de Hollande, the Mainz railroad station, and the steamer Neiderwald.


[11] The statue of Johann Gutenberg (1400-1468), German inventor of printing from movable type, made by Bertel Thorwaldsen (1768-1844), Danish sculptor.

[12] Since the earthquake of 1863 that caused considerable damage to the buildings in Manila, including the residence of the Captains-general in the walled city or Intramuros, Malacañang Palace has been the official residence in Manila of the chief magistrates of the nation. The original palace has undergone many transformations over the years. 

[13] The National Monument on top of the Niederwald was unveiled on 28 September 1883. The figure of Germania, 10 meters high, stands on a pedestal 12 meters high. Below the figure is the imperial eagle 2 1/2 meters high. In the middle of the under socle is a relief showing the emperor on horseback and other German princes and generals. To its right rises the figure of Peace and to its left that of War. Below this relief on a projecting socle are allegorical figures of the Rhine and the Moselle. The monument was designed by Professor Weissbach of Dresden and the Germania and the reliefs by Professor Johann Schilling of Dresden, modeled and cast by Von Miller at Munich.

[14] Malapad-na-bato, a Tagalog phrase literally meaning "Broad Rock", jutted out on the Pasig River. The ancient Tagalogs had woven many legends about it. The Spaniards converted it into a revenue station guarding the traffic through the Pasig.

[15] Koblenz.

[16] Ari Nagaseo supplied this footnote.  A character in Joseph Victor von Scheffel's historical novel Ekkehard.

[17] Siebengebirge, the Seven Mountains are Oelber 464 meters high; Lowenburg 459; Lohrberg 440; Nonnenstromberg 336; Petersberg 334; Wolkenburg 328; and Drachenfels 325.

[18] Marceau was the brave French general Francois Séverin Marceau (1769-1796), mortally wounded in the Battle of Altenkirchen between the French and the Aus-trians. Even the Austrians mourned his death. The drawing is in the MS of Rizal’s diary.

[19] A Filipino, perhaps Pedro A. Paterno.

[20] Ari Nagasaeo added this footnote: In the year 970, so runs the legend, Hatto II., Archbishop of Mayence, who had made himself hateful to his people on account of his avarice and cruelty during a season of famine, was informed by one of his servants that a vast multitude of rats were advancing along the roads leading to the palace. The bishop betook himself at once to a tower in the middle of the Rhine, near Bingen, still known as the "Mouse Tower," where he sought safety from his pursuers. But the rats swam out to the tower, gnawed through its walls, and devoured him. We read also in "A Chronicle of the Kings of England" that, in the reign of William the Conqueror, a great lord was attacked by mice at a banquet, and "though he were removed from land to sea and from sea to land again," the mice pursued him to his death.

[21] Ari Nagasaeo added this footnote: Rizal is mistaken about the date. 14 August 1886 was a Saturday. The correct date is Friday, 13.

[22] Ari Nagasaeo added this footnote: Rizal's diary is mistaken about the date. From the previous entry, he mentions that he arrived in Kastel on a Friday. The correct date should be Friday, 13 August 1886.

[23] Ari Nagaseo supplied this footnote.  Did Rizal mean Friday? Or did he take a tour of Frankfurt before 10 AM on Saturday?

[24] A piece of cloth with which the Jews cover the head and shoulders in their religious ceremonies.

[25] Ari Nagasaeo added this footnote: Rizal gets this date correct.

[26] Ari Nagasaeo added this footnote: This may be the first time that Rizal writes of being mistaken for a European national. In his previous entries he writes of being mistaken for either Japanese or Chinese instead of a Filipino.

[27] Located between Switzerland and Austria, on the Rhine, it is an independent principality with an area of 62 square miles.

[28] Vogels Berg.

[29] Korbetha.

[30] It is a knoll.

[31] Ari Nagaseo supplied this footnote.  Hans Meyer. German ethnologist.

[32] Ari Nagaseo supplied this footnote. Did Rizal mean the first volume of Meyer's "Album von Philippinen-typen" (Dresden: W. Hoffmann, 1885)? Or did Meyer, prior to 1886, write another monograph on the Philippines apart from "Uber die negritos der Philippinem" (Batavia, 1873)?

[33] This notation seems to indicate that Rizal was working for a publishing house at Leipzig as a corrector of copy, for he was then in need of money for the printing of his novel Noli me tángere. See his letter to his brother dated Leipzig, 12 October 1886.

[34] Or kawas, vats.

[35] Rizal’s drawing is oval-shaped, nearly 2.5 centimeters in length.

[36] Here again we have an instance of Rizal’s loyalty to his Catholic faith.  Even though he was traveling, he went to hear Mass.

[37] A Philippine helmet made of woven straw or rattan with lining and sometimes with artistic silver decorations.

[38] Rizal writes a letter regarding Unter den Linden written on the 27th of June 1887.  It is addressed to “a friend” and may either be an exercise in French composition or a draft of a letter yet to be sent.  It is found in his notebook, Clinica Médica, in the Ayer Library at Chicago, Illinois, USA.  It is unsigned and has no addressee.


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The Life and of Dr. José Rizal
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