Höchster Schloss Square, Frankfurt-Höchst, Germany
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
The pleasant square of Höchst. The buildings hugging the square in their tight embrace present a facade of bright plaster set against a latticework of red and brown beams, flower-boxes burst with bright red blooms, cheerful vines of deep green leaves christen the window-frames - this is the type of square sought after by postcard companies, and hearkens to a time of centuries past, when food, language, and customs were perhaps not so dissimilar.
Above me an oak tree’s enveloping canopy lends its comfortable shade to over half the square. It must have stood sentry here for hundreds of years. How different this place must have been when its little sapling tip first poked out of the ground. Or perhaps, not so different at all.
A joyful group of friends - ladies whose years must span the distance of at least 70 of the oak’s rings - gather at the Gasthaus patio for celebration, be it a celebration of time or simply the miracle of old friends getting together, I ponder. Their gaiety ripples across the cobblestones and reverberates against the buildings, filling the square with sweet German sounds and the laughter of women elders.
As the celebration ends and the ladies slowly trickle down respective passageways towards husbands and home, the sounds of the oak’s rustling leaves, the clinking of glasses, and a pigeons call overtake the square.
Throughout the hour of my absorbing the energy of the square waves of different passerby come and go - a teacher and her youngsters on a field trip, a sporty couple of cyclists, a boisterous quad of exaggerated teens. And then the waves recede and a quiet and peaceful square this once again is.