Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zeppelin Museum/Hindenburg/Friedrichshafen


 Mac and I saw this craft flying over Lake Constance and we became intrigued.
Why was a blimp over the lake on a regular basis?
Investigating a bit further, we found that there is a Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen with reproductions of some of the Hindenburg's rooms, as well as a company who gives zeppelin rides.
We were very keen to go and explore this museum.

We set out last weekend to explore. It's a great day trip.


Here we learned that the Hindenburg was nearly as long as the Titanic. 803.8 feet long, the construction of this zeppelin was started in Friedrichshafen in 1931 and completed in 1936.
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, originally built these dirigibles in Germany.

Mac being an ex-air force man was interested in the construction and military applications of the
zeppelins. He learned that starting in 1914 that zeppelins made over 50 raids on London to drop bombs. He also learned that the reason hydrogen was used in the Hindenburg was because the USA had the largest natural supply of helium and were not going to give it out to Germany due to how things were going with Hitler's government.

Here is the observation deck with the reconstruction of the bank of windows many of the passengers jumped from.
I found a great blog called Faces of the Hindenburg.blogspot.com with
biographical info and pictures of the passengers and crew of this fateful flight.
So, I was all about seeing this re-creation and imaging what these people saw and did on the airship.

As we climbed the gangway, the first room we encountered was a cabin made up to sleep for the night.

The sink in the cabin.  Toilets were not here, but below on B deck.


Our commentary said this was how the cabin was during the day. Note the upper berth folded away.
Those stewards must have worked pretty hard during the trip.

Reproduction of the passenger lounge. Here is the actual art and what the passengers saw on the trip. A light weight grand piano stood in the corner the first year of flight but was removed because of weight considerations.
Just beyond this lounge is the

is the writing room where passengers could write letters or read.
There was also a dining room and smoking room (I KNOW...but lots of people did smoke back then!)
but they had not replicated them.  You can find many pictures of them on the Internet if you are interested.

This picture is a bit difficult to see but it is a mock up of the lounge and writing room in the front and behind you will see how the cabins are laid out.

Here's a copy of one of the menu's from the Hindenburg.

Here is the china that the passengers ate from during their trip.
There is a good video of the Hindenburg's maiden flight on YouTube if this article has made you curious.
I had a wonderful day satisfying my curiosity about the Hindenburg.

Mac gives it a thumbs up and says to tell you, "You can take a ride in a zeppelin over Lake Constance if you contact the Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei.  Be prepared to spend at least 500 dollars per person though!"

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