The part of Germany I lived in was heavily damaged during previous wars. The nearest "old" city was Trier, an hour away, which still holds Roman ruins. Heidelberg was about ninety minutes away.
The red tile roofs of Heidelberg are typical of the German towns and cities nearby. Even small towns can be quite colorful, with their clean stucco and bright A-frame roofs. Frankfurt, however, looks very modern, not at all like this.
At the heart of many European cities is an empty plaza, the old medieval square. In the Middle Ages, farmers and tradespeople came from a distance to gather in this square each market day. This is the heart of Bruges, Belgium, seen from the bell tower.
Hundreds of miles to the south, the empty square of Sienna, Italy, lies at the foot of its tall bell tower.
These old downtown districts are closed to motor traffic.The market square of Colmar, France, is now a lovely place to stop and eat lunch.
When cars do enter the old part of a city, the driver quickly learns that these streets were not laid out with a motor vehicle in mind. This is Rothenburg, Germany.
A horse could fit through here—maybe! But not a car. This is the charming town of Bernkastel-Kues, next to the Mosel River.