Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce for Leavenworth information:
Specializing in "Gemuetlichkeit"
By Charlotte Kohnhorst
Nestled in a
cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet with surrounding
wilderness of rugged, majestic mountain ranges reaching 5,000-8,000
feet, lies a quaint Bavarian Village. Snake-twisting rivers, deep
azure lakes, crystal-clear crashing waterfalls, lush green rolling
hills dotted with flourishing orchards alive with buzzing bees
seeking sweet nectar provide the magnificent backdrop for this
Houses here display pointed peaks with large wooden over-hanging
rooflines on stucco/ timber combination structures. Main street
finds hugging gingerbread-style buildings on one side and beautiful
park abundant with variety of trees on the other. One finds
scalloped trim on the rooflines, intricate folk art cutouts on
balconies, exterior wall murals, window boxes and barrels with
profusion of flowers everywhere!
main street visitors admire the 96 foot Maibaum, (May Pole) dressed
in blue and white stripes ( traditional Bavarian colors) with
attached placards depicting town's history. These include: logging,
railroading, skiing, mining, dancing, the town band and church - all
denote role of significance to community. Plaque at base of Maibaum
offers traditional Bavarian blessing:
"Maibaum steh auf, zum weissblauen Himmi
zoag naug, dass in's zu jeglicher Zeit d'Hoamat gedeiht."
Translation: "Maypole rise to the blue-white sky, so our homeland
may forever prosper.
Continuing along main street one discovers shops filled with
nutcrackers, dolls, beer steins, music boxes, candles, candy,
cheese, toys, specialty clothes, gifts, and collectibles to tempt
shoppers. One can always find the unusual exceptionally unique gift
for that special person here. Restaurants, cafes and side street "wurst-stands"
offer German cuisine from sausage with sauerkraut to finest dessert
fruit filled pancakes delicately dusted with powered sugar.
Delicacies of every gastronomical desire are easily found and
enjoyed. Hungry visitors always find "Haxen oder Huhn," delicious
goulash accompanied by "Spaetzle oder Kartoffeln," at one of a
variety of good local restaurants specializing in"Gemuetlichkeit."
If you are lucky you might also spot the local German Bierwagen
four horse team going through the downtown area. The harness on the
bierwagen is all handmade in Sud-Tyrol, the German speaking part of
Northern Italy. You might also spot a
small 200 year old German carriage pulled by Haflinger horses going
through their paces. The wonderful harness for these horses come
from the town of Wallgau in the heart of Bavaria and are handmade.
In the summer you can be assured of entertainment in the Gazebo in
the heart of the downtown. It may be a German group visiting, or a
world class yodeler and a visiting high school band. There's always
a surprise for the visitor to Leavenworth.
Depending upon season, one discovers skiing, sledding, skating,
hiking, rock climbing, camping, fishing, rafting, canoeing, bike
riding, horseback riding, bird watching, and generally thoroughly
enjoying and appreciating nature. There is possibly no greater
spectacular burst of autumn color than Tumwater Canyon in fall.
Sound like you are in Germany? This is Leavenworth, The Bavarian
Village of Washington! Situated in the heart of the state at the
base of the eastern slopes of Cascade Mountain Range, 118 miles east
of Seattle, one can easily drive to Leavenworth via Interstate 90 or
U.S. Highway 2. Both routes guide one through beautiful terrain and
are exceptionally scenic. Mountains and valleys of this area
resemble parts of southern Germany so closely one feels immediately
DOWNTOWN MAP IN PDF