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16 October 2006

Vleeptron finds Swabia = Schwaben = Schwabenland

Okay, Vleeptron found Swabia, cancel the Lost Administrative Region Alert.

A few months ago, Vleeptron was also confused about Places in Yerp which seem to put wheels under themselves and move around without first notifying American tourists. Austria/Österreich and France were having a very nasty war at their common border/frontiere, and Louis le Dernier and Marie Antoinette and the kids were trying to sneak out of France at night to find safety just across the border in Austria.

(cf. "la Nuit de Varennes," starring Marcello Mastroianni as the aging Casanova, and Harvey Keitel as the American revolutionary incendiary anti-monarchist pamphleteer Thomas Paine. They were accidentally in the hired carriage behind Louis' noisy fancy slow not-very-secret carriage. Varennes-en-Argonne is in France, just across the border from Austria.)

This geography had not been reflected in the nice maps and timetables I was consulting at the Banhof for my train travels. PatfromCH was thoughtful enough to explain when and how Austria moved around and changed its shape.

Anyway, here's Swabia, and Augsburg, where Jacob Fugger the Rich Banker came from. Apparently the Fuggers founded almshouses to care for the poor, and some of them are still in business today.

Yes, I know he wasn't really Louis le Dernier, there were a couple of Louis Bourbons after him, but I like the nick anyway. Louis XVII was his young son, who became King of France the instant dad's head was guillotined, but he never reigned; he died age 10 in a Revolutionary prison in Paris. Louis XVIII ruled France from 1814 to 1824, except for 100 days when Napoleon came back.

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