Pullman City: The American West comes to Bavaria
September 10, 2012
EGING AM SEE, Germany - Tucked away down a small road about 20 miles northwest of Passau sits Pullman City, a replica of an American Old West town complete with saloons, wooden sidewalks, cows and gunslingers.
Pullman City offers a taste of the Old West, Bavarian style, with trick riders spinning somersaults from galloping horses, and bison grazing in the fields. Disreputable cowpokes stroll the streets, rifles on their shoulders, and Native Americans perform tribal dances in traditional costumes.
The town comprises some 60 acres and visitors can tour the facilities on horseback, stage coach or booted feet. Dozens of activities are available to entertain young and old alike, as well as special programs and events throughout the year.
Winning the West
Children and adults can sharpen their warrior skills at Big Al's Wild Arrows, where they can shoot a bow, cast a spear, or hurl a tomahawk. Scores can be tallied and used to purchase prizes. Others might try to strike it rich at Gold Rush Camp or by panning for precious stones in the nearby creek.
Two adventure playgrounds provide a spot for the young buckaroos to burn off some excitement, and they can practice their rodeo skills on a motorized bucking bronco. If children get too rambunctious, parents can even bribe the sheriff to lock them up for a spell in the town jail.
Stroll down the wooden sidewalks of Main Street, where nine different eateries provide everything from ice cream and pizza to steak, ribs or tostadas. For a real authentic taste, try a juicy grilled buffalo steak.
There's also plenty of shopping down Main Street with stores offering custom-crafted Western gear, Native American jewelry and a host of other delightful souvenirs.
Be sure and stop by The Pullman City Music and Dance Hall. With its long bar and terrace overlooking the town, it seems like just the sort of place to run into Wyatt Earp or Billy the Kid. This restaurant and saloon also and offers live music and line dancing lessons as the evening progresses.
Strolling through history
The afternoon highlight is the American history parade, where costumed reenactors present the story of the American West, complete with Civil War Soldiers, mountain men and trappers, cowboys and Indians, and herds of cattle. While the presentation is in German, English speakers will still delight in the authentic outfits and some spectacular trick riding.
For an even more authentic experience, stop by the Authentic Area where historical hobbyists have reconstructed dwellings of the period at their own expense, and spend their time living and discussing America's history with guests.
Fred Petermichl belongs to a group that painstakingly recreates the Georgia militia from the early days of the Civil War. Their focus is 150 years ago, so as the modern calendar advances, so does the period of their re-enactment. In 2011, they portrayed 1861, in 2012 it is 1862, and their equipment and uniforms change with the time.
"Most Americans come from Europe, so it's really just an extension of our history," said Petermichl, explaining his fascination with American history. Over the nine years since he first built his hut at Pullman City, Petermichl has stocked it with exact replicas of everyday items and is happy to show and share his passion of the West.
Sigi Schubert, who appears in the parade as no less than three different characters, said he's been interested in American history ever since 1955 when he started five years employment at Ramstein Air Base. Schubert has been a fixture at Pullman City for over 15 years.
Overnight stays are available in the Palace Hotel on Main Street or one can opt for the trail life in either a log cabin or a tepee. There's even a sprawling fort that makes an ideal lodge for groups.
Besides its draw as an Old West town, Pullman City hosts a variety of events throughout the year ranging from various live bands to Harley Davidson gatherings, old automobile shows, pirate parties and more.
For a complete listing visit their website at www.pullmancity.de. Whether you're looking for a fun-filled family outing or are interested in a more authentic taste of the American West, Pullman City offers the best of both.