German European equine victory hopes dashed

Hopes that German filly Danedream could become the first horse in over 30 years to win Europe's most prestigious race twice in a row were dashed on Tuesday. She is among 300 horses put into quarantine in Cologne.

German European equine victory hopes dashed
Photo: DPA

Veterinary officials closed the Weidenpesch racetrack on Monday after one horse tested positive for equine infectious anaemia, an exotic viral disease which is often fatal. All 300 horses at the track and stables will have to stay there for the next three months.

The incident means that the track will remain closed for the last two race days of the season, as well as the charity race day due to be held on October 3, and the Winter Favourite Prize, scheduled for October 14.

At least 15,000 people were expected to attend each of the meets, the Kölner Stadtanzeiger newspaper said on Tuesday.

Danedream will also not be able to take part in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday. She won it in a track record time last year and by one of the largest-ever winning distances.

Patrick Barbe, racing manager for Danedream’s part-owner, Teruya Yoshida, said there was nothing wrong with Danedream but the rules could prove impossible to overcome.

“At the moment, Danedream is very well and has not been infected,” said Barbe.

“There is only one horse that has gone down with the illness and is stabled on the other side of the racecourse.”

But the rules mean that no horse can enter or leave the stables while they are under quarantine.

The Peter Schiergen-trained star was favourite to emulate Alleged’s feat of 1977 and 1978 on Sunday at Longchamp racecourse.

Danedream’s withdrawal leaves a field of 18 in the race – though horses can also be supplemented on Thursday at a cost of €100,000– with Japanese raider Orfevre now generally the 3/1 favourite.

The Local/AFP/hc

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Ancient Jewish settlement to be brought back to life in Cologne

No city north of the Alps has been home to Jews for as long as the Roman settlement of Cologne. A recently discovered Jewish quarter is now being brought back to life.

Ancient Jewish settlement to be brought back to life in Cologne
The site of the construction in Cologne. Photo: DPA

If you are a tourist walking through the centre of Cologne, sooner rather than later, you'll come across a construction site located in the very best position, in the middle of the town hall square.

At the beginning of this millennium, the people of Cologne dug into the earth directly in front of their historic city hall and found a treasure from another millennium: the Jewish quarter.

Complete with a dance hall, a hospital, a bakery and a synagogue, the quarter contains the ruins of a settlement from the Middle Ages. It is a city within a city, a miniature world of houses huddled together. 

Of course, all that is left is ruins – one needs a bit of imagination to picture how the whole thing once looked. But experts from Germany and abroad agree: there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

Ancient tradition

No other German city has been associated with Jewish history for so long as Cologne. 

The first documented Jewish community dates back to the year 321, making it the oldest north of the Alps. 

But in 1349, the neighbourhood was destroyed and its inhabitants were murdered or expelled. Local Christians blamed Jews for the outbreak of the plague.

Currently, a museum is being built over the site on the town hall square. It will be a parallel world underground: visitors will be able to relive life in the Jewish quarter in the era of knights and minstrels on a 600-meter-long trail. The trail also visits the governor's palace from Roman times, which was rediscovered in the 1950s. 

The museum is called MiQua after the name for the Jewish ritual bath, Mikveh.

Exhibits will include artifacts found during the excavations; among them is a crescent-shaped, gem-set gold earring from the 11th century. 

The researchers also discovered a tablet dating back to the Middle Ages with the inscription “yt in ys neyt anders.” This could be translated as “Et is wie et is” (It is as it is) – a classic Cologne saying. 

The museum is scheduled to open in 2024, but through the panorama windows on the third floor of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, also located on Rathausplatz, one can already follow the progress of construction work.

This year Jewish life will be celebrated across the country – the anniversary year '1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany' will be celebrated nationwide. 

Hamburg is organising a themed week entitled 'More than Little Jerusalem'; in Nuremberg the photo exhibition 'Germany's Emigrants' will be opened; and in Herxheim in Rhineland-Palatinate the play Judas by Lot Vekemans will be staged.

READ MORE: 9 hilarious gifts Judaism gave the German language