Knittlingen in Germany, twinned with Spain’s Montejaque and Benaoján

Knittlingen in Germany, twinned with Spain’s Montejaque and Benaoján

The other day Paul Whitelock was at Bar Rincón in Montejaque. Unusually he was inside, because it was too hot to sit on the terrace. He spotted memorials to two deceased guiri friends on the walls and wrote about them on Secret Serranía. He also spotted something else…

While I was in Bar Rincón the other day, reminiscing about Tony Bishop and Philip Edge), two friends who had passed away in recent years, I spotted another photograph that looked familiar, but didn’t look very Spanish.

I asked the landlord, Antonio, about it.

“It’s the Sports Club in Knittlingen,” he informed me.

Knittlingen is the twin town of Montejaque and Benaoján, located in the Stuttgart area of Baden-Wuerttemberg  in South Germany, an area where many Spanish from these two pueblos blancos had lived and worked. Some still do.

Antonio and his wife Ani had also lived and worked there for many years before returning to their home village. As a result they both speak good German. Their two sons Juan and Diego went to school there and are bi-lingual.

Back to the photograph.

“Of course it is! I’ve been there!”

I explained to a rather intrigued Antonio that I’d attended a 50th birthday party in that very building.

When I was courting Rita, now my wife of 11 years, her niece Bianca was living in the Faust town and invited friends and family to a big shindig in the local sports club.

Apparently, I drank rather a lot of Hefe Weizen (German wheat beer) and played air guitar to the huge amusement of what was to become my new extended family.

Gosh! How embarrassing!

Apparently not so. They all thought I was good value for money! After all, most of them like a drink too! I can still remember the massive hangover I had the following day. And that was over 10 years ago!

Before emigrating to Spain 15 years ago, my wife Rita was living in the next town, Maulbronn. She worked in a doctor’s surgery in Knittlingen, Doktor Reininghaus, where many of the Spanish Gastarbeiter were patients.

As a result she already knew lots of people in her new home village, Montejaque. Locals who had returned from their German work experience much richer, culturally, linguistically and financially.

And others who still live in Germany but come “home” to Montejaque for extended periods.

So, that short visit to Bar Rincón inspired two articles. Not bad, eh?

I just love serendipity!

Editor’s note:

Paul Whitelock has written several articles about Knittlingen and the twin town link, as well as Montejaque itself. Carolyn Emmett, Heather Cooper and Karl Smallman also. Below are links to some of these articles:

Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda doing DIY, gardening and writing.