“1,000 Places to See Before You Die”

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In the 2016 edition of “1000 Places to See Before You Die – In the US and Canada”, you will find the “Amana Colonies” on page 514 and more specifically Die Heimat Country Inn on page 515.

“The biggest and oldest of the plentiful B&Bs here is Die Heimat, an 1854 inn that was originally a stagecoach stop in Homestead. All the rooms are decorated in the simple Amana style – walnut and cherry furniture, hand-sewn quilts, and calming pastel walls that soothe the weary tourist today.”

The article on Amana says, “Iowa’s rich immigrant heritage is alive and well in the group of seven villages called the Amana Colonies. The villages are filled not with costumed reenactors but with the German founders’ descendants (some 1,600) who still weave blankets, make fine hardwood furniture by hand, and attend Sunday services where men sit on one side and women on the other.”Image may be subject to copyright”Laid out on orderly Old World lines, each village has one main street for shops, with sprawling farm buildings on the outskirts; large, perfectly manicured 19th-century residences are shaded with grape trellises. A 17-mile drive through a pretty landscape of mixed farmland, pasture, and forest takes you through all seven colonies, founded by the Community of True Inspiration, a German religious society that came to the U.S. to escape persecution. Between 1855 and 1862, its members bought 26,000 acres of prime farmland in Iowa and built seven villages – Homestead, Amana, Middle Amana, High Amana, West Amana, South Amana, and East Amana – all no farther apart than an hour’s drive by oxcart. When demand for their hand-crafted woolens and other goods shrank during the Great Depression, they were forced to set aside communal life, an event known as the “Great Change.”

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“You’ll see (and smell) right away that food is a big draw here – not just fresh-baked streusel cakes and crusty breads, smoked sausages, and dark, sweet blackberry wines, but traditional German fare like wiener schnitzel served family-style with bowls of sauerkraut and potatoes.”

If you’re like me; always up for an adventure and exploring new and unique places, you’ll want to be among the thousands of visitors who have stayed at Die Heimat Country Inn over the years. It’s one more page you can mark off in the book – “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

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