Monday, February 6, 2012 / 12:54 pm
Family History In Esslingen
While visiting Germany to promote her movie One For The Money, Katherine took the opportunity to explore her family history when she visited the small town of Esslingen, near Stuttgart last week. The town was the birthplace and home of her grandfather Reinhold F. Engelhardt who emigrated to America in the 1920's.
Excited to learn about her ancestry, Katherine paid a private visit to her grandfather's house on Thursday, February 2, accompanied by her mother Nancy Heigl, who was thrilled to see the home where her father grew up.
The following day, Katherine made an official trip to the town, attending a civic reception held for her at Esslingen's Old City Hall. She was met by the Mayor, Dr. Juergen Zieger and signed the 'Golden Book Of Esslingen' inside the historic public building. The event was witnessed by local and national press, members of the public and a number of fans who gathered to watch her put pen to paper.
To commemorate the Heigl's visit, Mayor Zieger also presented Katherine and Nancy with various gifts - which included documents detailing their family history, information about the town of Esslingen and a large bouquet of flowers.
After a short photo call and press conference with local journalists, Katherine chatted to TV station Prosieben / Taff about her visit to the town and her family ancestry in a one-to-one interview. She then returned to the main room in the building for a few shots with the assembled media.
The timing of her exit from the City Hall building happened to coincide with that of a wedding taking place nearby and newlywed bride Sarah Schmoeller was delighted to join Katherine outside for a photograph. Despite the very cold weather, the actress was surrounded by a crowd of eager fans and photographers who had been waiting patiently to see her for several hours. In an impromptu meet and greet session, she spent time signing autographs, chatting and taking pictures with the people gathered around her.
Katherine enjoyed lunch at the nearby Goldenes Fässle restaurant in Esslingen before making the short journey to the Hotel Le Méridien in Stuttgart, where she talked to journalists about One For The Money. The film hits German cinema screens on April 19. She also took time out to sign posters from the movie - which we will giving away in an easy to enter contest very soon!
Later in the evening, Katherine, Nancy and guests returned to Esslingen for a private dinner with Dr. Peter Kastner, Head of the Municipal Department of Arts and Culture and Mayor Dr. Jergen Zieger. The Heigl's enjoyed some traditional German cooking, sampling a number of regional recipes and specialities.