Sunday Is A Praying Day

After moving into my new apartment a month ago, I am starting to feel settled here.  I know a couple of my neighbours, well, enough to say hello when we pass on the stairs and I’m starting to gradually learn how things are done here.  However, there are a couple of building rules that seem rather odd to a transplanted Aussie.

They are:

1. No noise AT ALL after 10pm, 7 nights a week. Forget about having people over for a party on a Saturday night unless you plan on kicking them all out at 9:55pm.

2. Doors must be locked from the inside after 8pm at night. I have no idea if anyone actually comes around and checks.

3. No washing machines or dishwashers are to be run on a Sunday or after 8pm at night (Monday – Saturday).  This is strictly verboten.

I asked my landlady about the Sunday ban on washing machine usage, cause I can understand if you are using the communal laundry that the neigbours might like to have a day off from the washing machines being run, but this rule also applies to tenants like myself who have a washing machine in their own apartment.  When I asked why I couldn’t use my washing machine on a Sunday I was told it was because ‘Sunday is a praying day’ – and this is in Hamburg which is considered to be a secular state.  I can’t imagine what the rules must be like for what is not allowed to be done on a Sunday in the southern Bible belt of Bavaria. I was also informed that if I have use my washing machine on a Sunday in case of an emergency, I must get everyone’s permission first.  Remind me never to have a laundry emergency on a Sunday.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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13 Responses to Sunday Is A Praying Day

  1. cliff1976 says:


    Greetings from the aforementioned belt. We’ve never had any Verbot on dishwasher or washing machine or even dryer usage in the two apartments we’ve had here in Regensburg. Though I must admin, our apartments have been fairly well insulated against sound from other ones. If those are the rules by which you must abide in order to coexist with the other tenants, then wow…sorry.

    We have laundry and dish emergencies at all hours, seven days a week. At this apartment, we DO have a “lock the door to the street after 21:00” rule, which is infuriating because the ancient (but sweet) old lady upstairs enforces that as soon as the sun starts thinking about setting. If an emergency evacutation becomes necessary, we’ll be fine here on the ground floor. But if we were living one or two floors up, and we needed to escape a fire or flood or something at night, I rather doubt we’d remember our keys are necessary to get OUT of the building.

    • Riayn says:

      Really? You can wash on a Sunday? I’m so jealous. I would love to do my washing on a Sunday rather than having to do it on Saturday plus rush around to all the shops to get the grocery shopping and other shopping done before all the shops shut and don’t reopen til Monday.
      However, most people I speak to in Hamburg seem to have the same restriction so it seems like it is a city wide law rather than just a building one.

      I get also get worried about needing to get out of my apartment quickly in the middle of the night, so I leave my keys in the door (on the inside of course). However, I guess you can’t do that on the building door.

  2. Your building sounds pretty strict! While I like the idea of limiting noise after a certain time during the week, these limitations on the weekend are a bit insane. I would be lost without my Sunday laundry day. I will say that there is an unwritten rule not to run them after about 9pm (at least for those of us with washers/dryers in the cellar) but can’t imagine that if you had one in your flat it would be an issue. All in all, though, glad to hear you’re getting situated in your new place.

    • Riayn says:

      The Sunday limitation is annoying, but then again, it is kinda nice not to be allowed to do anything on a Sunday. I’m almost coming to appreciate the day of forced rest.

  3. Seems a bit harsh, but at least you can be thankful for the fact you know you won’t be woken by a laundry machine early Sunday morning.

  4. Mandi says:

    Interesting. We definitely do laundry on Sundays and after 8pm weeknights (although we try not to do it too much later than 9pm), and no one has complained yet.

    • Riayn says:

      Lucky you. Both in my last apartment and this one using the washing machines was verboten on Sundays. Although my previous apartment let you wash up to 10pm Monday to Friday, but only til 4pm on Saturdays.

  5. Fiona says:

    Wow. I only wash on weekends!

  6. San says:

    This is really strange…. and very particular to your apartment building, because I’ve never heard of such a ban anywhere else.

  7. Lutz says:

    Hmm… Good old Sunday’s rest… I do admit, that there are some good aspects to it and i think that in general it is good that citizens are allowed and protected by the state to have some rest on Sundays.

    However, the laws regarding resting on Sundays have been loosened up considerably during the past thirty years. Many old tenants and landlords try to ignore this, but they don’t have any legal ground. Even if they keep their olf house rules, it does not mean anything and they have to accept it if you do the things that you are be law allowed to do.

    One of the things is that you are allowed to run your washing mashine and your dishwasher on Sundays. I don’t know what your neighbors are like, so I would probably for the sake of a good relationship with the other people only do this if I had no other chance to do my laundry during the week, but don’t worry if you do it on Sundays. Remember: You are allowed to do it by law.

    By the way: the same applies to showering or taking baths after 10 p.m. another favorite of bossy landlords and combative neighbors.

    As far as the resting time at 10 p.m. goes… you will probably have to abide to that. Unlike using of a grill on a balcony which you are allowed to do once a month during season there is no right for having a big party once or twice a year.
    However, unless you have a very aggressive neighbor or keep up the noise every evening of the week, nobody will complain if it remains a bit louder one or two hours longer. And also, if you would like to throw a party, it is customary in Germany to either put up a notice on the black board in the entrance area a few days earlier or to go around the house notifying the neighbors and asking if they are ok with it being a bit louder tonight since you are celebrating your birthday (or whatever). Again, if you only do it up to three times a year most people will not complain. Also, you could always just invite them to join in. This is usually a good way of making sure nobidy will complain.

    I hope I could help you a bit.

  8. Lutz says:

    ups.. should have spell checked before posting. Sorry for the mistakes…

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