Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


26.3.06
  Bad Karlshafen

My regular readers may remember the name of Helmarshausen, a Benedictine Abbey famous for its goldsmiths and manuscript illustrators, just below Krukenburg Castle. Helmarshausen is now part of the larger town of Karlshafen.

The Landgrave Carl of Hessen wanted to establish an efficient and competitive textile industry and in 1685 invited Huguenot refugees from France to settle in Helmarshausen to help him in the endeavour. They built what later was to become Karlshafen (Carl's Harbour), a well structured town centered around a harbour. You can still see that the town was planned at the drawing board and didn't grow out of older settlements like many other places. The harbour that should give the place access to the Weser river and the North Sea, was one of Landgrave Carl's favouite ideas because it gave him a chance to avoid the tolls of Münden, a town belonging to the House of Brunswick-Hannover (yep, the one that from 1714 to 1901 provided Great Britain with five kings and a queen). The harbour, built in 1713, is no longer in use but still graces the town with a nice water scenery.

Karlshafen, Old Harbour

In 1730 the Huguenot apothecary Jacques Galland discovered the salt water wells, and in 1763 salt works were built; salt trade began. When the salt trade degenerated, Karlshafen became a bath and health ressort since about 1840. It still has that function and thus the town can add the Bad (bath) to its name.
 
Comments:
Oh, I miss Europe! Great photo, Gabriele.
 
Thanks. It took me a while to get back to the Karlshafen pictures because there are several showing my mother and me - just a week before her fatal accident and the last time I was with her (not counting the 4 weeks she was in a coma).
 
Are the buildings in the photo stuccoed, Gabriele?
 
Is the harbor now cut off from the sea by a sandbar? It looks extremely placid, and if it could be used, I'm surprised it wouldn't be used for pleasure boats.
 
Bernita,
yes.

Rick,
the harbour connects to the Weser river and via that to the sea which is quite a bit away from Karlshafen. The floodgate to the river is still intact. I suppose the reason pleasure boats aren't allowed is to have the noise of motor jets out of town. Sailing boats aren't allowed on the Weser which is after all, still a river for transport. There are also some cruise ships of the hoover style which dock at the promenades.
 
Beautiful. Yes, I miss Europe too!
 
Well, that makes sense - no powerboats in the harbor, and no sailboats on the river it lets onto. Anyway, a gorgeous place!
 
The harbor was used as a holding area to load/unload goods in/out of Hesse. I tied the Diemel River to the Weser. The Diemel was navagable all the way to Kassel and the Weser (as noted) will take you to the ocean. The only thing the harbor is used for now would be as a gathering point for city festivals, harbor illuminations, and ice skating in the winter. I have been in Karlshafen since 1966 and have a second home there.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home


Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Germany

I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


e-mail

Twitter