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


2.8.08
  On the Romanesque Road

I've got some Romanesque churches for you as well. There is a road - or rather, a number of connected roads all over Germany - leading to the most interesting Romanesque buildings. You can visit churches and a few castles and other buildings all the way from the Alpes to the Baltic Sea coast, following the Strasse der Romanik.

Here are some teaser pics of some of the churches in the Harz.

Quedlinburg Cathedral, main nave

I got only inside views of this one because the towers were wrapped in scaffolding, and since the catherdral sits on a hill, surrounded by other buildings, the towers are pretty much the only thing you can see. The inside has been renovated already and looks a lot better than last time I was there, but unfortunately, the crypt is still closed.

Chapter Church Gernrode, south side

This one is really beautiful and in good condition. Nice and cool inside as well. *grin* Churches are a good place to visit on a hot day.

Both Quedlingburg and Gernrode were Canoness Chapters for noble ladies who would live more or less like nuns only without taking permanent vows. That way they could leave and marry if family politics changed. But some stayed all their life and the Abbesses, esp. the ones of Quedlinburg, held a lot of power.

Konradsburg Monastery, crypt

Not much remains of the Konradsburg Monastery, only the choir of the church and the crypt which is undergoing restoration (almost finished, so I got some good photos). But the history behind it is interesting; Konradsburg is the only monastery that started off as castle (Burg = castle, you've seen that word in several names).
 
Comments:
"Both Quedlingburg and Gernrode were Canoness Chapters for noble ladies who would live more or less like nuns only without taking permanent vows. That way they could leave and marry if family politics changed"
Sounds like quite a sensible arrangement.

I recognised Burg from Tolkien (Hornburg). Call me a geek :-)
 
Lol, we're all geeks here.

The arrangement seems to have worked quite well. There's a number of Canoness Chapters here, and a few, like Fischbeck, are still active.
 
Gabriele

Lovely pictures.
 
Thank you, Hank.
 
Great photos, Gabriele. Those are lovely buildings.

"...the Abbesses, esp. the ones of Quedlinburg, held a lot of power."

I imagine a good few of them must have come from the local nobility, then. A bit like early Kildare, maybe, where abbesses were often drawn from the Leinster royalty. Definitely helps to have that sort of connection. :P
 
Whats on the floor of that crypt? Pebbles? Plush pile carpet?
 
Gernrode is possibly one of the most beautiful Romanic churches I have ever seen. I remember the study group kind of lingering around it for quite some time after the guided tour was over, just to rest in its shadow and soak in its atmosphere.

Lovely picture of the inside of the Quedlinburg cathedral, as well. I think they began renovating the towers when we were there - and that's been more than 10 years ago! Either that or it's the second round of renovation.

I hope you had a great stay!
 
Kirsten, some of the Quedlinburg Abbesses came from the royal house. Gernrode was more local.

Stag, it's pebbles.

Jeri, there was a group lingering around this time as well. Can't blame them, ;) I'm not sure but I think renovation is going on pretty much since the Reunion. One of the problems is that the gound sacks and the stability of the buildings atop the hill has to be ensured by all sort of techno tricks.
 
I was wondering what was on the floor of that crypt too...thanks for clearing that up. But it DOES look like carpet lol!

Great pics btw! It's always fun to see what churches/cathedrals look like in other countries.
 
Lady D. I think the pebbles is an intermediate state due to the ongoing renovations. The part where I stood were flagstones, so maybe they'll put those back in.
 
That's quite the hulking church... (Chapter Church Gernrode). I don't recall them covering a lot of German Romanesque churches in Art History...
It should be cool inside, there's enough stone there to make a dozen smaller churches. :)
 
Interesting capitals ( if that's the word) on those columns, and all seem to be different.
 
Constance,
Gernrode Chruch is not one of the biggest (like Speyer Cathedral). But it's still quite impressive

Bernita,
every capital is different. I tried for a closeup but since part of the crypt is fenced off, I could only get a few.
 
When I was in Rome, several churches had "different" capitals on every column since they were all stolen from classical temples. (No two columns on the tower of Pisa for instance are the same!) Using different capitals drives home the supremacy of the church over the pagan temples, and has become a fashion statement.
(This is a useful plot device, helps fill in the back story, along with the almost universal and well known penchant for building churches on very ancient sacred sites like "sacred wells", "Ley lines", and so forth)
 
Love the pix!
 
Thank you, Susan.
 
Love the photo of the crypt. It looks like the perfect setting for a scene---hmmm, plot bunny peeking. d:)
 
Thank you, Dayya.

Many of the historical settings in Europe would make for good novel settings, be it historical fiction or Fantasy, or maybe even some SciFi. And horror, of course. ;)
 
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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.

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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.


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