My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology

  Autumn at the Werra / Weser

Autumn is my favourite season, and it has truly arrived here. Not only with the flame coloured leaves and melancholical mists, but also with storms and rain, and the first hoarfrosts. But I captured some peaceful photos the other day, taken at my favourite spot at the Werra/Weser river.

View from Normanstein Castle

The Werra, linguistically the same as the Weser (the Roman Visurgis), is another of those typical German rivers surrounded by mountains and fertile plains where the valley widens. It runs through northern Hessia, the ancient land of the Chatti, and Thuringia back to its spring in Eisfeld. Like most German rivers, its main direction is south to north to either the Baltic or the North Sea (the Werra / Weser runs into the North Sea).

Werra river in the autumn sun

It is an area rich in history as well, all the way back to the Roman camp in Hedemünden close to where the Werra confluences with the Fulda and is then called Weser.

Another - rather hazy - view from the Normanstein to the Werra and Treffurt

Thuringia, which had been part of eastern Germany, is on my list to explore a bit more. I hope you don't get tired of castles and cathedrals. *grin*

A reconstructed Medieaval boat on the Werra

This one is a reconstructed river merchant ship we stumbled across by chance in the Schlagd, the old harbour of Wanfried. The Schlagd of Wanfried was a change harbour where goods from the ships were loaded upon pack animals and wagons for further transportation.

Old guest house at the Schlagd in Wanfried

Today a nice little town on the border between Hessia and Thuringia, Wanfried was involved in several feuds in the Midde Ages.


The photos below are from the part of the river known as Weser.

Meadows and woods at the Weser

The fields are plown, the winter wheat starting to sprout. Red and yellow leaves rustle in a breeze still warm with memories of summer.

An old orchard

Grazings and orchards down at the river, woodcovered mountains, haze-veiled, rising behind.


I love to just sit and watch the dark waters flow by and the sun vanish behind the hills. And I think maybe Arminius has sat here as well, finding a moment of peace.

Westwork of Bursfelde Abbey

Traces of the past: the the west towers of the Romanesque abbey church in Bursfelde, surrounded by some former abbey buildings.

A river of history and myth

The leaves begin to turn yellow and red, and on a hazy day, a golden shimmer lies over the woods. We've had the first autumn gale that sent the leaves dancing and the crows swirling towards the town with angry croaks. Mists veil the valleys in the morning, and the air smells of wet leaves and coming frost.

Woods at the Weser

It is my favourite time of the year. Somehow I always wax a lot more poetic when describing fall than spring. Maybe it's the gentle melancholy of this time that responds to my mood, the muted light and warm colours.

A hidden lake

Of course there are other days, too, days of what one website called Varus weather. Torrential rains and icy blasts that make the ground slippery and bend the branches. Days where you want to stay inside with a cup of hot tea and listen to the rain drops singing on the window panes
So far my travel plans include a trip to Orlando and hopefully a trip to Washington DC, so there might be castles in my future (does Cinderella's castle count?). I might be able to get you a copy of the Bastard Prince- but I found out that Katherine Kurtz won't be at MarsCon this year (I was going to try and get it signed for you). Are there any other of her books you need?
Wow, a river that you can't just step over. *g* I'm impressed. I need to come visit some day and get my tree/water/ruins fix. :) Love the reconstructed boat.
Tire of cathedrals and castles and beautiful scenery? Never! Keep those lovely pics coming, Gabriele. You live in a beautfiul part of the world and you take great photos!
Very nice post and pictures, thank you Gabriele :)
Ann, thank you for still thinking about that book. To have it signed would have been nice, but I'll be glad if I can get it at all. Thank you very much.

Constance, you should. Maybe you can officially introduce Corgies to Germany (there are a few, actually, but it's not a widely spread race here) and call it a business trip.

Thank you, Satima and Dark Wolf.
Ahhhh.... the sun... whatever happened to that? And warmth...

And no, I will never get tired of castles and cathedrals either ;-)
Lol, we have lots of sun here, but the warmth ... well, only if you consider -22°C warm. ;)
Sick of castles and cathedrals? In a word, no. I love autumn. The photos are lovely.
Lovely photos, and no, I don't get tired of castles and cathedrals :-)
The reconstructed merchant ship looks interesting. Is the river too small to be navigable above Wanfried, or was there another reason why goods changed to land transport there?
Thanks, Shelley and Carla.

Carla, as far as I know the river could not be used by the larger, deepgoing cogs from Wanfried. Another reason, I think, is that some goods needed to be transported along the west-east route from there and no longer on the river. Whatever, the place was important enough for tax income in the later Middle Ages that the landgrave of Thuringia and the landgrave of Hessen-Kassel were at each others' throats about the possession of Wanfried more than once. :)
I never tire of castles and cathedrals. Do you have a sub-list of your posts on Cistercian cathedrals? I'm into that part of my manuscript that needs a bit more description of the churches and their innards.
What a great blog!

I have been looking all over for a photo of a medieval riverboat, preferably from the Weser valley.

Can you tell me from what century the original of the boat you saw in Wanfried might be?
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

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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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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