I'm back from the Braunschweig (English 'Brunswick') visit. I got photos but not from the exhibition - I really don't know what's the problem with Medieaval exhibitions in Germany, since the Roman ones I've seen all allowed to take pictures. Culture is for sharing, not for hiding in vitrines for a privileged few to see. Ok, rant over.
I got exterior shots of the Burgplatz (Castle Square), though, and pics of the cathedral.
-- Dankwarderode Castle
Dankwarderode, palas building
This one's not on a hilltop for a change. It dates back to the 11th century and was expanded by Heinrich the Lion in the style of the palatine castle in Goslar
in the 12th century. The entire castle took up the island in the Oker river and was considerably larger than todays 'castle square'. Dankwarderode and most of the old town of Braunschweig were destroyed in a fire 1252.
In the 17th century only the two storeyed palace building - rebuilt in Renaissance style - was still in use, and in the 19th century even that lay in ruins. But the palas
was reconstructed on the ground plan of the Medieaval building in what's called Neoromanesque style. Except for the unhistorical staircase and the arrangement of the windows in the upper floor, it's a pretty adaequate representation of the exterior of Heinrich's palace, though.
-- A Romanesque cathedralBraunschweig Cathedral
The cathedral was founded by Heinrich the Lion as chapter church in 1173 (after his return from a pilgrimage to Jeruslalem) and dedicated to St. Blasius and John the Baptist; later Thomas Beckett was added as patron, a pretty unusual patron saint as far as I can tell.
The building was only finished in 1226 - there seems to have been a break in construction during Heinrich's exile. Heinrich was buried in the cathedral after his death in 1195; the main nave, crypt and choir had been finished at that point.Cathedral, main nave
The cathedral is built in the basilica style (which my readers should meanwhile be able to recongise) with three naves ending in apsides, transept and high quire, and a so-called Saxon Westwerk
, the mostly unadorned western wall with the two towers. The ceiling of the main nave has one of the earliest surviving barrel vaultings in Germany.
There have been several changes, as usual with Mediaeval buildings. During one of those alterations a special feature was added: the pillars and cross grain vaults in the northern nave are of the English perpendicular style that was not normally used in Germany, the windows have so called Tudor bows.
-- Mediaeval muralsCathedral, murals in the apsis
The crossing and apsides had been painted in secco
mural style in 1230-1250. Those paintings have been recovered under layers of whitewash paint in 1845 and were 'reconstructed'. Unfortunatley, in the 19th century that meant not only refreshing the colours but also adding a few elements people thought looked Medieaval. But there are still enough orignal elements to give a good impression of 13th century sacral paintings esp. in the southern transept where the orginals have been recovered as far as possible. Murals in places where there had been none in the Middle Ages have also partly been ereased.
The photo above shows Christus Pantokrator, a motive that has its origins in the Byzantine art.
-- ShiniesDecoration of a casket containing bones of a martyr
There is a permanent exhibition of Medieaval art in the Squire Hall (Knappensaal
) of Dankwarderode Castle, mostly of the sacral variant like crucifixes, reliquaries and a few tapestries with religious motives. It is part of the Duke Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig.
Since that one's not part of the Otto IV exhibition, taking pictures without flash was allowed.
-- Some lionsOriginal of the lion statue of Heinrich the Lion
The Lion of Braunschweig, the heraldic animal of the Welfen family (Welf
means lion cub) was commissioned by Heinrich the Lion in 1166. It demonstrated his ducal position and power. The lion is the oldest remaining large style sculpture north of the Alpes - the bronze cutie is 1.78 m high and 2.79 m long - and probably forged in Braunschweig itself. Its models are the Capitoline Wolf (the one that's causing discussions whether it is Etruscan or Medieaval), the Lion of Venice and the Marc Aurel statue in Rome. Heinrich had seen those sculptures during Emperor Barbarossa's first two Italian wars.
There is a copy on the castle square, standing on a big stone pedestal. You can see it in the first pic. The original is kept in the museum because pollution would damage the bronze.