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


30.10.11
  Birds of Prey

A visit to the falcon park near Bad Sachsa in the Harz marked one of the highlights of this weekend's tour. It was the last time before daylight saving changes back and darkness will start too early for longer tours. And it may have been the last day of sunshine and pretty colours before the next storms blow the leaves away.

The falcon park in the Harz (Harzfalkenhof) is a private endeavour founded in 1964. Its aim are the breeding, protection and research of birds of prey.

Yes, I'm very pretty, ain't I?

Olga is an Eurasian eagle owl from Siberia, and she knows that she's big, fluffy, and really cute, though like a true star, she needs some coaxing until she strikes a model pose.

She's showing off again. No self respecting eagle would do that.

The bald eagle opposite her stand was much haughtier. He's well aware of the fact that images of his species have graced more than one coat of arms during history.

Talk about yourself. I like to show off.

Bateleu, also knows as pine eagle, an African sub-species. He's a bit of a clown and I suspect he knows what a camera is.

Will you stop bickering already?

African fish eagle, another high brow bird. *grin* Actually, he did fluff his feathers quite a bit, but he would never admit that.

We're the prettiest and fluffiest here.

More eagle owls. One of the breeding programs involves these, and quite successfully so. Some of the rarer species are bred with the aim of reintroducing them into their natural habitats.

Do you really want to take a pic of me? I'm a bit shy, you know.

Saker falcon. There were several different falcons, but they are rather nervous birds and didn't like it when I got close enough to the wire netting fence to take good shots, so I left them in peace.

That wire netting fence is totally getting in the way of her camera.

Yeah, you don't think that would keep me from catching you, heh. Himalayan vultures. Those are the stars of the park and their best success in breeding; the Harz Falcon Park is the first place in the world to breed them in captivity.

We're hiding in dark corners

Long-eared owls. Most birds are kept in pairs or groups to encourage breeding, and several species of birds of prey, esp. eagles, are monogamous.

There must be a way out

Golden eagle. The cages are not too small for such large birds, btw. Birds of prey don't need to fly as much as song birds and spend a lot of time sitting around. Larger aviaries would tempt them to fly and crash into the netting (some of them have wing spans of several metres). Instead, the birds get regular flying exercises by trained falconers.

No, I'm not a turkey, I'm a turkey vulture - I'll eat your Thanksgiving dinner.

Flight shows are also done for the public - the park needs the money because it doesn't get any government funds - but only during visiting season. It was the last day the park was open and my father and I were the only visitors, so we got lots of time and space to observe the birds, but no show, except for Olga's antics. :)
 


23.10.11
  Birthday Booty

St. Peter played nice this year and gave me another perfect, cold and sunny Sunday - and right at my birthday, too. So my father and I took another trip to places in Thuringia (more interesting sites can be found here) and looked for interesting things to see. The day ended with a nice dinner, but I didn't take photos of that. :)

Göllingen Monastery, westwork seen from the west

The St.Wigbert Monastery in Göllingen was fisrt mentioned in a charte dating to 1005 as daughter house of the Abbey Hersfeld, which makes it one of the oldest monasteries in Thuringia. Not much remains of the place, unfortunately, only the westwork and the crypt. The crypt dates all the way back to about 1005 while the rest of the westwork is from the 12th century.

Göllingen Monastery, crypt

The Benedictine monastery was in use as such until 1606; afterwards the buildings were used for various purposes and most of them detoriated and were dismantled. The geographic situation close to the German border didn't help matters, either. But after the reunion, what was left was restored and can be visited.

Runneburg, palas seen from the bailey

Runneburg Castle was called Castle Weissensee in the Middle Ages. It was commissioned in 1168 by the landgravinne Judith of Thuringia, a half sister of Friedrich Barbarossa, as suitable place to spend some time on her travels from the Wartburg futher south. The orginal buildings were a palas, a five storey keep, walls and a gate house. The palas later got an an additional storey with a great hall like in the Wartburg.

Palas seen from the outside

The castle later came to the Wettinian line of Thuringian landgraves who spent quite a lot of time there and at some point changed the interior layout of the palas. The castle was always in use even after the nobles prefered to build residences instead of draughty towers; for some time it housed members of the local government and after WW2, a school. But the buildings had to be closed in teh 1980ies because of their bad state of repair. Since the reunion, attempts are going to on to preserve and restore the castle.

Funkenburg Germanic settlement: watch tower and trench

The last point on the list was another reconstructed Germanic place, this time a fortified settlement, or castle - the seat of a thane, most likely. The Funkenburg has been partly rebuilt on the original site. Excavations had been going on between 1974 - 1980, but the money necessary for the reconstruciton could only be found after the reunion.

Gate with battlements (seen from the inside of the castle)

Today the place is a popular target for school field trips, though it was quiet on this Sunday afternoon. No Roman attack, either. *grin* There is no proof that such attacks ever happened in history, but both Germanic and Roman reenactment groups use the place for meetings and games.

Long house

There were settlements on the Funkenburg between 200 BC and AD 50. Most of the remains found in the area are Germanic (the usual pottery mostly) but some finds point at contacts with Celts and Romans. Those finds are today in various museums in Thuringia.

Storage hut

The castle has an outer and inner bailey, to use the Medieaval terminlogy. According to the post holes, there must have been about 60 huts in the area, plus storage pits, waste pits and such. The largest house - in the inner bailey - measures 8 x 14 metres; the seat of the chief or thane. Occupations involving lots of fire like the bakery and the smithy were located in the outer bailey.

Arminius must have lived in a place much like this.
 


16.10.11
  More Trees and a Lake

It's no longer warm, but the first autumn storms have given way to some sunny days, and so we packed warm jackets and went landscape and history hunting again, for posts on cold winter days. :)

First, a splendid Gothic church - we haven't had one for quite some time. The St. Mary Church in Mühlhausen / Thuringia.

St. Mary Church in Mühlhausen, south side

The church was built mostly in the 14th century. It is a five naved hall church with a single main tower (86 metres high) which is a landmark of the town. The interior gives an impression of loftiness typical for the High Gothic style. It also makes for fun interior shots trying to make the pillars look like boles.

St. Mary Church, interior (the southern side naves)

The material used is local travertine, a variant of limestone. It's a good material for those flamboyant decorations at the outside, but it darkens rather fast and doesn't act well to all the nasty stuff in the air these days. The church has been recently renovated.

Next, a deceivingly peaceful looking lake.

Lake at the sacrifical site Oberdorla

Well, it is a peaceful place today, but this was not so some 2500 to 2000 years ago. A depression in the shellbearing limestone became a lake with swampy shores, later silted up and turned into a peat bog. Peat digging as late as the 1940ies led to the development of a new lake so that the place now looks pretty much like 2000 years ago.

A reconstructed 'Germanic' bridge across the lake

But the peat diggers discovered other things than peat, and soon archaeologists took interest in the bones - including human ones -, vessels, weapons and other 2000 year old finds. The place has been used as sacrifical site from the Hallstatt culture in the 6th century BC to the Migration time in the 5th century AD, and sometimes even beyond ("Just don't tell the priest we still go there.").

Another view of the lake because it's so lovely

Today there is a little indoor museum displaying some of the finds at the site, and an open air museum with reconstructed sacrifical sites from the Hallstatt time to the 3rd century AD, with those typical wooden statues, peat and grass altars, burial pits and whatever was the fashion at the time. There is also a reconstructed Germanic village with a long house, storage house, pit houses and an oven.

Reconstructed 3rd century AD German house in the open air museum Oberdorla

The site doesn't seem to have belonged to one particular Germanic tribe (it would have been the Hermunduri who settled in the area) but obviously was a larger meeting place for ritual purposes. Who knows, maybe Arminius has been there.

After his fascinating journey into the past, we went to another National Park, the Hainich.

Tree top walk in the Hainich

The Hainich is situated in the area Eisenach (Wartburg), Mühlhausen, Bad Langensalza, all important places in Thuringia. It encompasses 13,000 hectares of deciduous forest, mostly beech, mixed with ash, oak, maple and a type of linden (tilia cordata). The Hainich has been declared UNESCO World Heritage together with several other deciduous beech forests in Germany, and the Carpathian forests in Slovenia and the Ukraine.

A Roman nightmare - View from the observation tower over the Hainich at sunset

The Hainich has a tourist attraction (besides lots of beautiful hiking tours), a 550 metres long tree top walk. I wasn't sure at first if I'd dare to tackle that one since I'm prone to vertigo, but it turned out the way is so solid that I didn't mind being between 13 and 21 metres above ground. I even dared to look down. It is a fascinating perspective of a forest you don't get otherwise - and the trees are even larger from eye to eye than they seem from below.

Part of the walk seen from below

The viewing tower is even higher, 41 metres, and gives a splendid view of the surroundings. We went there shortly before sunset and while the tree tops were tinted in a warm golden shine, the light down between the boles already began to fade and give way to darkness.

Tree top walk seen from the tower

The one problem was getting shots against the low sun without funny reflections, I didn't fully succeed, but here's part of the tree top walk seen from the viewing tower. The place had been pretty busy during the day since it's only open when weather permits, but that late most people were gone. Which I like better, lol
 


12.10.11
  A Trace of Fall

Before the first autumn storms set in this week, summer gave us a last farewell with warm and sunny days, though the lower sun and the hazy air bespoke the fall to come.

Reconstruced Mediaeval houses in Tilleda

No, we don't live in houses like that anymore. It's one of the reconstructed houses in the open air museum Tilleda, once a palatine castle and settlement of the Ottonian emperors. Of the main seat (great hall, church, etc.), only foundations remain, but some houses and the walls and gates of the settlement have been reconstructed.

Sunlight dancing on water

The Sieber vale in the Harz with its brooks and rivulets running towards the Sieber and forming smaller valleys, is one of the beautiful hiking areas somewhat close to where I live (if you count a 40-50 minutes drive close). There is a tinge of gold and red in the leaves alrready that will soon flare up in the colours of an Indian Summer - if the storms don't get the leaves first.

A net of twigs, backlit by the sun

You can often walk those paths without meeting other human beings. Most of them stay closer to civilisation - and that's the people who once used the forests as weapon against the Romans, lol.

A brook in the Sieber valley

I love to walk beside running water, listening to its peaceful gurgling and watching the sun dance on the silvery surface. The smaller brooks often have a playful air, with the water bubbling and splashing over the stones. In summer you can cool your feet as well.

Werra river with limestone cliffs

This water is a bit larger - the Werra river in Thuringia. The dramatic cliffs in the background are shellbearing limestone, carved out by the river during thousands of years.

Another view of the cliffs

The place is called 'Werra's Knee', a bend in the river near town and castle Creuzburg (another castle connected with the landgraves of Thuringia - and another one on my increasing list of Posts to Write If I Can Find the Time - this week I could not, as you see).

Creuzburg Castle in the evening sun

The Creuzburg is an intact (partly reconstructed, of course) castle that today houses a hotel and restaurant. It has a different atmosphere than those splendid ruins so abundant in Germany, but at least it survived by being in use over time.
 


2.10.11
  Two Castles in One - The Brandenburg in Thuringia

I've been making the best of the current Indian Summer while it lasts and used the little spare time to visit some more interesting places. One of the castles I visited together with my father gave me an abundance of photos but not so much information about its history. Brandenburg Castle in Thuringia must have been a large and well fortified place once - its remains are still impressive - but it never played a significant role in history.

View from the eastern keep: East gate (left) with gate house and cistern, remains of the palas (right),
inner curtain wall of the East Castle with the Hexagon Tower in the background

The castle is situated on a mountain at the foothills of the Thuringian Forest, guarding a ford across the Werra river and the road from Hersfeld to Eisenach, one of the important roads in the Middle Ages. The Brandenburg is a double castle which means it consists of two separate castles, one - the Westburg - sitting on a promontory, and the other - the Ostburg (East Castle) - on the peak itself; both are separated by a natural trench and have their own sets of curtain walls, towers and gates. Another gate with fortifications may have been at the foot of the hill, there are some worked stones lying around, and traces of an artificial trench. The other side of the hill facing the Werra river is steeper and didn't require additional fortifications.

Hexagon Tower and curtain wall of the East Castle

One can easily imagine that a double castle like this is more difficult to conquer. It takes a larger army to lay siege to it, there are more walls where the defenders can pour and throw down all sort of interesting things, and if you manage to conquer one castle, there's still another one left. As far as I know, the Brandenburg was never besieged.

(The donjon of the West Castle)

For a long time the castle had been a veritable seat of the Sleeping Beauty with trees growing in its yards and vines covering the tumbling walls. During the time of the German separation, the Brandenburg was in the so-called Sperrzone, an area along the East German border that was forbidden for everyone; even the people living in the villages in that zone needed special permits to get in an out - only in East Germany, of course, from the west you could always get as far as the first fence. Thus the castle was abandoned for 40 years, left to the trees and the birds.

One could always see the towers from afar. Nearby Herleshausen was one of the places where you could cross the border into East Germany (which we never did). 20 years after the reunion only a road sign remains where once were fences and mine fields, and the Brandenburg is accessible for visitors.

We had sometimes been hiking in the area before the family moved to Göttingen, often seeing the death zone and watch towers, but this time we could not for sure remember where exactly the border ran so well has it been ereased. After 20 years, a whole generation has grown up without the sight of those fences and forbidden zones, or the attempt to make one of the GDR soldiers in the towers wave back (I remember one did once, shyly and cautiously when his colleague was looking the other direction; it was a dangerous thing to do for them).

Main keep of the East Castle

The village at the foot of the castle, Lauchröden, is first mentioned in a charte dating to 1019, and in 1144, one Wigger of Wartberg and his brother Gottfried are mentioned as protectors and reeves of said village and its church. Wigger is called comes - count. He held the position of châtelain or burgrave of the nearby Wartburg, seat of the Landgraves of Thuringia, since at least 1138. Because of the family's interests in Lauchröden, it is assumed that they built the first Brandenburg castle, the Westburg around 1140.

View from the West Castle to the East Castle (zoomed in)

A few years later, Wigger of Wartberg held possessions along the Werra, around Eisenach and Gotha in Thuringia, and in Hessia (near Kassel). The family certainly was on the rise. His son Burchardt followed his father as burgrave of the Wartburg.

The East Castle likely was built about 1170, but it took until 1224 for the family to take their name after their main seat and not their hereditary position as châtelains at the court of the landgraves of Thuringia: the 'von Wartberg' became 'von Brandenberg'.

Eastern main gate and cistern, with the palas in the background

I could only find glimpses of the Wartbeg / Brandenberg family in the sources, despite the fact they still were châtelains of the Wartburg and their life often connected with the fate of the landgraves of Thuringia. Count Ludwig I of Wartberg participated in the crusade 1197/98 together with Landgrave Hermann I, but contrary to his lord who died of a fever, Ludwig survived. His successor Ludwig II shared the fate of Landgrave Ludwig IV, they both died during the crusade in 1227, and the position of the burgraves of the Wartbug discontinued. Ludwig's cousin Burchard of Brandenberg survived and returned home.

Remains of the palas of the East Castle

But the family got in financial troubles, like other nobles of their time. They were obliged to keep up a certain lifestyle, represent, donate land and money to churches and sub-vassals and other expensive habits, and not every family had the income to back this up. In 1280, Albert II of Brandenberg sold Brandenburg Castle to Landgrave Albrecht. He rremained the landgrave's counselor, but with their main possession lost, the family also lost the title of 'count' and became mere ministeriales again (a status from which they had risen with Wigger 150 years before). The last time the family Brandenberg is mentioned dates to 1435; they probably died out soon thereafter.

Albrecht II of Thuringia (nicknamed 'the Degenerate') gave the Brandenburg to his son Apitz in 1290 who spent some time in the castle.

Outer and inner gate of the East Castle with curtain wall in the background, seen from the keep

The last time both castles were held by the same family was 1322 - 1359 when the lords of Heringen took them as fief from the landgraves of Thuringia.

After that time, the East Castle changed hands several times until the lords Herda zu Brandenburg held it from 1415 - 1892, after which the line died out and the castle fell back to the Great Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (no, I didn't make that title up). He forbade further dismantling of the castle and instead had it somewhat restored.

The Brandenburg became a tourist attractions in the early 20th century. Picturesque castle ruins were pretty popular then.

Main gate of the West Castle, seen from the bailey

The West Castle came into possession of the Reckrodt family (1440 - 1720). One of their members, Georg of Reckrodt, was a famous mercenary leader in the 16th century. He died on the Brandenburg in 1559. After that time, both castles were no longer inhabited, and were soon used as quarries to build a modern palace in Lauchröden (a fate the Brandenburg shared with most Roman remains and other castles).

The West Castle changed possession a few more times until 1936 when the last owner sold it to the County of Thuringia. He probably didn't want to pay for the upkeep of some uninhabitable ruins; that can get rather expensive.

View from the gate into the east bailey

After the sleeping beauty was woken again in 1989, it needed some thorough restoration to make the place safe for visitors. Between 1990 - 1994 the keep and gate of the West Castle were partially restored, as well as the keep of the East Castle which houses a little museum (which was alas, closed). Some steps and rails were added to make access easier though it's still a bit of a climb to reach both castles.

The Brandenburg is cared for by the Thuringian Castles and Gardens Foundation. Here's another post about the castle.
 


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. :-)



Illustrated travel essays: Roman remains, Mediaeval buildings and ruins, other places; sorted by country


Roman Times

The Romans at War

Different Frontiers, Yet Alike
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Reconstructed Fort Walls
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Roman Ships
Transport Barges

Life and Religion

Religious Sites
The Mithraeum of Brocolita
Mithras Altars in Germania
A Roman Memorial Stone


Germania

The Limes and its Forts

Limes Fort Osterburken
The Discovery
The Cohort castellum
The Annex Fort
The Garrisons

Limes Fort Saalburg
Introduction
Main Gate
Shrine of the Standards
The Walls
The vicus

Romans in Bavaria
Overview: Aalen, Weissenburg, Regensburg
The Fort in Aalen - Barracks

Romans at Lippe and Ems
Anniversary Exhibitions in Haltern am See
Varus Statue, Haltern am See

Romans at the Rhine
Boppard - A 4th Century Roman Fort
Villa Rustica Wachenheim
Wachenheim Villa, Baths and Toilets
Wachenheim Villa, Cellar

Romans at the Weser
The Roman Camp at Hedemünden
Weapon Finds

Roman Towns

Augusta Treverorum (Trier)
The Amphitheatre
The Aula Palatina
The Imperial Baths - Roman Times
The Imperial Baths - Post Roman
Porta Nigra - Roman Times
The Roman Bridge

Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten)
History of the Town
The Amphitheatre in Birten

Moguntiacum (Mainz)
The Temple of Isis and Mater Magna


Gallia Belgica

Roman Towns

Atuatuca Tungrorum
Roman Remains in Tongeren


Britannia

Frontiers, Fortifications, Forts

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction / Photo Collection
Fort Baths
Fort Headquarters
Building the Wall
The Wall as Defense Line

Wall Forts - Banna (Birdoswald)
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Forts - Segedunum (Wallsend)
Introduction
The Museum
The Viewing Tower
The Baths

Signal Stations
The Signal Station at Scarborough

Roman Towns

Eboracum (York)
Bath in the Fortress
Multiangular Tower

Romans in Wales

The Forts in Wales
Overview

Roman Forts - Isca (Caerleon)
The Amphitheatre
The Baths in the Legionary Fort


Mediaeval Times

Living Mediaeval
Dungeons and Oubliettes
Pit House (Grubenhaus)
Medical Instruments

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Historical Context
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Craftmanship

Mediaeval Weapons
Swords
Trebuchets
Combat Scenes


Mediaeval Germany

Towns

Braunschweig
Medieaval Braunschweig, Introduction
Lion Benches in the Castle Square
The Quadriga

Erfurt
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Erfurt

Magdeburg
Magdeburg Cathedral
St.Mary's Abbey - An Austere Archbishop
St.Mary's Abbey - Reformation to Reunion

Paderborn
Town Portrait

Speyer
The Cathedral: Architecture
Cathedral: Richard Lionheart in Speyer
Jewish Ritual Bath

Xanten
Town Portrait
The Gothic House

Towns in the Harz

Goslar
Town Portrait

Quedlinburg
Town Portrait
The Chapter Church

Towns of the Hanseatic League

Lübeck
St. Mary's Church, Introduction

Stralsund
The Harbour

Wismar
The Old Harbour

Castles and Fortresses

Castles in Bavaria

Coburg Fortress
The History of the Fortress
The Architecture

Castles in the Harz

Ebersburg
The Architecture
Power Base of the Thuringian Landgraves
The Marshals of Ebersburg

Harzburg
The Harzburg and Otto IV

Hohnstein
Origins of the Counts of Hohnstein
The Family Between Welfen and Staufen
A Time of Feuds (14th-15th century)

Regenstein
Introduction
The Time of Henry the Lion

Scharzfels
Introduction
History

Hidden Treasures
The Stauffenburg near Seesen

Castles in Hessia

Castles in Northern Hessia
Grebenstein
Reichenbach
Sichelnstein

Kugelsburg
The Counts of Everstein
Troubled Times
War and Decline

Weidelsburg
The History of the Castle
The Architecture
The Castle After the Restoration

Castles in Lower Saxony

Adelebsen / Hardeg
The Keep of Adelebsen Castle
The Great Hall of Hardeg Castle

Hardenberg
Introduction

Plesse
Rise and Fall of the Counts of Winzenburg
The Lords of Plesse
Architecture / Decline and Rediscovery

Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat
Grubenhagen

Castles in Thuringia

Brandenburg
The Double Castle
Role of the Castle in Thuringian History

Castles in the Eichsfeld
Altenstein at the Werra
Castle Scharfenstein

Hanstein
Introduction
Otto of Northeim
Heinrich the Lion and Otto IV
The Next Generations

Normanstein
Introduction

Wartburg
A Virtual Tour

Castles at the Weser

Bramburg
River Reivers

Krukenburg
History and Architecture
Outbuilding 'Shepherd's Barn'

Polle
The Castle and its History
Views from the Keep

Sababurg / Trendelburg
Two Fairy Tale Castles

Churches and Cathedrals

Churches in the Harz

Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
Development of the Cave Church

Walkenried Monastery
From Monastery to Museum

Churches in Lower Saxony

Königslutter
Exterior Decorations
Cloister

Wiebrechtshausen
Nunnery and Ducal Burial

Churches in Thuringia

Göllingen Monastery
Traces of Byzantine Architecture

Heiligenstadt
St.Martin's Church
St.Mary's Church

Churches at the Weser

Bursfelde Abbey
Early History

Fredelsloh Chapter Church
History and Architecture

Helmarshausen
Remains of the Monastery

Lippoldsberg Abbey
History
Interior

Vernawahlshausen
Mediaeval Murals

Reconstructed Sites

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

Viking Settlement Haithabu
Haithabu and the Archaeological Museum Schleswig
The Nydam Ship

Miscellanea

Other Mediaeval Buildings
Lorsch, Gate Hall
Palatine Seat and Monastery Pöhlde

Miscellanea - Along Weser and Werra
Bad Karlshafen
Hannoversch-Münden
Uslar
Treffurt
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk


Mediaeval England

Towns

Chester
A Walk Through the Town

Hexham
Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower, Part 1
Clifford Tower, Part 2
Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
Museum Gardens
Old Town
Along the Ouse River

Castles

Castles in Cumbria

Carlisle
Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

Castles in Northumbria and Yorkshire

Alnwick
Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

Scarborough
From the Romans to the Tudors
From the Civil War to the Present

Churches and Cathedrals

Hexham Abbey
Introduction

York Minster
Architecture


Mediaeval Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

Central Scotland

Doune
A Virtual Tour
History: The Early Stewart Kings
History: Royal Dower House, and Decline

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
Castles Seen from Afar

Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

Dunstaffnage
An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
The Wars of Independence
The Campbells Are Coming
Dunstaffnage Chapel

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Other Historical Sites

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Mediaeval Wales

Towns

Walks in Welsh Towns
Aberystwyth: Castle and Coast
Caerleon: The Ffwrwm
Conwy: The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Edwardian Castles

Beaumaris
The Historical Context
The Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Conwy
The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Norman Castles

Cardiff
History

Chepstow
History: Beginnings unto Bigod
History: From Edward II to the Tudors
History: Civil War, Restoration, and Aftermath

Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings


Baltic States and Poland

Towns along the Sea Coast
From Tallinn to Gdansk


Flanders / Belgium

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains


Scandinavia

Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Defense over the Centuries
Akershus Fortress: Middle Ages
Akershus Fortress: Architectural Development
Vardøhus Fortress


Other Times

Ages of Stone and Bronze

Development of Civilization
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

From Stone to Bronze
Paleolithic Cave 'Steinkirche' in the Harz mountains
Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historical Orkney
Ring of Brodgar - Introduction
Ring of Brodgar - The Neolithic Landscape
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae


Post-Mediaeval

Thirty Years of War
The Vasa Museum in Stockholm

The Splendour of St.Petersburg
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral
Impressions from the The Neva River

Steampunk and Beyond
Fram Museum, Oslo, Part 1
Fram Museum Oslo, Part 2
Historical Guns
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then - The Vasa Museum
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg


Tours and Cruises

Travelling in Germany
Hanseatic Towns at the Baltic Sea
At the Coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Quedlinburg and Surroundings
Halberstadt and Surroundings
In the Land of Saale and Unstrut
Interesting Sites in Thuringia
Some Castles in Thuringia (2017)
Teutoburg Forest and Paderborn
Towns, Castles and Churches in Bavaria
Summer Tours 2016

Travelling in the UK
Castles in Northumbria and Eastern Scotland
Abbeys and Churches in Northumbria
From Edinburgh to Oban - A Visit to Scotland
Neolithic, Pictish and Viking Remains on Orkney
Castles in Wales

Cruises
Cruise on the Baltic Sea
The Hurtigruten Tour / Norway


Beautiful Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
From the Bay of Wismar to Hiddensee
The Flensburg Firth
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley, Rosstrappe and Devil's Wall
Cave Dwellings in Langenstein
Harzburg and the Ilsetal
Oderteich Reservoir
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Sea Stones, Kitzkammer, Heldrastein
'Hessian Switzerland'
Karst Dolines and Kalbe Lake

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Rivers and Lakes
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
River of the Greenest Shores - The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut

Parks and Palaces
Botanical Garden Göttingen
Forest Botanical Garden, Göttingen
Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Junkerberg Cemetary
Wilhelmsthal Palace and Gardens

Other Landscape Sites
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Seasons and More

Spring
Spring on my Balcony
Spring at the Kiessee Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath

Summer
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Summer Thunderstorms

Autumn
Autumnal Views from Castle Windows
Autumn Photos from Harz and Werra
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser

Winter
Advent Impressions
Christmas Decorations from the Ore Mountains
Winter at the Kiessee Lake
Winter Wonderland
Winter 2010

Wildlife
Birds at the Feeder
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Experimental
Alien Architecture
Carved Monsters in Cathedrals
Llama, Llama
Odd Angles
Spectacular Sunset
Carved Animals


Across the Channel - United Kingdom

Mountains, Valleys, and Rivers
Sheep Grazing Among Roman Remains
A Ghost Cruise on the Ouse River
West Highland Railway

The East Coast
By Ferry to Newcastle
Highland Mountains - Inverness to John o'Groats
Some Photos from the East Coast

Scottish Sea Shores
Crossing to Mull
Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
Shadows and Strongholds
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

The Northern Coast
From Gotland to St.Petersburg

The South-Eastern Coast
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
From Tallinn to Gdansk


Land of Light and Darkness - Norway

The Hurtigruten-Tour
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
Along the Coast - North of the Polar Circle
A Voyage into Winter
Culture and Nature in Norway
The Farthest North

Norway by Train
Winter in the Mountains

Wildlife
Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord




Illustrated Essays about historical themes, events, and persons - mostly Roman and Mediaeval


Roman History

Wars and Frontiers

Maps
Romans in Germania

Traces of the Pre-Varus Conquest
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

Along the Limes
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

Roman Frontiers in Britain
Hadrian's Wall

Rebellions
The Batavian Rebellion

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots
Styli and Wax Tablets

Public Life
Roman Transport - Barges
Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Miscellaneous
Legend of Alaric's Burial


Mediaeval History

Feudalism
Feudalism, Beginnings
Feudalism, 10th Century
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings
Stockfish Trade


Germany

Geneaologies

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Geneaology
Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors

Biographies

Kings and Emperors
King Heinrich IV
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto of Northeim
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Famous Feuds

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg


Scotland

Scottish Kings

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War (1)
King David and the Civil War (2)

Houses Bruce and Stewart
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Scandinavia

Kings of Norway
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg

Post-Mediaeval

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole


Miscellanea

Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera
Otto von Guericke


Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit

The Harz
Karst Landscape
Karst - Lonau Falls
Karst - Rhume Springs

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bogs
The Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Paleontology

Fossils
Ammonites


Novels in Progress / Planning

Roman Novels
(Historical Fiction)

The Saga of House Sichelstein
(Historical Fiction)

Kings and Rebels
(Fantasy)

Poetry Translations

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

Poems by Theodor Storm
From Heaven into Valleys Deep
The Grey Town By the Sea
The Seagull Flies Ashore Now

Other German Poems
Kästner, Progress of Mankind
Hebbel, Summer Picture
Rainer Maria Rilke, Autumn Day


Not So Serious Romans
Aelius Rufus Visits the Future Series
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Royal (Hi)Stories
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Historical Memes
Charlemagne meme
Historical Christmas Wishes
New Year Resolutions
Aelius Rufus does a Meme
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances

Funny Sights
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg


*********************

Links leading outside my blog will open in a new window. I do not take any responsibility for the content of linked sites.

History Blogs - Ancient

Roman History Today
Ancient Times (Mary Harrsch)
Bread and Circuses (Adrian Murdoch)
Following Hadrian (Carole Raddato)
Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog
Mos Maiorum - Der römische Weg
Per Lineam Valli (M.C. Bishop)
Judith Weingarten

Digging Up Fun Stuff
The Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog
Arkeologi i Nord
The Journal of Antiquities (Britain)
The Northern Antiquarian
The Roman Archaeology Blog

History Blogs - Mediaeval

Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic Blog
Casting Light upon the Shadow (A. Whitehead)
Norse and Viking Ramblings
Outtakes of a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

Beholden Ye Aulde Blogges
A Clerk of Oxford
Historical Britain Blog (Mercedes Rochelle)
Magistra et Mater (Rachel Stone)
Michelle of Heavenfield (Michelle Ziegler)
Senchus (Tim Clarkson)

Royal and Other Troubles
Edward II (Kathryn Warner)
Henry the Young King (Kasia Ogrodnik)
Piers Gaveston (Anerje)
Lady Despenser's Scribery
Simon de Montfort (Darren Baker)
Weaving the Tapestry (Scottish Houses Dunkeld and Stewart)

A Mixed Bag of History
English Historical Fiction Authors
The Freelance History Writer (Susan Abernethy)
The History Blog
History, the Interesting Bits (S.B. Connolly)
Mediaeval News (Niall O'Brian)
Time Present and Time Past (Mark Patton)

Thoughts and Images

Reading and Reviews
Black Gate Blog
The Blog That Time Forgot (Al Harron)
Parmenion Books
Reading the Past
The Wertzone

Imaginations
David Blixt
Ex Urbe (Ada Palmer)
Constance A. Brewer
Jenny Dolfen Illustrations
Wild and Wonderful (Caroline Gill)

Poets and Photographers (German Blogs)
Alte Steine (Burgdame Eva)
Durch Bücherstaub geblinzelt (Silberdistel)
Insel-Aus-Zeit (Carmen Wedeland)

German Travel Blogs
Good Morning World
Meerblog
Sonne und Wolken
Teilzeitreisender
Unterwegs und Daheim

Highland Mountains
The Hazel Tree (Jo Woolf)
Helen in Wales
Mountains and Sea Scotland

The Colours of the World
Shutterbugs


Research

Archaeology
Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe
Orkneyar

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
Livius.org
Roman Army
Roman Britain
The Romans in Britain
Vindolanda Tablets

Not so Dark Ages
Burgundians in the Mist
Viking Society for Northern Research

Mediaeval History
De Re Militari
Internet Mediaeval Sourcebook
Kulturzeit
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades
Medievalists.Net

Castles
Burgenarchiv
Burgenwelt
Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

Post-Mediaeval Sites
Vasa Museets Skeppsbloggen

Mythology
Ancient History
Encyclopedia Mythica

Online Journals
Ancient Warfare
The Heroic Age
The History Files

Travel and Guide Sites

Germany - History
Antike Stätten in Deutschland
Burgenarchiv
Strasse der Romanik

Germany - Nature
HarzLife
Naturpark Meissner
Naturpark Solling-Vogler

England
English Heritage
Visit Northumberland

Scotland
The Chain Mail (Scottish History)
Historic Scotland
National Trust Scotland

Books and Writing

Writing Sites
Absolute Write
TheLitForum.com

Historical Fiction
Historical Novel Society
Historia Magazine

Interesting Author Websites
Bernard Cornwell
Dorothy Dunnett
Steven Erikson
Diana Gabaldon
Guy Gavriel Kay
George R.R. Martin
Sharon Kay Penman
Brandon Sanderson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Tad Williams


*********************


May 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 / December 2017 / January 2018 / February 2018 /


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