The Lost Fort

My Travel and History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


25 Feb 2008
  Two Heinrichs, a Cathedral, and Richard Lionheart

Part of the Speyer Cathedral we can see today goes back to the Emperor Konrad II who began the building in 1030 in replacement of an older church. Konrad was very impressed by the grand cathedrals in Italy he saw when traveling to Rome for his coronation as Emperor, and he wanted to erect the largest sacral building of western Christendom.

But it was his grandson Heinrich IV who gave the cathedral its final splendour. After the humiliation at Canossa and the ongoing strife with the pope, he used Speyer Cathedral as political demonstration. Heinrich rebuilt the eastern part with choir and apsis as well as the transept with its decorated gables, gave the main nave a cross grain vaulted ceiling (it had a wooden cassette ceiling before), and added the four towers and the arcade decorations on the outside.

There is another post about the history of Speyer Cathedral here. As it stands today, the building is close again to its original form it got during Heinrich's IV reign.

Speyer Cathedral seen from the south
To the left choir with towers and apsis, and crossing tower dome,
to the right narthex tower and Westwerk with towers

Would Richard Lionheart visit Speyer today, he might well recognise the cathedral. Part of the eastern walls as well as those in choir and apsis are the very stones he had looked at during his two visits in Speyer.

How did he get there? Well, most of you will know the story of Richard's capture by Duke Leopold of Austria in 1192, when Richard fled across the Alpes in disguise in hope to get to the lands of his brother-in-law Heinrich the Lion of Saxony who had returned from exile in England.

Southern transept, decorated gable with arcades

Leopold handed Richard over to the Emperor Heinrich VI, son of Friedrich Barbarossa (though I bet he got a nice share in the ransom). And that is where politics come in. By the marriage of his sister Mathilde to the Heinrich the Lion, Richard was related to the Welfen family, while Heinrich VI was a Staufen. Those two houses didn't get along since Barbarossa exiled Heinrich the Lion, and the fact that Heinrich revolted against the son of his old enemy as soon as he came home, didn't improve matters.

Also, Heinrich VI needed money to reconquer Sicily, and Richard was a fat fish in that aspect. Since Philippe Auguste of France, another of Richard's enemies (he had a talent to make those) offered to pay the ransom if he got his hands on Richard, the latter decided to better go along with Heinrich VI's demand and pay. It fell upon his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine to gather the money.

Main nave, facing east towards choir and apsis

Since the Church considered it a crime to capture a crusader, Heinrich staged a process during a Reichstag in Speyer where he tried to prove Richard's guilt in various points. Richard managed to not lose his temper for a change but to defend himself in a noble way, and thus the process came to nothing - except that Richard was kept prisoner in Trifels Castle until the better part of the money was paid. Heinrich escaped excommunication, but Leopold suffered that fate for the capture of Richard.

The final required payment took place in January 1194, and Richard was officially released. He had to swear an oath of fealty to the Emperor Heinrich, but that was nothing more than a gesture and never influenced the power constellations in Europe. Richard celebrated the Christmas before that event in Speyer, then already more a guest than a hostage, and we can be sure he has been inside the cathedral during masses. Probably already during his first stay since no one would have refused him religious assistance.

Choir with apsis

Heinrich VI and Duke Heinrich the Lion made peace as well, though I couldn't figure out if Richard had a hand in that. Back home, Richard had to deal with his brother John, while Heinrich VI managed to conquer Sicily. And the rest is legend. *grin*
 
Comments:
Magnificent.
 
It's amazing how little some of the buildings have changed. I love that pink colored stone.
All the intricate plotting between them to gather land and riches must have been fascinating to watch - not so good if you were caught up in the middle and in danger of losing your life.
 
A historical grab bag. Cool! :) Love your summary. helps me understand an era I know little about.
 
It is magnificient, Bernita. I've seem my share of old cathedrals, and Speyer is without doubt among the most splendid.

Shelley, Richard Lionheart should feature in more novels than he does (and not only Templar-Holy Grail themed ones); he's a fascinating character. As is Heinrich the Lion.

Hi Constance. Grab bag, lol. I try to get English connections in wherever I find them, because most of my readers are better acquainted with English history than with German.
 
I absolutely love how you link the history with the photos -
Thank you for a fascinating post!!!
 
Thank you, Sam.
 
The variability in the colour of the stone is lovely.
Interesting to have two contemporary "Lions" ! Was it an especially common nickname?
 
Carla, the two are the only ones I know about. In case of Heinrich, the name was given because the lion was the house sign of the Welfen (Welf meaning lion cub) though it did fit his character to some extent; he was more than a bit stubborn. In think in case of Richard it the sobriquet was entirely based on his formidable temper.
 
What a beautiful cathedral! I love the colours of the stones and the soaring interior columns. Your photos are maginificent quality.
 
Thank you, Sarah.

The Imperial Cathedral in Speyer is one of the most beautiful I've seen. Photos can't really do it justice.
 
Beautiful photos. I enjoyed your post. What type(s) of stone was used in the original construction? Also, you'll have to help me a bit with the terminology. What are the apsis? I've seen this term a lot but never really had a clear picture of what it is.
 
Steven, I think it's sandstone which can be found along the Rhine. An apsis or apse is a semi-circular appendix on the east end of many Mediaeval churches, behind the altar room and the quire. You can see the interior in the last pic of the post, and a nice outside view on the last pic here.
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, the Baltic Countries, and central Europe. It includes virtual town and castle tours with a focus on history, museum visits, hiking tours, and essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, illustrated with my own photos.


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Location: Goettingen, Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History, 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 still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Stirling
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Denmark

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Viking Museum Roskilde
To come


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Gotland
Gnisvärd Ship Setting

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Towns

Porvoo
Mediaeval Porvoo


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Ogrodzieniec Castle
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Scottish Sea Shores
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Staffa
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West Highland Railway

Wales
Views of Snowdownia

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Scandinavia

Coast of Norway: Hurtigruten-Tour
A Voyage into Winter
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Along the Coast of Norway - North of the Polar Circle

Norway by Train
From Oslo to Bergen
From Trondheim to Oslo

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


The Baltic Sea

A Baltic Sea Cruise

The Curonian Spit in Lithuania
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit



Mediaeval History

General Essays

by Country
- Germany
- England
- Scotland
- Wales
- Denmark
- Norway
- Sweden
- Livonia
- Lithuania
- Poland
- Bohemia
- Luxembourg
- Flanders

Roman History

The Romans at War
Famous Romans
Roman Life and Religion

Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age
Post-Mediaeval History
History and Literature
Geology


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Warfare

Sieges
Trebuchets

Weapons
Late Mediaeval Swords

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
The Hunting Frieze in Königslutter Cathedral
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Craftmanship
Goldsmithery
Medical Instruments

Feudalism

The History of Feudalism
The Beginnings
Feudalism in the 10th Century

Special Cases
The privilege of the deditio

The Hanseatic League

The History of the Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings

Hanseatic Architecture
Examples of Brick Architecture
Hall Houses (Dielenhäuser)

Goods and Trade
Stockfish Trade

Towns of the Hanseatic League
Riga
Stralsund
Tallinn / Reval

The Order of the Teutonic Knights

Wars and Battles
The Conquest of Danzig
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

The Vikings

Viking Material Culture
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Viking Ships
The Nydam Ship


Essays by Country

Germany

Geneaology

List of Mediaeval German Emperors
Anglo-German Marriage Connections

Kings and Emperors

The Salian Dynasty
King Heinrich IV

Staufen against Welfen
Emperor Otto IV

Princes and Lords

House Welfen
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen

The Landgraves of Thuringia
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Dukes and Princes of other Families
Duke Otto of Northeim
Prince Wilhelm Malte of Putbus

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

Feuds and Rebellions

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg

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


England

Kings of England

House Plantagenet
Richard Lionheart in Speyer
King Henry IV's Lithuanian Crusade

Normans, Britons, Angevins

Great Noble Houses
The Dukes of Brittany
The Earls of Richmond

Contested Borders

Northumbria
King Stephen's Troubles with King David of Scots


Scotland

Kings of Scots

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

Houses Bruce and Stewart
The Early Stewart Kings

Local Troubles

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding

Scotland and England

The Wars of Independence
Alexander of Argyll
The Fight for Stirling Castle


Wales

Welsh Princes

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

Wales and England

A History of Rebellion
Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Denmark

Kings of Denmark

House of Knýtlinga
Harald Bluetooth's Flight to Pomerania

Danish Rule in the Baltic Sea

The Duchy of Estonia
Danish Kings and German Sword Brothers


Norway

Kings of Norway

Foreign Relations
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages
King Håkon V's Swedish Politics
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union

Feuds and Rebellions

Rebels
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Sweden

Troubles and Alliances

Scandinavian Unity
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union


Livonia
(Latvia and Estonia)

Contested Territories

Livonian Towns
The History of Mediaeval Riga
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Lithuania

Lithuanian Princes

The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390


Poland

Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig


Bohemia

Royal Dynasties

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
King Sigismund and the Hussite Wars


Luxembourg

House Luxembourg
King Sigismund


Flanders

More to come


Roman History

The Romans at War

Forts and Fortifications

The German Limes
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend

Border Life
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Campaigns and Battles

Maps
The Romans in Germania

The Pre-Varus Invasion in Germania
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
Weapon Finds at Hedemünden
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles


Famous Romans

The Late Empire

Alaric
The Legend of Alaric's Burial


Roman Life and Religion

Religion and Public Life

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

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

Architecture
Roman Public Baths

Domestic Life

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots


Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
The Hutewald Project in the Solling
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Neolithic Remains
Stone Burials of the Funnelbeaker Culture
The Necropolis of Oldendorf

Bronze Age / Iron Age
The Nydam Ship

Scotland

Neolithic Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae

Bronze Age / Iron Age
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Their Function in Iron Age Society

Scandinavia

Bronze / Iron Age
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd / Gotland


Post-Mediaeval History

Explorers and Discoveries

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

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)


History and Literature

Germany

The Weimar Classicism
Introduction


Geology

Geological Landscapes: Germany

Baltic Sea Coast
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

Harz Mountains
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in Southern Harz
The Lonau Falls
The Rhume Springs
Sandstone Formations: Daneil's Cave
Sandstone Formations: Devil's Wall
Sandstone Formations: The Klus Rock

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations
Salt Springs at the Werra

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

Geological Landscapes: Great Britain

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Geological Landscapes: Baltic Sea

Lithuania
Geology of the Curonian Spit

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite (Czechia)



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