Illustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History


31/07/2008
  Places of Interest around Quedlinburg

My journey to the Harz and Quedlinburg was fun, but also very hot with about 32°C during the day and lots of sunshine. Fortunately, the nights were a bit cooler since the temperature in the Harz drops somewhat more than in Göttingen (which can be a steaming soup bowl in summer) and the hotel was situated at a little river that brought a cool breeze in the evenings.

Regenstein Castle

There were several beers with my name on them every evening, and they just evaporated somehow. I don't even want to begin and try to figure out how many litres of water I drank; it must have been a small lake. Ice cream is a good thing on hot days, too, especially iced coffee with vanilla ice cream and dab of whipped cream on top.

One of the caves in the Regenstein

But it was definitely fun, including the climbing of some rocks in sandals. I'm the proverbial German when it comes to wearing shoes unsuitable for mountains. Maybe I should volunteer as test person for sandals - if they survive the ways I walk, they will survive about anything.

Falkenstein Castle

The Harz was always a politically important area throughout history, not at least because it's rich in ore, and so Mediaeval times saw a lot of castles on the tops of those hills and mountains. Many of the about 500 Harz castles have left nothing more behind than some tumbled stones and traces in the ground that point to an ancient trench or earthen wall, but some are still formidable ruins or even reconstructed to mirror their former beauty.

Arnstein Castle, remains of the keep and great hall

They are less grand than the Norman castles because space on summits is more limited, but their owners and the architects sometimes got very inventive when it came to making the land - or rather, the bedrock - part of the castle construction. The Regenstein with its part natural, part artificial caves surrounding the keep is a fine example.

Arnstein, great hall

Not all castles were in the focus of the great history the way the Harzburg (which I hope to see in August) was, but they all have their stories. And legends. The Harz is rich in legends, and you'll learn some in the time to come.

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.

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).

Here are some more photos from that tour.
 
Comments:
I love the picture of the castle. My favorite picture though is the one of the river in the post below. You always take such beautiful pictures othe landscape. :D
 
Thanx! I didn't get around to see Regenstein. Isn't the area lovely?
 
What a gorgeous area. Glad you had a good time, and survived the heat - it's a steaming heat bowl here too!
 
Thank you, Meghan.

Wortschmiedin (cool name, btw), the area is lovely indeed.

Thanks Alianore. I suppose the Rhine isn't only a heat bowl, but also brews some fine thunderstorms already. I escaped them in the Harz, but they're going to hit up with me tomorrow, I'm afraid.
 
Good to see you back!

Glad you had such a good time and with better weather than Wales! I bet that you and those sandals are best buddies by now - perhaps you should get shares in the company ;-)

Those castles look really impressive and interesting - especially Regenstein. I had no idea you had so many castles in Germany!
 
Lol, Lady D, it were the same sandals I was wearing at Chepstow. They got around a bit this year. :)

Actually, some of the Welsh wind would have been welcome.
 
Photos of castles from the past, even if there are only ruins, fascinate me. Your photos are terrific.

Sounds like you had a wonderful time on your trip.
 
32 degrees - I wouldn't have come out of the caves in that heat :-) I take off my hat to you.

Amazing castles, especially Regenstein with the caves. (It looks like the natural habitat of plotbunnies....)
 
ALL your pictures are plot bunnies.
Thank you, Gabriele!
 
Thank you, Barbara, Carla and Bernita.

Yes, the Regenstein is a natural habitat of plotbunnies, and so is the Bode canyon. The good thing about the latter is that I already have an old scene taking place there that only needs a rewrite.

I had been to the area back in 1990 shortly after you could travel in east Germany, but while the nature was splendid, most buildings were in sore need of restoration. I went with my parents and we didn't stay overnight so it was only a peek into the valley, a visit to Quedlinburg Cathedral, and a short walk along the Rosstrappe cliff ridge. I got to see a lot more this time.
 
Yeah, we get terrific thunderstorms here - I think we're due some this evening! At least it's cooler today than yesterday - 34 and extremely humid. Bleugh.
 
You must have more castles than people over there. :) Very awesome way to spend your time. I'm jealous. *sniff*
 
Lol Constance, almost. :) And I'm very good at finding even the ones not in the Baedecker.
 
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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 my own photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

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Location: Goettingen, 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 still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


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The Tragedy of Afghanistan


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Staffa

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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

My Novels in Progress / Planning

I'm a bit of a writer, too; here are the novel projects on which I'm currently working

Roman Novels (Historical Fiction)
The Saga of House Sichelstein (Historical Fiction)
Kings and Rebels (Fantasy)


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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

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

Historical Fiction
Historical Novel Society
Historia Magazine

Writing Sites
Absolute Write
TheLitForum.com
National Novel Writing Month


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