The Lost Fort

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


24 Sept 2008
  Distant Views

Of course, I used the high vantage points on the mountain peaks of the Harzburg and the Ilsestein to take some photos, and despite the somewhat hazy atmosphere of early autumn, a number of them turned out fine.


View from the Harzburg towards the Brocken - the mist-veiled mountain in the background - in the morning sun. The Brocken (1142 m) is the highest mountain in the Harz and the central meeting place of German witches on Walpurgis Night. The place is a bit too touristy for my taste so I haven't been to the top yet. During the time of the German division the Brocken was Russian military zone and not accessible from either West or East.


Another view from the Harzburg. Fall has arrived in the Harz already, with crisp mornings, mists rising from the vales, the first brown leaves dancing in the breeze, and a lower sun tinting the trees golden like a last greeting of summer. A farewell.


On the other side of the Harzburg, the view goes towards the Norddeutsche Tiefebne, a mostly flat area that stretches all the way from the Harz to the Baltic Sea. In the distance, though beyond view, lies Braunschweig, the main seat of Heinrich the Lion; and further to the north-east Magdeburg and Berlin. The town at the foot of the mountain is Bad Harzburg, a popular spa town.


This one is less spectacular but pretty. The stones to the right are not a natural formation this time, but the remains of a curtain wall. The photo was taken at Stapelburg Castle, one of the smaller fortresses in the Harz. I got a few pics of what is left of the main hall and the trenches, so I'll leave a more detailed description to another post.


Another view from the Paternoster cliffs on the Ilsestein mountain. The blueish shadow to the left is the Brocken again - you can't miss that big boy from most of the Harz's high vantage points. The entire area is a National Park today.
 


18 Sept 2008
  Goslar

Goslar in the northern Harz is another foundation of Heinrich I, and like Quedlinburg, it's part of the UNESCO World Heritage. I think Heinrich would like that if he came back today. I bet he'd also visit the idiots responsible for deconstructing most of the cathedral in the 19th century; and they would not like that. Those Heinrichs and Ottos had quite some temper.

Imperial Palatine Castle (Kaiserpfalz)

Fortunately, the attitude towards the past changed before someone could destroy the Imperial Palatine Castle as well. The 11th century building is the largest and best conserved secular piece of architecture of the time in Germany. The palatine castle in Goslar was the most important palace of the Salian dynasty, and Goslar the place of several meetings of the nobles of the realm, the Imperial diet Reichtstag. Heinrich IV granted the town Imperial immediacy which means the town answered directly to him with no interference from anyone else in the feudal hierarchy. That would later be the reason for a lot of troubles between Friedrich Barbarossa and Duke Henrich the Lion who both wanted the town and the silver from the nearby mines. Friedrich won, and Goslar remained a royal fief.

Town Hall

The burghers benefitted from the rich silver mines in the Rammelsberg mountain, and the town thrived. We got another fine example of a Medieaval (late Gothic, to be exact) town hall, more half timbered buildings and also ones covered with slate tiles to prevent the rain from soaking the walls, a typical Harz feature - slate is found there. Goslar joined the Hanseatic League. It lost its independence only as late as the 16th century and fell to the House of Welfen, successors of Heinrich the Lion.

Mediaeval Goslar in a tin figure panorama (Tin Figure Museum)
Several of the houses still exist today

An interesting building is the 12th century hospice Grosses Heiliges Kreuz. It offered shelter to the infirm, the poor and orphans, but was also frequented by pilgrims who would find a meal and a bed there. Part of it is still in use as old peoples' home, and one row of the small rooms established in 1650 is occupied by shops for craftsmen today - you can buy handmade wooden toys, glassware, dolls, and lots of other pretty things.

12th century hospice, outside view

Two brooks running through Goslar powered a number of mills in former times. One has been preserved and today houses the Tin Figure Museum which displays a collection of historical tin figures and a number of scenes 'reenacted' in tin, like battles and other historical events, but also a Mediaeval market and other more peaceful endeavours. The owner is really enthusistic about his hobby and showed me some particularly fine examples outside the glass vitrines.

Thumb screws in the Late Medieaval Museum

Another interesting little museum hides in the Zwinger, the largest surviving tower of the town fortifications. It's a collection of late Mediaeval stuff, mostly weapons and torture instruments and you can actually touch the exhibits. It was a lot of fun.
 


17 Sept 2008
  Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg is a town at the eastern fringe of the Harz mountains. It is first mentioned in a charte by Heinrich I (the Fowler) dating from 922, as location - villa quae dicitur Quitilingaburg - of one of the many palatine castles spread across Germany during the Middle Ages. Quedlinburg is part of the World Heritage.

I'm going to call the German kings Heinrich to distinguish them from the Henrys running around in British history since both got the same numbers. Most of them got dysfunctional families and as well. Some things never change. ;)

View from the balcony of the Canoness Palace on the Schlossberg

Heinrich I was later entombed in Quedlinburg. His widow Queen Mathilde obtained a grant from his son and successor Otto I to establish a canoness chapter which she led for 30 years. Otto I visited Quedlinburg several times to celebrate Easter. In 941, he barely escaped an assassination attempt by his younger brother Heinrich. See what I mean about dysfunctional families?

View towards the Canoness Palace on the Schlossberg

The next one to have problems was Otto III. When his father, conveniently also named Otto and numbered II, died in 983, Otto III (sometimes called The Child because those numbers get boring) was only three years old. His uncle Heinrich The Quarrelsome (how's that for a nickname?) wanted to be king himself and kidnapped the boy. He really should have known better because by that he pissed off two powerful women, Otto's mother Theophanou, a Byzantine princess, and his grandmother Adelheid of Burgundy. The ladies rallied a number of great nobles who also were loyal to the House of the Ottones, or at least saw their advantage in that alliance, and within two years managed to force Heinrich to swear fealty to Otto (Still the Child) in Quedlinburg.

Romanesque Chapter Church, view to the Imperial Lodge

In 994, Otto III granted his aunt's chapter the right of market, mint and tolls and thus laid the foundation for the development of the town. The town experienced an economical rise in the following centuries and gained more independence from the abbess of the chapter, the nominal lord (or lady) of the town. In 1426, Quedlinburg joined the Hanseatic League.

The first time I learned about the chapter in Quedlinburg was in a YA book about Dorothea Christiane von Erxleben (1715 - 1762), the first woman to study medicine in Germany. The abbess at that time was her friend and patron, and the Renaissance palace where she lived looked pretty much like we can still see today.

The town hall

During that time, the burghers began to build those beautiful half timbered houses some of which have survived and been restored. The town fortifications fared less well, only a small part of the walls and towers are left. Walking through Quedlinburg shows its past as East-German town; besides a good number of renovated buildings there are still some corners in dire need of a makeover. As usual, money is the main problem.

The representative town hall was built in 1310; in 1616 a Renaissance portal was added, and there are later changes from the 19th century that affect mostly the interior.

Market place

The Quedlinburg Annals list 69 visits of kings and emperors from the 10th to 12th century when Quedlinburg was the palatine seat of the German kings during Easter. Another example of a dysfunctional family event took place during the Synod of Quedlinburg 1105 where Heinrich V plotted with a bunch of Saxon nobles to dethrone his daddy Heinrich IV of Canossa fame (and on top of the Most Unpopular Persons lists in Saxony). Heinrich V made a lot of promises he was not going to keep the moment he became king and emperor. Serves the nobles right to be so naive.

A little story of the local history involves the Counts of Regenstein. There was a quarrel between one of them and the Bishop of Halberstadt about some territorial rights, and Quedlinburg gained brownie points - and a fine ransom - when it managed to take the Count of Regenstein captive.

A lane at the foot of the Schlossberg

Nothing is left of the palatine castle today, and the beautiful Romanesque chapter church had a scaffolding on the outside, so I only got some inside shots. Illegally, because there was a Photographing Verboten sign. I understand the charge of an extra fee for photographing, being asked to not use a flash, and not disturb church services, but I don't accept a ban just because people think they can. There were but five tourists inside, and I didn't use a flash, so I took Heinrich the Quarrelsome as example and shot a few pics when the guard woman didn't look. I had a much better experience in the palatine castle in Goslar; when I asked the supervision lady if I could take two or three shots to share with my American blog readers, she allowed it.
 


13 Sept 2008
  New Finds in Hedemünden

In 2007, two additional camps have been discovered on the other side of the Werra (Visurgis) river. Those outposts were in sight distance of the main fort and connected to it by a system of Roman roads. Diggings will go on; among the finds already brought to light is a beautiful 29 cm long pugio and lots of sandal nails. The new discoveries prove a "considerable Roman presence at Hedemünden," says leading archaeologist Dr. Klaus Grote.

View over the Werra valley and hills from Hedemünden Fort

Another interesting find has been made in 2008: Another dagger and a fetter to secure prisoners, constructed to fix head and hands in the style of a Medieaval fiddle. It's a two part structure made of rounded iron; neck and wrists were put into the rings and then the fetter was closed with a bolt and secured with a padlock. The fetter is complete except for the padlock.

Chief archaeologist Klaus Grote with restored dagger and fetter
Photo copyright: Göttinger Tageblatt

If you take a close look you can see the rings are actually shaped like a snake winding around the bolt. You gotta love people who gave even shackles a stylish design.

No similar fetter has been found so far, albeit it is known that the Mediaeval fiddle type shackles are based on older models. But excavated Roman models so far are either irons rings with chains to be used on neck or ankle, and manacles. The Hedemünden fetter is the super-find of the year, lead archaeologist Klaus Grote said. It has come to light in one of the smaller camps surrounding Hedemünden fortress, near Oberode.

The fetter was found together with other pieces from Roman times in the same archaeological strata 35 cm under the surface. Besides parts of a horse harness, a tent peg and shards of an amphora, there were some coins dating 16-8 BC, a sure proof that the fetter is indeed Roman.

The legionary dagger or pugio has been found in the main camp. It was deposed under two large sandstone blocks surrounded by a ring of upright stones, a sign that it had not been lost but was placed there on purpose as building sacrifice. The stones sit on the place of a former timber building.

One of the stone foundations in the main camp

Legionary daggers are not only a weapon but also something of a status symbol a soldier would take care not to lose - the reason why they're a lot more scarce than fe. spear points; another argument in favour of a ritual placement of the dagger. Though I'd like to know what sort of ceremony would entice a legionary to give up his dagger.

The two pugio finds at Hedemünden are the only ones in Lower Saxony. The weapon, Mr. Grote says, would have been a sensation in itself but for the even more spectacular fetter.

Another shot of the wall and trench fortifications

Considering the timber/earth wall fortifications and first steps into rebuilding some of the houses in stone may imply that Hedemünden could have become a major Roman fort with an annexed vicus, or even a town if the Romans had not decided to abandon Germania after the defeat in the Teutoburg Forest and Germanicus' not very successful attempts to conquer Germania in 14-16 AD.

All in all, some 2500 metal objects have been discovered since 2003, weapons, tools, coins, jewlelry and everyday objects. Alas, diggings will have to be stopped next year for the lack of fundings, chief archaeologist Klaus Grote says. It's a pity that there's never money for those things. We can only hope the new finds may change some peoples' minds about funding.

Roman fetter

The restored version of the fetter, photo taken by me in an exhibition in Hannoversch-Münden 2009. Fetter and dagger have been cleaned and restored by Helmut Biebler in Mühlhausen.

The neck goes in the large loop, the wrists in the smaller ones, then the whole thing is fixed with the bar. It looks decidedly uncomfortable and the iron was probably going to chafe after some time.

Sources: Göttinger Tageblatt and HNA Online, both from Sept. 11, 2008.
 


8 Sept 2008
  A Fancy Park and Palace

Last week I went to revisit a non-Medieaval place, the Rococo palace Kassel-Wilhelmsthal. The prettiest feature that one offers is the large park, a mix of Rococo and English landscape style, with fountains, lakes, pavillions, alleys, a fake Mediaeval tower, and a few gilded statues. Here's a photo collection.

The great pavillion with artifical 'river'

Reeds in a lake, part of the English garden

The 18th century 'Mediaeval' tower

View from the tower towards the palace (mostly hidden behind the trees)

Artificial lake near the palace

Below we'll have a look at the palace building which - against the rules of landscape architecture of the time - lies in the vale, not on top of the hill.

Wilhelmsthal Palace, front side

Landgrave Wilhelm VIII of Kassel wanted a summer palace, a maison de plaisance, outside the town, and had the construction of Wilhelmsthal Palace started in 1743. But he died before palace and park were finished.

Wilhelmsthal Palace, the so called 'seaside'

The famous Rococo architect François de Cuivilliés the Elder who mostly worked as Bavarian Court architect in Munich, developed the plans of the two storey main building with side wings and guard pavillions. The interior stuccoes and wood carvings were created by Johann August Nahl who had already worked in Berlin and Potsdam for Friedrich the Great; the paintings by Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder. Most of the tapestries and furniture came from England.

Another view from the park

Wilhelmsthal Palace in one of the most important Rococo buildings in Germany, but the palace is in dire need of some fresh paint. I haven't been inside this time, and I only have some vague memories from a visit some twenty years past, but somehow the place has lost some of its splendour. Let's hope there'll be money for renovation.
 


7 Sept 2008
  Villa en suite

I've mentioned that the Wachenheim villa has two sets of baths, assumedly one for the family located inside the main villa, and another for the slaves and farmworkers in the outbuildings. The family bath encompassed 59 square metres, that's pretty much a two room flat today. Talk about luxury. The room behind the cellar you can see on the photo was the warm bath (changed to a hot bath in the 4th century). The original hot bath is to the right where part of the hypocaust heating has been laid open. There had been a whole system of heating tunnels and water and sewage pipes.

Wachenheim villa, the tepidarium (warm bath)

Directly outside the main building is a latrine with water flushing. Since our dear Romans were practical people, they used the used water from the second baths for toilet flushing by building the seats over the drainage pipe which was guided through an open channel under the toilets. The sewage was probably led into a brook near the villa, while the freshwater was taken from a different source. There has been a well far enough from the brook to have offered clean water. We know from Vindobona (Vienna) that a good part of it ran under the ground, especially in parts where frost may have damaged the aquaeducts (and while the Rhineland is warmer than where I live, frost in winter is not impossible). Such systems would not leave many traces today after ploughing the fields for centuries.

Partly reconstructed toilets, in the background part of the second baths

The toilet seats are a reconstruction. Visiting the loo was not the private matter it is today, not only in the military forts but in private households as well. Latrines often had decorated walls, but not enough traces remain of the Wachenheim villa to learn anything about frescoes and mosaics in those buildings. Public toilets also fell victim to a phenomenon today called graffiti which is not as modern as we think, but I doubt the owner of the villa would have allowed dirty jokes on the latrine walls.
 


1 Sept 2008
  A Curious Cellar

All that travelling around not only gives me plotbunnies, I also have tons of old material I haven't posted yet, and there's always new stuff adding up. So today we'll go back to that Roman villa rustica in Wachenheim I presented last summer.

One of the most interesting features of the Wachenheim villa is the cellar which has been preserved in its original height - probably got filled with rubbish and mud and was missed by the stone filching farmers. With a size of 11.90 x 3.90 metres (46.50 square for those who, like me, suck at maths) it is one of the largest in the Roman settled lands along the Rhine.

View towards the remains of the villa, the roofed area is the cellar

Light came in from six air shafts on the west wall, albeit not very much. The walls had been whitewashed and were decorated with red painted, artificial joints. The Romans liked even their cellars pretty. The three niches in the north wall also date from this first period.

It has been assumed those may have been places for the images of Mithras and his helpers, and the cellar was used as mithraeum, but the usual stone benches on the sides are missing. On the other side, if the cellar was only used as storage room, why build three niches, one large and two smaller ones, that don't look very useful for putting things in other than statues or such. Wooden shelves would have been of more use.

View towards the north wall niches (the air shafts can be seen on the left)

In the 3rd century, the cellar was rebuilt. The eastern wall which today has seven niches as mysterious as the three on the north side was remade, and the cellar was divided into two compartments by a wall.

While the southern room could still be accessed by the stone stairs hiding behind the bush on the photo below, the 'inner' room would have been entered by a wooden staircase from inside the villa. Maybe it was then the room was used as mithraeum; the benches could well have been made of wood and not stone. I've not found out by which arguments the three niches in the north wall are ascribed the first building period, while the east wall ones belong to the second.

View towards the south, on the right side the niches, in the foreground the dividing wall

In the 4th century, the inner room was filled up and covered with a platform for a furnace room (praefurnium), that way the warm bath (tepidarium) changed into a hot bath (caldarium). The new bath was in use until the villa was abandoned in the 6th century.

I wonder if, in case the inner room has indeed been used as mithraeum, this change in architecture came about by a change in the religion of the owners who may have become Christians and wanted to cover up the pagan place.
 




The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and central / eastern 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 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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Historical Places

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Medieaval Braunschweig
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Mediaeval Erfurt

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Mediaeval Goslar
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Lübeck
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Liebfrauen Church: An Austere Archbishop
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Mediaeval Quedlinburg
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Roman and Mediaeval Xanten
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History: The Marshals of Ebersburg
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History

Hardenberg
History

Hohnstein
History: The Counts of Hohnstein
History: Between Welfen and Staufen
History: 14th-15th Century

Kugelsburg
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History: Later Times

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History: The Counts of Winzenburg
History: The Lords of Plesse
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A Virtual Tour

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Revisiting the Weidelsburg

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Stauffenburg

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Sichelnstein

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Grubenhagen
Hardeg Castle
Salzderhelden

Castles in Thuringia
Altenstein at the Werra
Scharfenstein

Castles at the Weser
Bramburg
Krukenburg: Castle and Chapel
Castle Polle: An Everstein Seat
Sababurg and Trendelburg

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Early Mediaeval Churches
Göllingen Monastery
Lorsch Abbey: The Carolingian Gate Hall

Churches in the Harz Area
Pöhlde: Remains of the Monastery
Hahnenklee: The Stave Church
Scharzfeld: The Cave Church
Walkenried Monastery
Wiebrechtshausen

Churches in Hessia
Wilhelmshausen / Fulda Valley

Weser Abbeys: Bursfelde
Early History

Weser Abbeys: Helmarshausen
Remains of the Monastery
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion

Weser Abbeys: Lippoldsberg
Early History
The Interior of the Church

Other Churches in the Weser Area
Fredelsloh Chapter Church
Gehrden / Brakel
Vernawahlshausen: Mediaeval Murals

Museums and Reconstructed Sites

Open Air Museums
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

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

Post-Mediaeval Exhibits
Historical Guns, Coburg Fortress
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg

Romans Remains

Traces of a Failed Invasion
Roman Exhibitions, Haltern am See
Varus Statue, Haltern am See
The Roman Camp at Hedemünden

Limes Fort Aalen
The Barracks

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

Limes Fort Saalburg
A Reconstructed Limes Fort
Shrine of the Standards

Roman villae at the Moselle
The Villa Urbana in Longuich

Roman villae at the Rhine
The Villa at Wachenheim: Introduction
Wachenheim: Baths and Toilets
Wachenheim: The Cellar

Neolithicum and Bronze Age

Neolithic Burials
Neolithic Burials in the Everstorf Forest and Rugia
The Necropolis of Oldendorf

Bronze Age
Bronze and Iron Age Remains at the Werra


England

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Chester
Roman and Medieaval Chester

Hexham
The Abbey - Introduction
The Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower
The Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
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The Old Town
Roman Bath in the Fortress
York Minster: Architecture

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Carlisle
History: King David
History: Henry II and William of Scotland
History: Edward I to Edward III

Richmond
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History: Henry III to the Tudors
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Scarborough
History: Romans to the Tudors
History: Civil War to the Present
Architecture

Roman Remains

Wall Fort Birdoswald
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Fort Segedunum
Museum and Viewing Tower
The Baths

Other Roman Sites
The Mithraeum at Brocolita
The Signal Station at Scarborough


Scotland

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Stirling
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Castles

Doune
A Virtual Tour
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History: Royal Dower House

Dunstaffnage
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History: The Campbells Are Coming
Dunstaffnage Chapel

Stirling
History: Robert the Bruce

Castles at the Scottish West Coast
Duart Castle
Dunollie and Kilchurn

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Neolithicum and Bronze Age

Neolithic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae

Brochs and Cairns
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Introduction

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Wales

Towns

Aberystwyth
Castle and Coast

Caerleon
The Ffwrwm
The Roman Amphitheatre
The Baths in the Legionary Fort

Conwy
The Smallest House in Great Britain

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Beaumaris
History
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Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Chepstow
History: Beginnings unto Bigod
History: Edward II to the Tudors
History: Civil War

Conwy
History
Architecture

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings

Pembroke
Photo Impressions
The Caves Under the Castle

Castles in Southern Wales
Cardiff
Manorbier


Denmark

Museums and Reconstructed Sites

Viking Museum Roskilde
To come


Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Akershus Fortress in Oslo
History: The Time of King Håkon V
Architecture

Vardøhus Fortress
History

Museums / Reconstructed Sites

The Fram Museum in Oslo


Sweden

Museums and Reconstructed Sites

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Neolithicum and Bronze Age

Gotland
Gnisvärd Ship Setting


Finland

Towns

Porvoo
Mediaeval Porvoo


Estonia

Towns

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Latvia

Towns

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga


Lithuania

Historical Landscapes

The Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit


Poland

Towns

Gdańsk / Danzig
History of Mediaeval Gdańsk
Mediaeval and Renaissance Gdańsk

Kraków
The Old Town
Jewish Kraków - Kazimierz and the Ghetto

Wrocław / Breslau
The Botanical Garden
The Wrocław Dwarfs

Castles

Ogrodzieniec Castle
A Virtual Tour
History: First Castle to the Boner Family


Czechia

Towns

Cheb / Eger
The Old Town

Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad
Brief History of the Town

Kutná Hora
The Sedlec Ossuary
The Medieaval Town and St.Barbara's Church


Belgium

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains


Luxembourg

Towns

Luxembourg City
A Tour of the Town


City Trips

St.Petersburg (Russia)
Impressions from the Neva River

Strasbourg (France)
A Tour of the Town


Hiking Tours and Cruises

Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
Flensburg Firth
Rugia: Jasmund Peninsula and Kap Arkona
Rugia; The Pier of Sellin
Rugia: More Photo Impressions
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

The Lüneburg Heath
Hiking Tours in the Lüneburg Heath

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
Devil's Wall
Ilse Valley and Ilse's Rock
Oderteich Reservoir
Rappbode Reservoir
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Around Bad Sooden-Allendorf
Hessian Switzerland

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Forest Pasture Project
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Nature Park Reinhardswald
Old Forest at the Sababurg

Thuringian Forests
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Rivers and Lakes
Bruchteiche / Bad Sooden Allendorf
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut
Weser River Ferry
Weser Skywalk

Wildlife
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life
Red squirrels

Seasons
Spring in the Botanical Garden Göttingen
Spring in the Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Meissner
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake


United Kingdom

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
Scotland by Train
West Highland Railway


Wild Wales - With Castles
Views of Snowdownia
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Scandinavia

The Hurtigruten-Tour / Norway
A Voyage into Winter
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
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
- Specific Topics

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

Roman History
- The Romans at War
- Roman Life and Religion

Other Times
- Neolithicum to Iron Age
- Post-Mediaeval History
-
Miscellanea
- Geology


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Upside-Down World
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Medieaval Craftmanship
Goldsmithery
Medical Instruments

Mediaeval Warfare

Mediaeval Weapons
Swords
Trebuchets

Castles and Fortifications
Dungeons and Oubliettes


Specific Topics

Feudalism

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

Privileges and Special Relationships
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

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 Ships
The Nydam Ship


Some historical events are linked under more than one country / subtitle due to the overarching nature of history.


History by Country

Germany

Geneaology

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

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

Kings and Emperors

The Salian Dynasty
King Heinrich IV

House Welf and House Staufen
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes and Lords

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

King Henry IV
King Henry'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)

Livonian Towns

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga

Tallinn
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


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

Miscellaneous Events

The Legend of Alaric's Burial

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


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)


Miscellanea

History in Literature and Music

History and Literature

The Weimar Classicism
The Weimar Classicism - Introduction

Theodor Fontane
Short Biography of Theodor Fontane
Fontane Ballads, translated by me
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

History in Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

Not so Serious History

Romans
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Mediaeval Times
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Other
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances


Geology

Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

The Harz
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in the 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

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite


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