Illustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History


07/11/2008
  Another Pretty Town

The beginnings of Treffurt, the little town beneath the Normanstein, remain in obscurity. The first mention of the place can be found in a charte of the archbishop Ruthard of Mainz, dating from 1104 and naming one pilgrim de Trifurte as witness to the donation of an altar in a village nearby. At that time the Knights of Trifurt built the castle to protect the three Werra fords at the foot of the mountain.

As mentioned in the post about the castle, the town administration was divided between Thuringia, Hessia and Mainz after 1336, each of them represented by a magistrate. The town developed a decent prosperity thanks to pottery and vintages. Wine was sold as far as England, but during the Thirty Years War the growth of vines declined, and the climate changed; today the Werra valley is no wine area.

Yard of the Mainzer Hof, seat of one of the magistrates

Today, Treffurt has left the east-German past mostly behind, the houses have been renovated and many half timbered buildings could be saved. But some ruins remain, due to lack of money to restore them, and now in autumn there's still a whiff of the brown coal used to fire heatings in GDR times, though much less penetrating than it was the first times I visited east German places shortly after the wall fell. Most households have changed to oil or gas.

Renaissaince Town Hall

The Renaissance town hall is one of the prettiest in the region. It was built on older foundations in 1550, the stairs and tower were added 1609-1616. The weight of the tower rests on only eight mighty oak beams - the architectural knowledge of the Middle Ages should not be underestimated. After all, it still stands.

Detail of the so-called Ohrfeigenhaus

This house (I could only catch a part of it because the streets are so narrow) is called Ohrfeigenhaus, Slap House, dating from 1608. The Hessian magistrate, a man named Bley, had asked for permission to cut a few trees in the woods in possession of the Prince Elector of Kurhessia and build a modest little house, which was granted to him. When the Prince Elector visited the town some time afterwards and beheld the whopping big house Bley had erected, he gave the magistrate a slap for his lies, in front of the gathered town administration and his own entourage.

West towers of St.Bonifatius Church

The St.Bonifatius Church was built at the beginning of the 13th century, in the style between Romanesque and Gothic. The main nave was elongated in 1341 and a new apse added. In the 19th century the church was altered again, for example by adding larger windows to the aisles. The Westwerk remains in its original structure, though.

Unfortunately there are repairs going on, so I couldn't see the interior. But I got this interior shot.

Interior of the oldest house in Treffurt

The oldest remaining house in Treffurt dates to 1546. It had been a tavern, and today, after renovation, again houses a café and a little B&B. They had pancakes with warm cherries and whipped cream. *yum*

It's really pretty from the outside as well - I managed to get one or two decent pics for another post despite the low sun that made it increasingly difficult to photograph in the narrow lanes.

The smallest lane in Treffurt

Treffurt has still a Mediaeval feel to the old town; there's mosty cobblestones, some lanes are too narrow for modern cars, and some of them are rather steep because the town croaches up part of the Normanstein mountain - it was a safer terrain than the Werra shores which tend to get flooded in spring. Modern industry is less prudent; there are some great halls closer to the river today.
 
Comments:
It looks like a lovely town. I really like the half-timbered buildings. You have so much history over there. Our oldest buildings are 19th century.
 
I love small towns. I've been in a circuit last year, from Bucharest to Paris (with a few stops on the way). I loved the German and Austrian small towns, they have such a wonderful atmosphere. Maybe it's just me, but I studied in Bucharest and I didn't like all the haste and agitation around such big cities. I love visiting them, even to stay there for a while. But if I have to choose I will go definitely with the small and old towns. Such as this wonderful Treffurt.
And I did love the Spanish towns too, the smaller ones I mean. As a paradox I love Barcelona (such a huge city), but I would live in Tossa de Mar, a small town along the coast, around 100km from Barcelona. And it has many small lanes such one in the picture from Terffurt. Lovely lanes for walking.
Thank you for showing us this lovely town :)
 
What a picturesque place.

And by strange coincidence, I've seen the interior of the oldest house before when I was trawling Google images for anything I could use for the Tattered Quill forum! It was quite odd to see it again - with some proper information!
 
What beautiful buildings. I love half-timbered houses, and that lane in the last photo, with the hanging baskets, is just lovely.
 
It's always a delight to visit your blog. I love the architectural and historical beauties you show us. d:)
 
I love that town, especially the interior of the oldest house! Great pics as usual.
 
Thank you, everyone.

Dark Wolf, I could not live in a big city, either, with the exception of maybe Stockholm. The place I live now is a smaller town as well, a bit larger than Treffurt, but with the nice atmosphere of a typical middle sized university town where the university and students domintate life.

Lady D, that's a fun coincidence. Btw, did you manage to find an alternate template for your forum? I've tried to go there a few times but I simply can't read it without getting a headache.
 
I love these posts. It makes it seem like every other village in Germany is a medieval treasure trove that's just so commonplace that no-one bothers to mention it. Engand's got its treasures, Scotland too, but you find so much everyday survival that we really can't match. Keep it up!
 
Thank you, Jonathan. There are a lot of old buildings left in towns and villages not hit by many bombs during WW2. Some places, like the severely destroyed Kassel, have turned into rather ugly towns with appartments buildings hastily erected in the 50/60ies in place of older half timbered or Victorian houses. The town where I live escaped the bombs as well, fortunately.
 
This looks like a really great place to visit, though living so close together with only a narrow lane between buildings would make me a bit claustrophobic.
 
Lol yes, I suppose the neighbourhood in those narrow lanes is worse than a village. ;)
 
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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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Paderborn
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Speyer
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Cathedral: Richard Lionheart in Speyer
Jewish Ritual Bath

Xanten
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The Gothic House

Towns in the Harz

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Origins of the Counts of Hohnstein
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Regenstein
Introduction
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Introduction
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The Keep of Adelebsen Castle
The Great Hall of Hardeg Castle

Hardenberg
Introduction

Plesse
Rise and Fall of the Counts of Winzenburg
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Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat
Grubenhagen

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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

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Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
Development of the Cave Church

Walkenried Monastery
From Monastery to Museum

Churches in Lower Saxony

Königslutter
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Cloister

Wiebrechtshausen
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Göllingen Monastery
Traces of Byzantine Architecture

Heiligenstadt
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Along the Ouse River

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Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

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Richmond
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Scarborough
From the Romans to the Tudors
From the Civil War to the Present
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Hexham Abbey
Introduction

York Minster
Architecture


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Stirling
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Castles

Central Scotland

Doune
A Virtual Tour
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History: Royal Dower House, and Decline

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
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Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

Dunstaffnage
An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
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Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

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Staffa


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Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
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Cardiff
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Chepstow
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Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

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Pembroke Pictures
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Criccieth
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Norway

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Defense over the Centuries
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Akershus Fortress: Architectural Development
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Stockholm
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Impressions from the The Neva River


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The Curonian Spit


Belgium and Luxembourg

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The Old Town

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A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

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A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

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Luxembourg City

A Virtual Town Tour


France

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A Virtual Walk through the Town


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Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

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


Post-Mediaeval Times

Powder and Steam

Development of Weapons
Historical Guns

Steampunk and Beyond
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- Germany
- United Kingdom
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Beautiful Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
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The Flensburg Firth
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
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Harzburg and the Ilsetal
Oderteich Reservoir
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The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

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Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
River of the Greenest Shores - The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut

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

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Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

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

Summer
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Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Summer Thunderstorms

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

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

Wildlife
Birds at the Feeder
Harz Falcon Park
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Experimental
Alien Architecture
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Llama, Llama
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Spectacular Sunset
Carved Animals


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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
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Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
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Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
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Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Land of Light and Darkness - Scandinavia

Norway

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The Farthest North
Culture and Nature in Norway
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Along the Coast - North of the Polar Circle

Norway by Train
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From Trondheim to Oslo

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


Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea Cruise

Lithuania

Nida and the Curonian Spit
Beaches at the Curonian Spit




Historia
Geologia
Delectatio (Fun Stuff)
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- Roman History
- Mediaeval History
- Other Times and Miscellanea


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
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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


England and Normandy

From the Conquest to King John

Normans, Britons, and Angevins
The Honour of Richmond and the Dukes of Brittany


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 (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

Princes and Rebels

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Scandinavia

Kings and Vikings

Kings of Norway
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Other Times and Miscellanea

Post-Mediaeval History

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

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

History in Opera and Literature

Opera

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

Historical Ballads

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


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


Fun Stuff

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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Heritage Daily
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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

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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