The Lost Fort

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


29 Aug 2009
  Boleyn Spork

One of my favourite blogs, History Spork, is back with a take on The Other Boleyn Girl, a movie based on Philippa Gregory's novel of the same title. Since Tudor specialists don't think very highly of her research, and the movie seems to be rather close to the book, some of my readers should get a laugh out of it.

You may also check the archives of History Spork; they've taken their sharp pens ... er, keyboards to a bunch of other questionable 'historical' movies. But get some popcorn and a glass of wine, because you can easily spend a few hours there.
 


24 Aug 2009
  Another Interesting Castle - Scharzfels

Scharzfels Castle, near Herzberg in the southern Harz foothills, was erected to protect the nearby monastery of Pöhlde. It may go back to the 10th century when Pöhlde became the widow's seat of Otto the Great's mother Mathilde (1). But I'll leave its history to another post. The remains today represent various stages of the castle's development.

Scharzfels Castle, the dolomite rock curtain wall of the middle bailey,
with additional support constructions

The trip to Scharzfels Castle made for another nice summer afternoon tour. It is not so hot any longer, and the two miles ascent through a beech wood made for a good, though not too stressful walk. There's a little café in the former inner bailey, so we got some ice cream and Alsterwasser (a mix of beer and lemon juice) as reward before we explored the castle.

The gate between middle (second) and upper bailey, hewn into the rock

Scharzfels Castle is situated on a montain ridge 150 metres above the Oder valley and 376 metres over NN. Its inner bailey was erected on a 20 metres high dolomite cliff with steep sides, which made the castle pretty much unconquerable in the Middle Ages.

Looking from the 15 metres long entrance tunnel into the upper (third) bailey

It is this eagle nest situation which makes the Scharzfels interesting. There is not much left of the buildings (there had been at least a keep and a palas with a hall and living quarters, as well as the usual outbuildings like stables and granaries) and walls, but the remains and the caves in the dolomite rock are a lot of fun to explore and make for some nice photos.

Entrance tunnel and sentinel room / cave,
with my father sorting out his walking stick and camera

Nothing is left of the outer bailey except the well house. A staircase from the 19th century leads to the inner bailey, surely an easier access than what may have been there in the Middle Ages. The plateau on top of the dolomite rock is 20x60 metres with several natural and man made caves, thought not as many as in Regenstein Castle. The stone buildings had been erected on the rock or built into crevices. Only some ruins of those remain today.

View to one of the tower foundations and the Harz foothills beyond

Scharzfels Castle was inhabited for a long time, changing possessions more than once. It was turned into a fortress in the 17th century, serving as garrison and prison. During the Seven Years War, the castle was conquered by the French (1761) and mostly destroyed.

Natural rock and a few ruins

King George V of Hannover (and 2nd Duke of Cumberland) liked his picturesque ruins and rebuilt parts of the castle in 1857. Among his additions is the staircase that now leads to the gate of the upper bailey. But except for that one his buildings have been destroyed and dismantled. But the castle is still an interesting combination of natural and man-made features.

View from a corner tower in the third bailey to the remains of a building with a fireplace

The trees got a bit in the way of a good picture of the backside of the dolomite rock. There were some freeclimbers around, and they managed to get on top quite easily. But they were not not clad in mail and dragging swords and spears around. Plus, whoever tried to attack Scharzfels first had to get up the hill, and I'm sure the castle garrison had some fun ideas how to deal with assailants. The worst I had to deal with was a pebble that had found its way into my sandal.

The dolomite rock from the other side

Footnotes
1) In a charte dating to 972, Emperor Otto I grants the lands and village of Scharzfeld to the monastery in Pöhlde. This may have included a castle. But the castle itself first comes into focus in a charte by Emperor Lothar of Süpplingenburg in 1131.

More about the castle can be found here
 


19 Aug 2009
  A Summer Afternoon in Germany

The weather is fine these days albeit a bit on the hot side (at least for me who thinks anything above 25°C is what hell must be like). So my father and I decided to take a little tour down to the Weser, one of our favourite areas. We found a few things on the way.

-- A pink palace for Alianore:

Welfenschloss, Hann.-Münden

This pretty building is the Welfenschloss in Hannoversch-Münden, built by Duke Erich II of Calenberg-Göttingen in 1560 in the style of the so called Weser Renaissance. It was a residental palace used for living, but also provided rooms for the administration of the area. In later generations its importance as ducal seat decreased, and in 1849 the south wing burned down. Today it houses the town library, a museum, and the tax office.

-- A Renaissance style town hall:

Town Hall, Hann.-Münden

The town hall itself dates back to the Gothic style, but in 1618 a Renaissance facade had been added with a number of decorative elements, among them as set of chimes that show figures from the life of the (in)famous Doctor Eisenbarth.

-- Beautiful haf timbered houses:

Half timbered houses in Hann.-Münden

Hannoversch-Münden has about 700 of them and all in a fine condition. The town with the odd name it got to distinguish Münden from Minden (which is not far away) lies at the confluence of Werra and Fulda, and because of this favourable situation was an important trade centre in the Middle Ages. Remains of the Medieaval fortifications and the old harbour, the Schlagd, can still be seen.

-- Three Rivers in one pic:

Confluence of Fulda (left) and Werra (right), forming the Weser (ahead)

Not an unknown village from Wheel of Times, but the result of a name change. Linguistically, Werra and Weser are the same name that just changed with the dialects spoken at its shores. Since the Fulda which confluences into the Werra/Weser is a river of equal size, this point officially marks the name change from Werra to Weser for several centuries now, and it's the reason Hann.-Münden calls itself the 'town of the three rivers':

-- Pointy Roman things

Roman catapult bolts

There is an exhibition of the Hedemünden finds in the Welfenschloss. I had seen some of them a few years ago, but this exhibition has added the new finds and a model of the supply fort and the marching camp at Hedemünden. A well made display, though the glass makes it a bit difficult to get good shots due to all those reflections.

-- A castle in the woods:

Bramburg, the keep

The remains of the Bramburg are hidden in a beech wood on a promontory above the Weser. It was first mentionend 1093 but must have been older. Heinrich the Fat, the founder of Bursfelde Abbey, had the castle fortified in order to protect the nearby abbey. Later it came as fief to a family von Stockhausen that proved prone to highway and high river robbery. Thus the Bramburg was besieged by Landgrave Wilhelm of Thuringia and partly destroyed. Today only the keep remains, and it's really well hidden in all that lush green.

-- A beautiful view:

View from the Bramburg down to the Weser river

I think you'l understand why we love the Weser surroundings so much.

On the way back we had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, the one in Bursfelde. It has a terrace facing the Weser; the most beautiful place so sit on a peaceful summer evening.
 


13 Aug 2009
  Mull - From Craignure to Fionnphort

I managed to take some photos from the bus though it was tricky. The best chances were when the bus had to stop to let a car pass on the single track road. The bus tour takes about an hour and goes through some of the most scenic parts of Mull.

Glen More

In the morning, the weather was pretty bad - typical Scottish, people say, though my experiences included a lot of sunshine both times I went to Scotland. There are eagles in Glen More, but they must have kept elevenses; we didn't see any. That's a Swiss bus in front of us.

The sea near Fionnphort

Fionnphort is the harbour for the ferries to Iona and the boat cruises to Staffa. No tourist cars are allowed on Iona, so you have to leave it in the parking lot - that goes for busses as well. Yes, tourists in Scotland are expected to walk. *gasp*

Entrance to Loch Scridain

On the way back the sun had come out (it had be shining all afternoon on Iona) and I kept my camera ready to get some shots of the beautiful Mull scenery in the evening sun.

Loch Scridain

I was rewarded. The way along Loch Scridain was especially picturesque, and I had picked the right (in fact, left, lol) side to sit. It was the wrong side for watching the deer, though, but since we have our share of deer in Germany, I didn't mind.

Loch Scridain with Ben More in the background

The tricky thing about taking photos from a bus is not only the motion but also the reflections in the windows. But as you see, I got a few pictures where those reflections aren't too bad.
 


9 Aug 2009
  Dunstaffnage Castle - An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold

Dunstaffnage Castle stands on a rock promontory where Loch Etive meets the Firth of Lorn, thus guarding the entrance into central Scotland via Loch Etive and the Pass of Brander. The promontory also shelters Dunstaffnage Bay from the westerly winds and provides a good harbour.

The castle looks forbidding from the outside, but it's actually a nice place to visit on a sunny summer afternoon. And because someone is bound to ask - yes, there was a plotbunny hiding in the entrance archway. :)

Dunstaffnage Castle

The rock foundation and castle walls rise to 15 metres and more, with the entrance several metres above ground. In former times, the way between the outer staircase and the gates was additionally protected by a drawbridge. Definitely not an easy place to get into back in the Middle Ages. Today you only need to pay your fee in the house outside the castle, ascend the stairs and cross a solid wooden bridge, without danger of someone shooting arrows at you from the - now completely ruined - corner tower.

Dunstaffnage, entrance

Dunstaffnage, bearing a name part Gaelic (dun = fort) part Norse (stafr-nes = staff promontory), is one of the candidates for the Dalriatan seat of Dun Monaidh, albeit no archaeological proof has been found so far. In 840, Cináed mac Alpín 'united' (I doubt the Picts saw it that way) the Dalriatans and Picts and moved the centre of power to central Scotland, leaving a vacuum at the west coast into which the Vikings stepped. Their rule over the west coast was officially acknowledged in the treaty between King Edgar of Scotland and King Magnus 'Barelegs' of Norway in 1098.

Battlements

But the local élites didn't really care for one king or the other, and in mid-12th century a man of mixed Gaelic/Norse descent ruled more or less independently: Somarled or Somhairle, King of the Isles as he called himself. His son Dougall became the founder of clan MacDougall. He inherited the mainland of Lorn along with the islands of Jura, Coll, Mull, Tiree, Kerrera, and Lismore after his father's death at the battle of Renfrew 1164. His Gaelic name Dubhgall means something like Dark Foreigner, implying his part-Norse blood. His brother Ranald (Reginald) inherited the possessions in Skye (after he killed his brother Angus), Islay and Kintyre - as far as I can make sense of the mess of contradictory information. Ranald's son Donald woud become the eponymous founder of Clan MacDonald

Battlements, view to the west tower
The water in the distance in the Firth of Lorn

Dougall's son Duncan built Dunstaffnage Castle around 1220, and probably Dunollie Castle as well. He sided with King Hakon of Norway against King Alexander II of the Scots in 1230, conquering Rothesay Castle from Walter Stewart, but in 1237 seemed to have made his peace with Alexander. He was the only noble from the west coast to sign a document sent by King Alexander to the pope - he signed it as de Ergadia (from Argyll). Besides the castles at the coast he also founded Ardchattan Priory in 1240.

Remains of the 'new house', built in 1725

His son Ewan who succeeded Duncan in 1248 was in a nice pickle since he held his island possessions under Hakon of Norway after a visit to Bergen during which he also got granted the title King of the Isles, and the mainland territories as vassal of King Alexander II. After Ewan was also appointed to step in for the deceased king of Man, Alexander had enough of the Norse power concentration on the isles and sailed west with an army, landing on Kerrera. He demanded that Ewan surrender several castles to him, among them most probably Dunstaffnage which Ewan had further fortified (he added the west tower). But Ewan told him he'd already done hommage for the those lands to Hakon. "No man can serve two masters," said King Alexander. "One can quite well serve two masters provided the masters are not enemies," was Ewan's reply. It's probably well for him that King Alexander II died of an illness soon thereafter (July 8, 1249) or he would have been in trouble.

View from the battlements over Loch Etive

For several years, the stalemate continued until Alexander III reached majority, told his advisors to go fishing and began his reign. His activities on the west coast soon forced Hakon to bring in a large fleet. He too, landed on Kerrera and detained Ewan as 'guest' in hope to pressure him for support. But Ewan must have had a stubborn streak because he refused Hakon's demand as well. King Hakon then lost the battle of Largs in 1263 and part of his fleet in the autumn gales, and withdrew to the Orkneys where he died the same year. Negotiations between King Alexander III and Hakon's successor King Magnus took another two years. During that time Ewan proved sly as well because he seemed to have simply outwaited the results before deciding for one side.

Dunstaffnage Castle, seen from the way to the chapel

The ensuing Treaty of Perth in 1266 transferred the Hebridean islands from Norway to Scotland. Ewan had his possessions restored (if he ever lost any of them in the first place; the sources are none too clear) though the title King of the Isles went to the MacDonald branch of Somhairle's descendants. Ewan clearly sided with the King of the Scots now, marrying his children into major Scottish families. His son Alexander Lord of Lorn would become one of the chief powers in the west. Ewan mac Dougall died in 1266.

Information: Historic Scotland guidebook to Dunstaffnage Castle and the website of Clan MacDougall.

Continued with the Wars of Independence and The Campbells.
 


4 Aug 2009
  West Highland Line Impressions

This one can probably called a pic spam post, lol. Just some photos I took on the train from Glasgow to Oban. I'm very busy writing right now and too lazy to do a long post.

A train of the West Highland Line

The West Highland railway line is considered one of the most scenic in the world. It goes from Glasgow to Fort William and Mallaig, with a side line branching off to Oban at Crianlarich.

Highland mountains

Ten years ago I took the route all the way to Fort William and a few days later to Mallaig to cross over to Skye. This time I rode the train to Oban, and kept holding the camera out of the doors at interesting stops on the way.

And look, more mountains

The mix of sun and clouds made for an interesting light in some photos. But the day was rather warm and nice overall.

The train stopped in Crianlarich for a few minutes and I could step out on the platform and take photographs of the surroundings.

Mountains rising behind Crianlarich station

Crianlarich is truly in the Highlands, surrounded by high mountains. But the official beginning of the West Higland Line after it leaves Glasgow's suburbs is 'Arrochar and Tarbet' at the entrance to the famous Loch Lomond.

Sun and shadows

It was very difficult to get good photos out of the moving train, but I was lucky that a few turned out to be not too blurred.

Loch Awe

The train runs along most of Loch Awe, opening one spectacular view after the other before it passes along the Falls of Cruachan into Oban.
 




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 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

Germany

Towns

Braunschweig
Medieaval Braunschweig
Lion Benches in the Castle Square
The Quadriga

Erfurt
Mediaeval Erfurt

Goslar
Mediaeval Goslar
The Chapel in the Klus Rock

Lübeck
St. Mary's Church

Magdeburg
Magdeburg Cathedral
Liebfrauen Church: An Austere Archbishop
Liebfrauen Church: Reformation to Reunification

Mainz
The Temple of Isis and Mater Magna

Paderborn
Mediaeval Paderborn

Quedlinburg
Mediaeval Quedlinburg
The Chapter Church

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

Stralsund
The Harbour
Mediaeval Stralsund: The Old Town

Trier
The Amphitheatre
The Aula Palatina
The Imperial Baths
The Porta Nigra
The Roman Bridge

Weimar
Sites of the Weimar Classicism
The Park at the Ilm

Wismar
The Old Harbour

Xanten
Roman and Mediaeval Xanten
The Gothic House
The Amphitheatre in Birten

More Towns

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Seaside Ressort Binz

Towns at the Rhine
Boppard - The Roman Baudobriga

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Heiligenstadt
Treffurt

Castles

Brandenburg (Thuringia)
History: The Double Castle
History: Albrecht II of Thuringia

Coburg Fortress (Bavaria)
History
Architecture

Ebersburg (Harz)
History: The Marshals of Ebersburg
Architecture

Hanstein (Thuringia)
History

Hardenberg (Lower Saxony)
History

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

Kugelsburg (Hessia)
History: The Counts of Everstein
History: Later Times

Plesse (Lower Saxony)
History: The Counts of Winzenburg
History: The Lords of Plesse
Architecture

Scharzfels (Harz)
History
Architecture

Wartburg (Thuringia)
A Virtual Tour

Weidelsburg (Hessia)
History
Architecture
Revisiting the Weidelsburg

More Castles

Harz Mountains
Regenstein
Stapelburg
Stauffenburg

Hessia
Grebenstein
Reichenbach
Sichelnstein

Lower Saxony
Adelebsen
Grubenhagen
Hardeg Castle
Salzderhelden

Thuringia
Altenstein at the Werra
Scharfenstein

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

Abbeys and Churches

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

Towns

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
Museum Gardens and Mulitangular Tower
The Old Town
Roman Bath in the Fortress
York Minster: Architecture

Castles

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

Richmond
History: Conquest to King John
History: Henry III to the Tudors
Architecture

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

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

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

Dunstaffnage
History: An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
History: The Wars of Independence
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

Castles

Beaumaris
History
Architecture

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
The Hunting Frieze in Königslutter Cathedral
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
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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