Illustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History


02/10/2009
  Mediaeval Braunschweig

I'm back from the visit to Braunschweig (English 'Brunswick'). I got photos, but not from the exhibition - I really don't know what's the problem with Medieaval exhibitions in Germany, since the Roman ones I've seen all allowed people to take pictures. Culture is for sharing, not for hiding in vitrines for a privileged few to see. Ok, rant over.

I got exterior shots of the Burgplatz (Castle Square), though, and pics of the cathedral.

-- Dankwarderode Castle

Dankwarderode, palas building

This one's not on a hilltop for a change. It dates back to the 11th century and was expanded by Heinrich the Lion in the style of the palatine castle in Goslar in the 12th century. The entire castle took up the island in the Oker river and was considerably larger than todays 'castle square'. Dankwarderode and most of the old town of Braunschweig were destroyed in a fire 1252.

In the 17th century, only the two storeyed palace building - rebuilt in Renaissance style - was still in use, and in the 19th century even that lay in ruins. But the palas was reconstructed on the ground plan of the Medieaval building in what's called Neoromanesque style. Except for the unhistorical staircase and the arrangement of the windows in the upper floor, it's a pretty adaequate representation of the exterior of Heinrich's palace, though.

-- A Romanesque cathedral

Braunschweig Cathedral

The cathedral was founded by Heinrich the Lion as chapter church in 1173 (after his return from a pilgrimage to Jeruslalem) and dedicated to St. Blasius and John the Baptist; later Thomas Beckett was added as patron, a pretty unusual patron saint as far as I can tell.

The building was only finished in 1226 - there seems to have been a break in construction during Heinrich's exile. Heinrich was buried in the cathedral after his death in 1195; the main nave, crypt and choir had been finished at that point.

Cathedral, main nave

The cathedral is built in the basilica style with three naves ending in apsides, transept and high quire, and a so-called Saxon Westwerk, the mostly unadorned western wall with the two towers. The ceiling of the main nave shows one of the earliest surviving barrel vaultings in Germany.

There have been several changes, as usual with Mediaeval buildings. During one of those alterations a special feature was added: the pillars and cross grain vaults in the northern nave are of the English perpendicular style that was not normally used in Germany, the windows have so called Tudor bows.

-- Mediaeval murals

Cathedral, murals in the apsis

The crossing and apsides had been painted in secco mural style in 1230-1250. Those paintings have been recovered under layers of whitewash in 1845 and were 'reconstructed'. Unfortunatley, in the 19th century that meant not only refreshing the colours but also adding a few elements people thought looked Medieaval. But there are still enough orignal elements to give a good impression of 13th century sacral paintings esp. in the southern transept where the orginals have been recovered as far as possible. Murals in places where there had been none in the Middle Ages have also partly been ereased.

The photo above shows Christus Pantokrator, a motive that has its origins in the Byzantine art.

-- Shinies

Decoration of a casket containing bones of a martyr

There is a permanent exhibition of Medieaval art in the Squire Hall (Knappensaal) of Dankwarderode Castle, mostly of the sacral variant like crucifixes, reliquaries and a few tapestries with religious motives. It is part of the Duke Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig.

-- Some lions

Original of the lion statue of Heinrich the Lion

The Lion of Braunschweig, the heraldic animal of the Welfen family (Welf means lion cub) was commissioned by Heinrich the Lion in 1166. It demonstrated his ducal position and power. The lion is the oldest remaining large style sculpture north of the Alpes - the bronze cutie is 1.78 m high and 2.79 m long - and probably forged in Braunschweig itself. Its models are the Capitoline Wolf (the one that's causing discussions whether it is Etruscan or Medieaval), the Lion of Venice and the Marc Aurel statue in Rome. Heinrich had seen those sculptures during Emperor Barbarossa's first two Italian wars.

There is a copy on the castle square, standing on a big stone pedestal. You can see it in the first pic. The original is kept in the museum, because pollution would damage the bronze.
 
Comments:
Quality pictures as ever Gabriele, and I share your camera frustration (though if you can get decent photoes through a vitrine you're doing better than I am). I'm always startled by how much twelfth- and thirteenth-century architecture you appear to be able to find more or less at your doorstep.

A tiny point of English, lastly, which may help others too: 'privilege' does not have a 'd' even though it sounds as if it should. It's one of those Norman French words that stuck in English via the law courts, because of course it actually means 'private law', `privi lege', a right that is not available to the general public. The etymology, for once, explains the spelling.
 
Thank you, Jonathan. I'm getting pretty good at taking photos through a vitrine - some of the pictures from Haltern turned out fine.

The protestant counties in Germany are a good hunting ground for Medieaval architecture since the churches didn't get 'polluted' with Baroque ornaments the way it often happened in Catholic counties in southern Germany and along the Rhine.

Thanks for the spelling correction. The word did look off with a d but I went with the sound. Damn English never follows its own rules. ;)
 
Someone once said "English never met a word it didn't like", and one of the problems with borrowing words from all over the place is that spelling ends up all over the place as well. You're not alone, which is why every now and again some committee of the great and good publishes a report suggesting that spelling should be harmonised for greater consistency (and gets ignored). The Microsoft spelling checker can be quite handy for once - it can't find mistakes where one correctly spelled word has been substituted for another ("my deer friend" etc), but it's quite good for typos and misspellings.

Great photos, especially the interior shot of the nave. That really gives a good sense of space.
 
Thank you, Carla.

I deactivated the Microsoft spellchecker because it insists on using the reformed German spelling which I refuse to acknowledge. ;)
 
Those murals were beautiful. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful places with us. I'm sure that without these posts not many would even know these places existed!

And, for what it's worth, even I've had problems with that privilege word quite few times!
 
Truly beautiful, especially the Byzantium Art. Thanks very much for sharing. Love your blog.
 
Thank you, Lady D and Mirella.

Braunschweig is actually a big enough town that should have made it into the travel guides, but there are indeed hidden treasures in Germany I like to share, like the Romanesque Weser abbeys and all those castles. :)
 
Great pics - I love the murals especially! Interesting about Thomas Becket, too.
 
Thank you, Alianore.

Yes, the Beckett thing is interesting. Wonder if Mathilde asked Heinrich to add him, for her father's sake.
 
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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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Medieaval Braunschweig, Introduction
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Erfurt
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Paderborn
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Speyer
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Towns in the Harz

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Regenstein
Introduction
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Hardenberg
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Plesse
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Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat
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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
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Polle
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Two Fairy Tale Castles

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Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
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Königslutter
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Cloister

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

York Minster
Architecture


Scotland

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Stirling
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Castles

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

Stirling
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Duart
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Dunstaffnage
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Arriving at Inchcolm

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Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
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Conwy
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History: From Edward II to the Tudors
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Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

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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Sweden

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Stockholm
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The Splendour of St.Petersburg

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Impressions from the The Neva River


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The Curonian Spit


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A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

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Strasbourg
A Virtual Walk through the Town


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Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historic Orkney
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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
The Fram Museum in Oslo
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- Germany
- United Kingdom
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Beautiful Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
From the Bay of Wismar to Hiddensee
The Flensburg Firth
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley, Rosstrappe and Devil's Wall
Cave Dwellings in Langenstein
Harzburg and the Ilsetal
Oderteich Reservoir
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Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
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'Hessian Switzerland'
Karst Dolines and Kalbe Lake

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

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

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

Other Landscape Sites
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
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
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Experimental
Alien Architecture
Carved Monsters in Cathedrals
Llama, Llama
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Spectacular Sunset
Carved Animals


Across the Channel - United Kingdom

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
Crossing to Mull
Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
Shadows and Strongholds
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Land of Light and Darkness - Scandinavia

Norway

The Hurtigruten-Tour
A Voyage into Winter
The Farthest North
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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)
Comblogium (Blog Roll)
Conexiones (Links)

- 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
Daggers
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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Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
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A Mixed Bag of History
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Research

Archaeology
Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe
Orkneyar

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
Livius.org
Roman Army
Roman Britain
The Romans in Britain
Vindolanda Tablets

Not so Dark Ages
Burgundians in the Mist
Viking Society for Northern Research

Mediaeval History
De Re Militari
Internet Mediaeval Sourcebook
Kulturzeit
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades
Medievalists.Net

Castles
Burgenarchiv
Burgerbe.de
Burgenwelt
Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

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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