The Lost Fort

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


23 Aug 2010
  Xanten Impressions

The history of Xanten, a town at the lower Rhine in Germany, goes back to the Romans who built a legionary fort - Castra Vetera - on a nearby hill overlooking the river in 12 BC. The fort soon attracted a cannabae legionis, a civilian settlement (they're called vicus when attached to auxiliary forts). The civilian settlement continued to thrive and the emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus granted it the rights of a Roman town about 100 AD. The place was then called Colonia Ulpia Traiana (CUT) and became one of the most important settlements in Germania Inferior; the province left of the Rhine that included Luxembourg, parts of modern Belgium, the Netherlands, and the German county North Rhine-Westphalia.

Reconstructed town wall of Colonia Ulpia Traiana

The CUT encompassed 73 hectares and had 10,000 inhabitants, but it was almost completely destroyed by an attack of the Franks in 275. The garrison of Vetera II and the remains of the population rebuilt the town in smaller scale (400 x 400 metres) which was better fortified and easier to defend. The new place was called Tricensimae. But the Frankish raids increased; the settlement was destroyed in 352 and rebuilt again, but in the end the place was abandoned in the 5th century. The youngest coin found in the area dates to 426 AD.

Luckily for archaeologists, the Mediaeval town started around a centre on the ancient grave field near CUT, thus leaving the remains of the Roman settlement free of buildings.

Reconstructed inn in the Archaeological Park

In 1977, an Archaeological Park was opened on the site of the Roman town. Some Roman buildings have been reconstructed; the most elaborate one is the inn, complete with baths and sleeping rooms. It houses a restaurant which offers Roman food. Other sites have been partly reconstructed, like the Harbour Temple and the amphitheatre. New features are added all the time - right now the artisan quarter is being built, using old techniques and materials as far as possible (albeit with a modern scaffolding; I suppose it's safer) There are digs going on as well.

The latest addition, open to the public since 2009, is the museum that has been erected on the foundations of the basilica attached to the baths. The remains of the baths itself have been roofed in to protect them from the weather. The modern metal and glass buildings show the size of the original structures which are pretty impressive.

St.Victor Cathedral, seen from the amphitheatre in the APX

The modern name Xanten comes from ad Sanctos (by the Saints), a name given to the 8th century settlement that developed around a Carolingian chapter church. It was assumed the church had been erected over the grave of St.Victor and other members of the Theban Legion; Roman Christians who may have been executed in Xanten in the 3rd century because they refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, is said to have collected the bones from the swamp into which they had been thrown, and buried them in the Roman grave field. But the archaeological traces of Victor's remains are murky, and the site of the church is not his burial place.

The church was destroyed during the Viking incursion in 863, and replaced by a Romanesque church that was expanded in the 12th century. Its westwork with the two towers remains until today.

St.Victor Cathedral, interior

The Gothic cathedral we can see today was commissioned by the archdeacon Friedrich von Hochstaden, a brother of the archbishop of Cologne, in 1263. The eastern part of the five nave basilica was finished in 1437, the western part that connected with the Romaesque west choir in 1519. The cathedral was completed when the Holy Ghost Chapel was consecrated in 1544. It became the centre of an archdeaconry that managed to retain a certain degree of independence towards the archdiocese of Cologne.

The chapter remained independent from the town as well. The ring of buildings belonging to the chapter was enclosed by a wall, and enjoyed immunity, which means that the jurisdiction lay in the hands of the provost as head of the chapter, not the town major. Part of those Immunity Walls can still be seen today.

St.Victor Cathedral, cloister

The cathedral was badly damaged by bombs during WW2. Fortunately, the rich furnishings, the altars, and the beautiful windows had already been brought to a safe place. The cathedral was restored immediately after the war, and great care was taken to stay true to the original. That work was completed in 1966.

Xanten had been granted the rights of a town in 1228, but only in 1389 the town itself was fortified with walls, a result of an ongoing feud with the neighbouring Counts of Kleve. Of the four gates and eighteen towers only few remain today, among them the Kleve Gate and the Kriemhild Mill.

Kleve Gate, view to the inner gate

The Kleve Gate, dating from 1393, is a double gate connected by a bridge over the ditch that surrounded the town. The inner gate consists of a quadratic tower, the outer gate of two round towers, the so-called Owl Towers, and an arch. The inner tower has seen several different uses, among others as prison. When most of the town walls were dismantled in the 19th century, the town council voted against destructing the Kleve Gate; instead it was renovated in 1843.

The lower part still shows the original Medieaval structure, but the upper part had been destroyed in WW2 and was restored. Today the inner gate houses self catering appartments.

Kriemhild Mill by night

In the 17th and 18th centuries several of the eighteen towers of the town fortifications served as living quarters for town employees. The one now called Kriemhild Mill (1) was the Night Watchman Tower. The towers, often in bad repair, were sold in late 18th century, and most of them broken down by their new owners. Our tower had better luck since the merchant who bought it in 1778, repaired it and turned it into a summer house. In 1804, he changed the tower into a wind powered oil mill by adding stocks and sweeps (and the whole interior mechanism). Somewhat later it became a grist mill which was bought by the town. The mill is in use again since 1992, and can be visited.

Xanten has some pretty, old houses as well, but those will be for another post.

The Rhine near Xanten

A branch of the Rhine once ran close to CUT, but the river has changed its course a few times, flooding the fort Vetera II, for example. The harbour of Mediaeval Xanten was cut off in the 16th century, one of the reasons for the decline of the town. I rented a bicycle to better get around and took a tour to the Rhine, among other places.


(1) The name Kriemhild comes from the German epic Song of the Nibelungs. In the Edda poems she's known as Gudrun, wife of Sigurd (Siegfried in the German version) who is murdered by her brothers. The German Siegfried is called 'of Xanten' and that's the reason you'll find a lot of Siegfried and Nibelung references in the town.
 


15 Aug 2010
  Limes Fort Osterburken - Part 2: The Garrisons

Well, sort of. What I got here is a display of tin figures in the museum at the fort Osterburken. It's an unpainted version and was very difficult to photograph through the glass. But they got lots of the shiny little guys so I tried to catch some for you.

Tin figures have been popular in Germany since about 1800. They are two-dimensional relief figures, different from the three-dimensional figures common in the UK and US. Some three-dimensional tin figures are produced for the export where they compete with the plastic and lead ones, but I'm not sure how successfully. Painted versions are more common but I suppose no one felt up to the task of painting the lot in the Limes Museum Osterburken.

The garrison of the Osterburken main fort during the so-called Limes time (about 100 - 260 AD) was the cohors III Aquitanorum equitata civium Romanorum, a mixed horse and infantry cohort. Some of the footsloggers are on the photo below.

Roman infantry, 2nd century AD

The 3rd Aquitanorum was originally raised in the province Gallia Aquitana, either by Augustus or Claudius. The first dateable appearance is from 74 AD and mentions the discharge of veterans, so the cohort must have been around at least 25-28 years. The cohort was stationed in Germania Superior at that time, the province that comprised western Switzerland, the Alsace, and south-west Germany. It would remain there during its recorded existence, mostly concentrated in the Odenwald forts.

The soldiers of the 3rd Aquitanorum would have been pretty Romanised at the time of their service at the Limes. There are no differences in the artifacts found in auxiliary forts along the Limes and the legionary forts in Mainz and Strasbourg. They were also no longer recruited in Aquitaine, but closer to their place of service. The title civium Romanorum and the summary grant of citizenship to the whole cohort was a reward for valour, but it did not extend to new recruits - those had to serve their 25 years and received citizenhip upon discharge. But the cohort was allowed to use the title perpetually.

Infantry, closeup

The Legio VIII Augusta mentioned in the previous post was never stationed at the Limes, but some of its members built Osterburken. For some reason, the Romans didn't trust the auxiliary to build straight walls (1).

The Limes functioned much like the Hadrian's Wall, with auxiliaries stationed in the frontier forts and the legions further in the hinterland (York / Eboracum or Mainz / Moguntiacum and Strasbourg / Argentorate). The frontier forts served as migration control and toll stations, and as first defense line. If a larger group made it through (which happened at the Limes in 213 and 233), the legions would get them upon return from their raids. Live in the agri decumantes (the land between the Limes and the Rhine) at your own risk. ;)

Below are the happier guys who got horses. An equitata cohort had four (2) turmae à 32 riders, that would make 128 horse. The infantry varied; there were six centuries with 60 - 80 men each, so a full strength cohort could number between 488 - 608 men, not counting the staff. All the Limes garrisons were equitata units or - more rarely - cavarly, never infantry only troops.

A cohort was commanded by a praefectus, a Roman citizen of equestrian status, but only one of those leading the 3rd Aquitanorum has left an inscription. There are a few documented names of centurions as well, but overall the auxiliary cohorts of the German frontiers leave room for inventing characters.

Roman Cavalry, 2nd century AD

The garrison of the annex fort is more difficult to trace. The most probable candidate is the numerus Brittonum Elantiensium (3). A numerus was a smaller, irregular unit that was only recruited for specific purposes. They started under Hadrian who used them as intelligence units (exploratori).

In the 2nd century, the numeri became a regular feature of the Roman army, esp. along the borders, but they still ranked below the auxiliaries and did not automatically receive citizenship upon discharge. The were recruited among the barbarian tribes (the auxiliary came from the provinces). There were a number of them along the German Limes that came from Britain.

A numerus encompassed 140 - 160 men and was commanded by a praepositus, usually an experienced centurion dispatched from a legion. They had forts of their own with the complete set of commander's house and staff buildings as well as their own baths. In the 3rd century the numeri became larger units, attracted also Roman citizens, and were commanded by tribunes.

Cavalry, closeup

The numerus Brittonum Elantiensium had previously been stationed in Neckarburken, also at the Odenwald Limes. The 3rd Aquitanorum came from that place as well before it moved to Osterburken when the border was pushed further east in that area in 155 AD. The numerus must have remained in Neckarburken (there's an inscription dating to 158) to secure the supply lines along the Neckar river. The unit moved to Osterburken some time between 185 - 192.

Both the Neckarburken dedication from 158 AD and another dedication stone from Osterburken mention one Veranius (Saturninus) as commanding officer of the numerus. That has led to some disucussions about the dating of the annex fort - it was suggested that an earlier annex fort was built in a different place, but the Osterburken inscription is incomplete and open to interpretation. I think it's also possible that two officers with that name commanded the unit; Veranius is not such a rare cognomen, and it could have been father and son. The official websites of the Limes and of Osterburken agree on the date of 185 - 192 AD for the annex fort and the numerus Brittonum Elantiensium as its garrison.

We don't know for sure whether the numerus was mounted, or part mounted, but it's highly probable considering the fact that mobile troops were important for the Limes defense.

Cavalry, seen from the other side

Another interesting find from Osterburken are some triangular arrow points ususally used by Eastern archers (fe. the Syrian troops stationed at the Hadrian's Wall). We don't know if there was a detachment of those in the fort at least for some time, or if the auxilaries adopted the Eastern bows.


(1) With the exception of repair work under the surveillance of a Roman officer, as several inscriptions show.

(2) One online source names six, but if that is possible I suppose there was less infantry or the cohort would grow too large. A cohors milliaria had 10 turmae, but those had a complete strength of one thousand men.

(3) Elantiensium means: from the Elz river. Numeri were often listed by their first station even when they moved to a different place, but they were never numbered.
 


8 Aug 2010
  Limes Fort Osterburken - Part 1: The Discovery

The Roman fort of Osterburken is situated at the outer Odenwald Limes (1), some distance east of the Rhine. It's a double fort: a traditional, card shaped cohort castellum on rather flat terrain in the valley, today covered by houses, and a trapezoid shaped annex fort housing a numerus, a smaller, irregular auxiliary troop of about 120 men. The annex fort is built on a steep slope and shows the remains of some impressive Roman architecture.

The main fort was built about 155 AD, the annex fort was added some time between 185-192 AD.

Osterburken annex fort, tower foundations in the west wall

The heaps of stones in the Kirnau valley near Osterburken were identified as remains of a Roman building when a stone with the inscription 'Legio VIII Augusta' turned up in 1718. But at that time the interest in the Romans in Germany was not great, except for the ideological-patriotic interpretation of Tacitus' Germania and the Varus battle. Thus, a good number of the stones was used as building material in the church and surrounding farms (there's a bill about 30 waggon loads of stones in the parish archives, dating from 1813).

Things changed when one Karl Wilhelm, chairman of the Society for the Research of National Monuments, discovered a deposit of 30 silver coins in 1838. The fields in the Kirnau valley became the target not only of serious archaeologists but also of treasure hunters in search of Roman objects. The town major Hofmann called them 'Californian gold diggers'.

View from the west gate down to the valley

But even archaeologists like the members of the Mannheim Historical Society who were involved in the excavations were more interested in digging out shiny things, coins, weapons and altar stones which could be displayed in museums, than in either documenting the exact in situ position of their finds, or any detailed analysis of the walls, post holes and other architectural features. It was the time of Heinrich Schliemann who did much the same in Troy.

The situation improved with the founding of the Commission zur Erforschung des Limes Imperii Romani in 1852 (2). The 550 kilometres of the Limes - where it could be traced with the means of 19th century technology - were divided into parts and the forts numbered. By then the remains of Osterburken had been identified as Roman fort, albeit with an odd double structure: one fort in the valley and another one up the southern slope of the Hundsrück hill. It got the number 40.

Osterburken fort, model

Karl Schumacher, chairman of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, undertook two digs in 1892 and 1893. Most of what we know about the Osterburken fort goes back to his work. Schumacher also tried to conservate the annex fort; there were even plans to rebuild the south wall but those came to nothing.

Unfortunately, interest waned after 1900 and the area of the main fort was built over with houses in the mid-20th century. Only the south wall that connects with the annex fort remains. I could not find a reason why it was abandoned that way, but I suspect the land was needed since Germany is rather densely populated, and the remains probably weren't that spectacular. It's still a pity, though.

The annex fared better because it houses a monument for the dead of WW1 and today is a little park. There may be a chance for another dig; it's assumed the ground still should render some interesting discoveries.

Trench between main fort (wall to the right) and annex

Some Roman stones with inscriptions appeared during the renovation of the parish church (I told you those people used every stone they could carry or drag in their walls) and in 1973, the remains of the military bath were discovered during railway construction work. That incited new digs in 1976 (a second bath was found), and 1982, which led to the discovery of the famous altar cove of the beneficarii (3).

The second bath had already been conservated and roofed in in 1986, with a little museum attached. The museum has been considerably enhanced in 2006, and now houses finds from the digs in Osterburken as well as the area, both Roman and Germanic. Its most famous object is the Mithras stone.

Part 2, The Garrisons / Part 3, The Cohort castellum / Part 4, The Annex Fort.

Annex fort, some foundations on the north side

(1) The German Limes was a frontier cutting through the right angle formed by Rhine and Danube, the first borders of Germania. It starts north-east of Wiesbaden and meets the Danube near Regensburg, thus adding not only the Taunus and Odenwald forests but also the fertile lands of the Wetterau and Neckar plains to the Roman Empire.

(2) In 1891, this would become the Reichslimeskommission. The famous German historian Theodor Mommsen got the project underway. Up to that point, research had been in the hands of the local governments of Hessia, Württemberg and Baden. The commission published a series of articles between 1894 - 1937 and undertook a number of excavations. Since 2003 research and representation of the Limes are supervised by the Deutsche Limeskommission; since 2005 the Limes is UNESCO World Culture Heritage.

(3) Beneficarius is a specific grade within the military staff. During the principate, their tasks encompassed the maintenance of the roads and relais stations, the collecting of tolls, and obviously also intelligence work. Beneficarii often set up an altar after they succesfully conducted - and survived - their job. Osterburken was a key post in the road network and developed a veritable cove of altars.

Sources:
Helmut Neumaier:, Die Kastelle von Osterburken - Eine Grenzstation am obergermanischen Limes., Osterburken 1991
 


2 Aug 2010
  The Kugelsburg - Part 2: Troubled Times

The Everstein family spread into several branches and some of its members appear in various positions and places in Germany for the next centuries. One Gertrude of Everstein was abbess of Gernrode in late 14th century, for example, and one Otto of Everstein-Polle was marshal of Westphalia acting on behalf of the archbishop of Cologne around the same time. But the prodigious offspring of Albert III seems to have led to increasing financial problems because of the need to split the possessions and provide dowries, and the loss of the main seat of Everstein probably increased those troubles.

At some point the Everstein must have pawned out part of the Kugelsburg to the archbishop of Cologne, because in 1303 Otto of Everstein renounced his rights to that part of the castle in favour of Cologne. That was something he could only do if his liegelord - Corvey - agreed. It could work out because Corvey itself had submitted to the protection of Cologne in 1298.

Outer bailey

Archbishop Wigbold fortified the castle and had the round keep built. His successor archbishop Walram gave the Cologne part of the Kugelsburg as fief to his marshal Berthold of Büren, a member of the Everstein family in 1335, but in 1339 the same Walram gave the castle to the brothers Rabe von Papenheim; the family were hereditary stewards of Corvey since 1106. You see, the feudal connections remain complicated.

The Rabe family which soon called themselves Rabe von Cogelenburg lived in the castle from 1346 - 1530 as chatellains or Burgmannen, men of noble birth charged with the defense of a castle. They built the Gothic palas. Thus it must have been a member of that family who held the castle during the Hessian Brother War in the 15th century (see below).

The palas

Corvey still held rights to part of the castle but they didn't install any Burgmann to live in the castle. In 1440, the rights of distraint on the second part of the Kugelsburg went to the Electorate of Cologne as well (the archbishop of Cologne had electorate rights as one of the seven princes of the realm as decreed in the Golden Bull 1356, since then the archdiocese of Cologne is refered do as Kurköln - Electorate of Cologne).

The main line of the Everstein family, the counts of Everstein, kept having troubles with the dukes of Braunschweig. When Hermann VII of Everstein had no male heirs, he decided to make and end and betrothed his daughter Elisabeth to Otto IV Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in 1408. The marriage took place the same year despite the girl being only four years old. Herman VII Count of Everstein went into exile; the line died with him.

Outhouses attached to the inner curtain wall

Meanwhile, the Rabe of Cogelenburg sat in the castle without too many troubles until they got embroiled in the Hessian Brother War. When Ludwig I Landgrave of Hessia died in 1458, he left no detailed will though he had recommended that his older sons Ludwig II and Heinrich III should part the lands, with Lower Hessia (the area around Eschwege and Kassel; with Volkmarsen at its western border) going to Ludwig and Upper Hessia (the area around Marburg and the Lahn river) and the former county of Ziegenhain (in between those two parts) going to Heinrich. But the brothers could never agree about where exactly the border was to be and who held which rights, so open war broke out in 1469.

Heinrich sided with an old archenemy of the landgraves of Hessia, the archbishop of Mainz, one of the electorates. Mainz had possessions east of Hessia, among them the town of Erfurt, and therefore wanted to gain supremacy over the landgrave. The counts of Ziegenhain had asked Mainz for aid before, because the landgrave of Hessia didn't like to have an independent lord between his territories, either, and attacked them. The counts of Ziegenhain lost the war in 1437 and had to accept their lands as fief from Hessia.

Merlons

When the last count died in 1450 without male offspring, landgrave Ludwig I considered the fief to have fallen back to him, but the Ziegenhain family thought otherwise. Heinrich had inherited an old quarrel, and a new alliance - to the Electorate of Mainz.

But it was Ludwig who had the greater military success, destroying several castles and villages in the process.

In the end, their third brother, Hermann Archbishop of Cologne, got them to the negotiation table and in 1470 they came to an agreement. But Ludwig died in 1471 and Heinrich acted as regent for his young sons, ruling over both Lower and Upper Hessia until his death in 1483.

Kugelsburg, view from out of a cellar

It was after that war that the Kugelsburg comes into focus again. When archbishop Hermann gave the castle and the town of Volkmarsen to his brother Heinrich in 1474, both castle (which means the Burgmann, a Rabe of Cogelenburg) and town refused the oath of fealty to their new lord. It makes one wonder about the motives for that disobedience. Maybe they had faced an attack by Heinrich during the war that is not mentioned in the still existing chronicles (which don't need to be complete), maybe they were angry that Heinrich sided with Mainz which obviously had caused problems before.

They should have known better. Heinrich came back with an army and conquered the Kugelsburg in 1475. Why he waited until 1477 to deal with Volkmarsen as well I don't know; one possible explanation is that he tried negotiations first. But in the end he covered the town by missiles from the castle and when it fell, set it on fire.

View from the outer bailey towards Volkmarsen

Archbishop Hermann renewed the rights of distraint from Hessia after Heinrich's death, and there was a Hessian garrison in the Kugelsburg until 1507. Since the Rabe of Cogelenburg sat in the castle until 1530, they must have made their peace with the landgrave and now commanded the Hessian garrison. Hessia was united under Wilhelm II, son of Ludwig, after Heinrich's son died rather young.

Part 3 can be found here.
 




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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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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Clifford Tower
The Guild Hall
The Minster - Architecture
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
Museum Gardens
The Old Town
Along the Ouse River

Castles

Alnwick
Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

Carlisle
Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
Edward I to Edward III

Richmond
From the Conquest to King John
From Henry III to the Tudors
The Architecture

Scarborough
From the Romans to the Tudors
From the Civil War to the Present
The Architecture


Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

Doune
A Virtual Tour of the Castle
The Early Stewart Kings
Royal Dower House, and Decline

Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

Dunstaffnage
An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
The Wars of Independence
The Campbells Are Coming
Dunstaffnage Chapel

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Other Historical Sites

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa

Pre-Historic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae


Wales

Towns

Aberystwyth
Castle and Coast

Caerleon
The Ffwrwm

Conwy
The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Beaumaris
The Historical Context
The Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Cardiff
From the Romans to the Victorians

Chepstow
Beginnings unto Bigod
From Edward II to the Tudors
Civil War, Restoration, and Aftermath

Conwy
The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings

Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle


Denmark

Towns

Copenhagen
To come


Norway

Towns

Oslo
The Fram Museum in Oslo

Castles and Fortresses

Arkershus Fortress in Oslo
Introduction
Akershus at the Time of King Håkon V
Architectural Development

Vardøhus Fortress
Defending the North for Centuries


Sweden

Towns

Stockholm
The Vasa Museum

Historical Landscapes

Gotland
Gnisvärd Ship Setting


Finland

Towns

Porvoo
Mediaeval Porvoo


Russia

Towns

St. Petersburg
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral
Impressions from the The Neva River


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
The History of Mediaeval Gdańsk
Mediaeval and Renaissance Gdańsk

Wrocław / Breslau
The Botanical Garden
The Wrocław Dwarfs


Czech Republic

Towns

Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad
Brief History of the Town

Kutná Hora
The Sedlec Ossuary


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


France

Towns

Strasbourg
A Tour of the Town


Hiking Tours and Cruises

Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
The Flensburg Firth
Rugia - Jasmund Peninsula and Kap Arkona
Rugia - Seaside Ressort Binz
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

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

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Hessian Switzerland

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

Thuringian Forests
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Rivers and Lakes
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

Seasons
Spring in the Botanical Garden Göttingen
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath (Meissner)
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Winter Wonderland - Views from my Balcony


United Kingdom

Mountains and Valleys
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
Castles Seen from Afar (Dunollie and Kilchurn)
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

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






Roman History
General Essays

Provinces
- Germania
- Gallia Belgica
- Britannia

Mediaeval History
General Essays

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

Other Times
- Prehistoric Times
- Post-Mediaeval History
-
Miscellanea
- Geology


Roman History

General Essays

The Romans at War

Forts and Fortifications
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

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

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Public Life
Roman Transport - Barges
Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots

Miscellaneous Essays

The Legend of Alaric's Burial


Germania

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
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg


Gallia Belgica

The Batavians

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction


Britannia

Roman Frontiers in Britain

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
Carved Monsters
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
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

Essays about 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

Hanesatic Architecture
Examples of Brick Architecture

Goods and Trade
Stockfish Trade

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


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
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

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars


England

Kings of England

King Henry IV
King Henry's Lithuanian Crusade

Normans, Britons, Angevins

Great Fiefs - The Honour of Richmond
The Dukes of Brittany and the Honour of Richmond
The Earldom of Richmond and the Duchy of Brittany

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
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

Welsh Princes

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

Rebels

A History of Rebellion
From 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

A Time of Feuds

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Sweden

Troubles and Alliances

Scandinavian Unity
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union


Livonia
(Latvia and Estonia)

Towns of the Hanseatic League

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Lithuania

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

Lithuanian Princes

The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas


Poland

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig

Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union


Bohemia
(Including Silesia and Moravia)

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
(to come)


Other Times

Prehistoric Times

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Orkney

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

Scandinavia

Gotland
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd


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)

Biographies

European Nobility
Prince Wilhelm Malte of Putbus


Miscellanea

History in Literature and Music

History in Literature

Biographies of German Poets and Writers
Theodor Fontane

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane
(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
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg


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

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

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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