Illustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History


30/10/2010
  Happy Halloween

I wish everyone a happy Halloween. Don't get scared by those carved pumpkins. ;)

Here be some monsters for you:

Relief carving in Gernrode Chapter Church

Mediaeval masons came up with some scary and grotesque things and for some odd reason always put them in churches and cloisters. All of those are Romanesque.

Semi-relief capital in the cloister of the Romanesque chapter church in Gernrode / Harz

Another cutie from my Mediaeval Monster collection:

Pillar capital in the cloister of Königslutter Cathedral

There are more interesting decorations in the Köngslutter Cathedral
 


25/10/2010
  Walkenried - From Monastery to Museum

I have too many photos in my files. When I posted those pictures from odd angles a few weeks ago, I added one from Walkenried monastery and realised I had never introduced you to the place. So here we go.

Walkenried was founded as Cistercian monastery by Countess Adelheid of Clettenberg in 1127, member of one of the smaller and more obscure noble families in the Harz area.

(Remains of the choir against the autumn sky)

The Cistercians were an enclosed order which means they had to stay within the confines of the land belonging to the monastery. Other orders, like for example Benedictines and Franciscans, enjoyed more freedom of movement. Cistercians were a fairly new order that started in Citeaux / Burgundy in 1098 out of the Benedictine rule which they still fowllowed in a purified version. Adelheid had met them in Kamp at the lower Rhine. She invited some monks to move to the Harz foothills and offered them a suitable piece of land, sufficiently distant from settlements, with water access and chances of agricultural development. A first convent moved in and started building the first church on the grounds, in the older Romanesque style. They got additional money from Emperor Lothar of Süpplingenburg (the one who founded the church in Königslutter), and in 1137, Pope Innocenz II officially confirmed the foundation.

The white monks (as they were called because of their white habits) started to drain the swamps along the southern Harz to gain arable land, got involved in mining in the Harz mountains that are rich in silver and other ore, and also in financial transactions. Their possessions - fields, mines, forests and charcoal kilns - grew during the next two centuries and extended outside the Harz area. More than a hundred monks and two hundred lay brothers worked on Walkenried lands in the 13th century.

It was one of the foremost tasks of the Cistercians to cultivate lands and establish an infrastructure in hence 'wild' areas. They had special knowledge in techniques like draining swamps and improving soil for the growth of corn, or the breeding of farm animals. Though the monks did a lot of work themselves, the also employed lay servants.

View from the dormitory into the cloister yard
(The reflections are due to the glass of the dormitory windows)

Walkenried became one of the richest and politically important Cistercian monasteries. Heidenreich of Walkenried became abbot of Morimond, one of the four Citeaux daughter foundations in 1202. Duke Heinrich the Lion spent some time in the monastery to recover from a riding accident (1194) and his son, Emperor Otto IV, received the sacrament of the extreme unction from the hands of the Abbot of Walkenried as he lay dying in Harzburg Castle in 1218.

View from the main nave to the ruins of the choir

The timeline on the official website mentions a meeting of 53 Cistercian abbots under the leadership of Abbot Heidenreich and Emperor Otto IV in 1209. Too bad nothing is mentioned of the reason for that meeting, but it surely underlines the importance of Walkenried. Heidenreich initiated the building of a new church in the early Gothic style, an endeavour that was financially supported by Otto.

The new building followed a layout taken from Morimond, a three nave basilica with five bays in the main nave. The eastern part was used for service since 1253, but the entire church would only be finished in 1290. With a length of 90 metres it was one of the largest sacral buildings in northern Germany at that time. The original choir was replaced by an equilateral polygon in the 14th century - some of it is left today.

The double cloister

The enclosure (the cloister with the rooms above, like dormitory, library etc.) was finished in 1330. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic cloisters in Germany with an unusual double-naved northern wing where the gross grain vaults are supported by an additional row of pillars. This part of the cloister is today used as concert hall.

The decline of the monastery began in the 14th century with a crisis of the Harz mines, plague and other problems. The monastery was attacked during the Peasant War in 1525, though the monks had fled and taken most of the valuables and manuscripts with them. But the crossing vault was badly damaged and the church could no longer be used. When the monks returned, they changed the chapter house into a church.

Chapter house

The few remaining monks converted to Protestantism in 1546 and the church was used as quarry. The enclosure housed a Latin school since 1556, and most of the lands were sold or pawned out.

The counts of Hohnstein took over the administration of the monastery in 1578 until the line died out in 1593 and Walkenried fell to the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. An interesting tidbit is that the father of the last count, one Volkmar Wolf of Hohnstein was married to Agnes of Everstein, descendant of the family we have met in Kugelsburg Castle.

(Another shot of the remains of the choir)

Some basic renovations took place in the 19th century to prevent the ruins from tumbling into a heap of debris. The remains of the choir and and the southern nave still made for a picturesque view, and people in the 19th century loved that.

The remains of the church and the enclosure that was still in decent condition have been preserved and renovated since 1977, when the monastery was taken over by the Foundation Braunschweigischer Kulturbesitz. Part of the choir polygon had to be rebuilt to prevent further decline in 1988, and the cloister got glass windows. Archaeological digs showed some foundations of the older Romanesque church.

Today the buildings are still used. The chapter house is a Protestant church, concerts take place in the cloister since 1984, and a new museum about the Cistercians and about the history of Walkenried monastery opened in the rooms above the cloister in 2006. The museum won a few prizes for innovative presentation of history - and rightfully so; the hour we spent there wasn't enough to do it justice, so it's on the Have to Go There Again-list.
 


12/10/2010
  Yet More Castles and Churches

Because we have plenty of both and you keep saying you aren't getting tired of them. So here we go with a fresh batch (only the short version for today).

I found the castles in the south-eastern Harz foothills in ex-East Germany. Castle touring is healthy because the parking lots are always at the bottom of the mountain and you'll have to hike up to the summit where some count or lord built the thing.

Hohnstein Castle, the palas building on a rock

Hohnstein Castle dates back to about 1120, assumeldy founded by Count Konrad of Sangershausen, nephew of the Landgrave of Thuringia. Konrad's heirs increased their influence in the southern Harz area, acquiring more and more land. Hohnstein became their main seat. But divided heritages split the Hohnstein family into several branches and led to a decline in power. Like most Medieaval (and modern) families, they started quarreling among each other, with Hohnstein Castle being the target. It was conquered in 1412 and fell to an ally outside the Hohnstein family.

A veritable maze - remains of Hohnstein Castle

The Hohnstein family died out in 1593 and the castle came to the Count of Stolberg who modernised the defenses and rebuilt the main palas in the Renaissance style. At that time Hohnstein was one of the largest castles in the Harz. Like so many castles it suffered during the Thirty Years War and other wars and was left as a ruin. After the reunion, the remains have been repaired so it's safe to visit the castle today.

The pretty red colour is caused by the porphyry used in building the castle. The rocks beneath it are porphyry as well. The next castle just a few miles from Hohnstein used the same sort of stone.

Castle Ebersburg, the keep

The Ebersburg was built by Hermann I Landgrave of Thuringia between 1180 - 1191. There was a time of splendour in the late 12th / early 13th century, but in the following centuries the castle saw different owners, several times as result of a feud, until the Ebersburg fell into decline in the 16th century. The remains are upkept by the Society for 'lebendiges Mittelalter' (a German variant of the SCA) but there's a lot of work to be done to prevent the ruins from detoriating further - the keep is impressive but tries to imitate the Tower of Pisa.

Chapter Church Bad Gandersheim, the westwork

The Chapter of Gandersheim, a town in the Leine valley on the western side of the Harz, was founded by the Saxon duke Liudolf in 852. It soon developed into an important institution, first as family chapter of the Liudolfing family; since the 13th century as 'free chapter of the realm'. Gandersheim became an important town and was frequently visited by the emperors of the Ottonian and Salian dynasties.

The canonesses, who came from noble families, didn't take vows, could keep private possessions and were free to leave the chapter. But else they led a religious life pretty much like nuns, and the head of the chapter was called abbess. One of the tasks of the canonesses was the education of daughters from noble families. The chapter of Ganderheim existed until 1810.

Chapter Church, view to the abbess' lodge in the westwork

The church is pure Romanesque style (except for the Gothic annexes along the outside of the naves), dating to 1100 - 1168 when it was consecrated. It's a basilica with transepts and a single apse at the eastern end. The so-called Sächsischer Stützenwechsel (Saxon alternating support - one column, two pillars) separates the naves; the main nave has a flat ceiling, the side naves a cross grain vault. The most impressive feature is the westwork with its two towers and the connecting two storey block.

Romanesque church in Clus

The monastery in Clus is the little brother of the church in Gandersheim, founded by the Gandersheim abbess Agnes, a niece of the Emperor Heinrich IV. The church is mostly Romanesque as well (1127 - 1159), except for the Gothic choir from 1485. The westwork lost its southern tower which had been in bad repair. The monastery was abandoned during the reformation in 1596; the buildings that once belonged to the monastery today house a pony farm.

Forest at the Harzhorn

On the way back we made a little detour to the Harzhorn near Kalefeld where the 3rd century Roman battlefield is located. You can't see much without a guided tour because the archaeologists try to cover their traces due to the problems with illegal diggers. So it was more a nice walk along the slope the Romans tried to climb while the Germans shot pointy things from above. What got stuck in the soft earth of the slope were the Roman pointy things, though. So far about 1800 pieces have been found (weapons, coins, a horse skeleton and more). I'll get back to that one.
 


07/10/2010
  Some Experimental Photos

Which is a fancy way to say, 'I just pressed the shutter release and wondered what would come out of it.' It also makes for a lazy post because I had a busy week.

Sometimes it looks like modern art.

Vertigo

A staircase inside the keep of Plesse Castle. The stairs aren't Medieaval, of course. The keep tower has been restored to its original height; the upper part was in ruins in the 19th century.

Sometimes nature assists in creating an interesting photo.

An Ent at work

A tree growing right inside Hardenberg Castle. In a fight of stones and tree roots, the trees win in the long run. Ask Treebeard (that tree looks a lot like one of his friends).

Sometimes the light makes for a cool pic.

A Scherenschnitt

Remains of Walkenried monastery against the afternoon sun. Looks like a Scherenschnitt (paper cutout; it's another word that made it into English together with the craft, obviously).

And there's always the windows views.

Window into the past

Or some forest, at least. It's one of several such photos from all over the place (like the one from Criccieth in the post below). This one is from Scharzfels Castle.

Modern technology can add to an interesting photo as well.

Roman architecture meets the 21st century

The baths in the Archaeological Park Xanten, seen from the second floor of the adjacent museum. The remains of the baths have been covered with an elaborate steel and glass construction in the size of the original rooms.

Sometimes the art is right there.

Chagall Blues

Some of the Chagall windows in the St.Stephanus Church Mainz. Those windows are stunning; photos don't do them justice.

BTW, I may be off to add another castle or two and maybe a Romanesque church to my collection this weekend. The weather finally has turned into golden autumn.
 


01/10/2010
  Castles of the Welsh Princes - The Rise of House Aberffraw in the 12th Century

Reading up on Welsh history makes me suspect it was the Princes of Gwynedd who invented the dysfunctional family and the Plantagenets only copied them. There was a lof of brothers fighting each other, one ending up in exile from where he would promptly return with a fleet (Irish/Norse in most cases), or in prison from which he would escape and manage to find an army somewhere. Adding to this that the English kings and the marcher lords (in particular the Earls of Chester) also played that battle / exile / hostage game, it's surprising that northern Wales saw times of peace at all. But it did.

The Welsh stone castles mostly date to the 13th century, but they make for some nice illustrations nevertheless.

Dolwyddelan Castle

The first ruler of Gwynedd who managed to establish some sort of stability north of the Conwy river was Gruffydd ap Cynan. Gruffydd's mother Ragnhild was a daughter of Olaf of Dublin. Little is known about his father who obviously died while Gruffydd was still very young. Gruffydd made a first attempt to oust his rival Trahaearn ap Caradog from Gwynedd in 1075. He had the aid of his Irish relations and of Robert of Rhuddlan, a Norman lord and cousin of Hugh d'Avranches, Earl of Chester. Some strange alliance that, and it didn't hold. Gruffydd managed to drive Trahaearn out, but tensions arose between the Welsh and Gruffydd's Irish-Danish host. The Welsh rebelled and Trahaearn kicked Gruffydd back to Ireland.

Where he would not stay forever. In 1081, Gruffydd tried his luck again. This time he allied himself with Rhys of Deheubarth, perhaps lectured his Danes about being nice to the Welsh, and killed Trahaearn in the Battle of Mynydd Carn. The Normans didn't like a strong ruler in Gwynedd, though. Earl Hugh of Chester lured Gruffydd to a meeting where the Welsh prince was taken captive. Some say by treason of one of his own men, others blame Robert of Rhuddlan which would make sense because Robert was to gain a nice chunk of land. The Normans extended their supremacy over most of Gwynedd and built several castles in the years to follow.

Criccieth Castle

It's not clear how long Gruffydd stayed in prison in Chester (Ordericus Vitalis in his Historia Ecclesiastica can't make up his mind whether it was 12 or 16 years). Gruffydd eventually managed to escape and participated in the Welsh rebellion in 1094/95. He retreated to Anglesey before Earl Hugh of Chester's advance and had to flee to Ireland. Again. Moreover, Gruffydd had to cross the sea in an open boat. Sounds like fun.

OK, I promise the fourth time will work. This is getting sorta boring. The death of the Earl of Chester in 1101 brought Gruffydd back to Gwynedd and this time he managed to consolidate his power both by war and diplomacy. King Henry I of England, not liking the idea of a strong Welsh ruler, promptly invaded Wales and forced Gruffydd to do homage, but the Welsh prince could keep his possessions. Gruffydd's sons who led the men of their aging father, extended the power of their family further into the south of Wales.

Gruffydd ap Cynan died in 1137 and was buried in Bangor Cathedral.

Bangor Cathedral

His sons Owain and Cadwaladr had an uneasy relationship. Troubles started when Cadwaladr had - for some reason unknown - Owain's ally and brother-in-law to be Anarawd of Deheubarth assassinated. Owain drove his brother out of his lands in Ceredigion; Cadwaladr fled to Ireland but returned and made peace with his brother only to fall foul of Owain again; he fled into exile once more in 1155, this time to England. Well, the latter is at least some change to the routine. *grin*

Owain used the civil war between Stephen and Maud in England to push the borders of his realm further east into Powys, even conquered Rhuddlan Castle in 1154 and came close enough to Chester to make the earl feel uneasy about this neighbour. Not that the latter was anything new, though. Owain also made it into several of Ellis Peters' Cadfael novels.

But when King Henry II of England came to power, matters changed. Henry tried to gain supremacy over Gwynedd with his shiny Norman army, but after he almost managed to get himself killed in the battle of Basingwork in 1157, he decided to resort to diplomacy for a change. "A people called Welsh, so bold and ferocious that, when unarmed, they do not fear to encounter an armed force, being ready to shed their blood in defence of their country, and to sacrifice their lives for renown," he later wrote to the Emperor of Byzantium.

Welsh landscape near Dolwyddelan

The men who gave Henry such a hard time were Owain I of Gwynedd and his son Dafydd. Cadwaladr who meanwhile had married a sister of Gilbert de Clare 2nd Earl of Hertford, fought on Henry's side. Despite his advantageous position, Owain made peace with Henry, rendered homage to the king for Gwynedd, sent two of his sons to England as hostages (not Dafydd, though) and restored Cadwaladr to his share of Gwynedd, probably muttering something about shared heritages being a stupid idea under his breath.

But it turned out Owain had been bidding time. During Henry's quarrel with Thomas Becket, he started a revolt (in 1163), together with Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth. Cadwaladr acted as Owain's second-in-command this time. Wales came up with the best Welsh weather it could manage, and Henry's splendid army got stuck in the morass of a Welsh valley. He could join Varus in blaming the rain, bogs and trees for his defeat. Unfortunately, his Angevin temper got the better of Henry and he had some 20 hostages mutilated, among them Owain's sons.

Owain continued to keep some stability in Gwynedd. No army fought north of the Conwy river in his time. Owain also was the first to call himself Prince of Gwynedd.

Criccieth Castle, view from the outer gatehouse over Tremadog Bay
(No Irish fleet in sight, though.)

When Owain died in 1170, he left behind a few too many sons by several wives and concubines. According to Welsh law, both legitimate and illegitimate sons could inherit, which would lead to trouble in the generations to follow.

Owain had proclaimed Hywel his heir, the surviving son he had with an Irish woman (there's some dispute whether the allegation she was a concubine was not made up by some of the other sons). He most likely wanted to keep the strong connections between the rulers of Gwynedd and the Irish of Dublin intact - you never know when you have to flee there again, lol. Two other sons, Dafydd and Rhodri were the offspring of Owain's marriage to Cristin ferch Goronwy, his cousin once removed; a marriage the Church didn't acknowledge because of consanguinity. The only undisputed legitimate sons were Iorweth and Maelgwyn he had with Gladys ferch Llywarch.

Dolwyddelan Castle, Llywelyn's Keep

Iorweth and Maelgwyn first killed Hywel in a battle. Unfortunately, Iorweth took a fatal wound in that fight himself and died in 1174, leaving his infant son Llywelyn the prey of his big cousins. Llywelyn's mother remarried into a ruling Powys family.

Dafydd, Rhodri and Maelgwyn seem to have shared the lands of their father between them (with several other half-brothers getting little bits as well), but soon Dafydd drove Maelgwyn out of Anglesey. His further fate is not know, though he probably fled to Ireland. Next Dafydd "seized through treason" his brother Rhodri and imprisoned him.

You know the routine by now, don't you? Rhodri escaped from prison in 1175, gathered an army and drove Dafydd out of Anglesey. The brothers decided to divide the lands between them - Dafydd got the lands north of the Conwy river to the Dee, and Rhodri got Anglesey and the lands south of the Conwy - an arrangement that would surprisngly hold almost 20 years. It was not Dafydd who caused trouble but the sons of another half-brother, Cynan, who chased Rhodri into exile on Man in 1194.

View from Anglesey to the mainland

The man who would cause Dafydd's downfall was his nephew Llywelyn.

Llywelyn 'the Great' also built Dolwyddelan Castle and parts of Criccieth Castle we can see today. There will be more about him and his dysfunctional sons in another post.


Sources:
R.R. Davies, The Age of Conquest, Oxford 1987, repr. 2000
 




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.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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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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The Mithraeum of Brocolita
Mithras Altars in Germania
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Germania

Attempted Conquest

Romans at Lippe and Ems
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Varus Statue, Haltern am See

Romans at the Weser
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Weapon Finds

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Osterburken
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The Cohort castellum
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Saalburg
Introduction
Main Gate
Shrine of the Standards
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The vicus

The Cavalry Fort in Aalen
The Fort in Aalen - Barracks

Romans at the Rhine

Settlements and vici
Boppard - A 4th Century Roman Fort

The villa rustica in Wachenheim
Introduction
Baths and Toilets
The Cellar

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Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten)
History of the Town
The Amphitheatre in Birten

Moguntiacum (Mainz)
The Temple of Isis and Mater Magna


Gallia Belgica
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Roman Towns

Atuatuca Tungrorum (Tongeren / Belgium)
Roman Remains in Tongeren

Augusta Treverorum (Trier / Germany)
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Porta Nigra - Roman Times
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Building the Wall
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Wall Forts - Banna (Birdoswald)
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Forts - Segedunum (Wallsend)
Introduction
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The Baths

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The Signal Station at Scarborough

Roman Towns

Eboracum (York)
Bath in the Fortress
Multiangular Tower

The Romans in Wales

Roman Forts - Isca (Caerleon)
The Amphitheatre
The Baths in the Legionary Fort


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Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
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The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Historical Context
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Craftmanship

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Germany

Towns

Braunschweig
Medieaval Braunschweig, Introduction
Lion Benches in the Castle Square
The Quadriga

Erfurt
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Erfurt

Magdeburg
Magdeburg Cathedral
St.Mary's Abbey - An Austere Archbishop
St.Mary's Abbey - Reformation to Reunion

Paderborn
Town Portrait

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

Xanten
Town Portrait
The Gothic House

Towns in the Harz

Goslar
Town Portrait

Quedlinburg
Town Portrait
The Chapter Church

Towns of the Hanseatic League

Lübeck
St. Mary's Church, Introduction

Stralsund
The Harbour

Wismar
The Old Harbour

Castles and Fortresses

Castles in Bavaria

Coburg Fortress
The History of the Fortress
The Architecture

Castles in the Harz

Ebersburg
The Architecture
Power Base of the Thuringian Landgraves
The Marshals of Ebersburg

Harzburg
The Harzburg and Otto IV

Hohnstein
Origins of the Counts of Hohnstein
The Family Between Welfen and Staufen
A Time of Feuds (14th-15th century)

Regenstein
Introduction
The Time of Henry the Lion

Scharzfels
Introduction
History

Hidden Treasures
The Stauffenburg near Seesen

Castles in Hessia

Castles in Northern Hessia
Grebenstein
Reichenbach
Sichelnstein

Kugelsburg
The Counts of Everstein
Troubled Times
War and Decline

Weidelsburg
The History of the Castle
The Architecture
The Castle After the Restoration

Castles in Lower Saxony

Adelebsen / Hardeg
The Keep of Adelebsen Castle
The Great Hall of Hardeg Castle

Hardenberg
Introduction

Plesse
Rise and Fall of the Counts of Winzenburg
The Lords of Plesse
Architecture / Decline and Rediscovery

Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat
Grubenhagen

Castles in Thuringia

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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Outbuilding 'Shepherd's Barn'

Polle
The Castle and its History
Views from the Keep

Sababurg / Trendelburg
Two Fairy Tale Castles

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Churches in the Harz

Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
Development of the Cave Church

Walkenried Monastery
From Monastery to Museum

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Königslutter
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Cloister

Wiebrechtshausen
Nunnery and Ducal Burial

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Göllingen Monastery
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Heiligenstadt
St.Martin's Church
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Churches at the Weser

Bursfelde Abbey
Early History

Fredelsloh Chapter Church
History and Architecture

Helmarshausen
Remains of the Monastery

Lippoldsberg Abbey
History
Interior

Vernawahlshausen
Mediaeval Murals

Reconstructed Sites

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

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

Miscellanea

Other Mediaeval Buildings
Lorsch, Gate Hall
Palatine Seat and Monastery Pöhlde

Along Weser and Werra
Bad Karlshafen
Hannoversch-Münden
Uslar
Treffurt
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk


England

Towns

Chester
A Walk Through the Town

Hexham
Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower, Part 1
Clifford Tower, Part 2
Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
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Old Town
Along the Ouse River

Castles

Castles in Cumbria

Carlisle
Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

Castles in Northumbria and Yorkshire

Alnwick
Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

Richmond
From the Conquest to King John

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

Churches and Cathedrals

Hexham Abbey
Introduction

York Minster
Architecture


Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

Central Scotland

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

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
Castles Seen from Afar

Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

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

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Other Historical Sites

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Wales

Towns

Walks in Welsh Towns
Aberystwyth: Castle and Coast
Caerleon: The Ffwrwm
Conwy: The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Edwardian Castles

Beaumaris
The Historical Context
The Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Conwy
The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Norman Castles

Cardiff
History

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

Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings


Scandinavia

Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Defense over the Centuries
Akershus Fortress: Middle Ages
Akershus Fortress: Architectural Development
Vardøhus Fortress

Sweden

Towns

Stockholm
The Vasa Museum


Russia

The Splendour of St.Petersburg

Cathedrals
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral

The Neva
Impressions from the The Neva River


Poland and the Baltic States

Lithuania

Historical Landscapes
The Curonian Spit


Belgium and Luxembourg

Belgium / Flanders

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains

Luxembourg

Luxembourg City

A Virtual Town Tour


France

Strasbourg
A Virtual Walk through the Town


Other Times

Prehistoric Times to Iron Age

Ages of Stone and Bronze

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

From Stone to Bronze
Paleolithic Cave 'Steinkirche' in the Harz mountains
Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar - Introduction
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
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg


- Germany
- United Kingdom
- Scandinavia
- Baltic Sea


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
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Sea Stones, Kitzkammer, Heldrastein
'Hessian Switzerland'
Karst Dolines and Kalbe Lake

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

Rivers and Lakes
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

Seasons and More

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

Summer
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Summer Thunderstorms

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

Winter
Advent Impressions
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
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Experimental
Alien Architecture
Carved Monsters in Cathedrals
Llama, Llama
Odd Angles
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
Culture and Nature in Norway
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
Along the Coast - 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


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)


*********************

Links leading outside my blog will open in a new window. I do not take any responsibility for the content of linked sites.

History Blogs - Ancient

Roman History Today
Ancient Times (Mary Harrsch)
Bread and Circuses (Adrian Murdoch)
Following Hadrian (Carole Raddato)
Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog
Mos Maiorum - Der römische Weg
Per Lineam Valli (M.C. Bishop)
Zenobia (Judith Weingarten)

Digging Up Fun Stuff
The Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog
Arkeologi i Nord
The Journal of Antiquities (Britain)
The Northern Antiquarian
The Roman Archaeology Blog

History Blogs - Mediaeval

Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic Blog
Casting Light upon the Shadow (A. Whitehead)
Norse and Viking Ramblings
Outtakes of a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

Beholden Ye Aulde Blogges
A Clerk of Oxford
Daily Medieval
Historical Britain Blog (Mercedes Rochelle)
Magistra et Mater (Rachel Stone)
Michelle of Heavenfield (Michelle Ziegler)
Senchus (Tim Clarkson)

Royal and Other Troubles
Edward II (Kathryn Warner)
Henry the Young King (Kasia Ogrodnik)
Piers Gaveston (Anerje)
Lady Despenser's Scribery
Simon de Montfort (Darren Baker)
Weaving the Tapestry (Scottish Houses Dunkeld and Stewart)

A Mixed Bag of History
English Historical Fiction Authors
The Freelance History Writer (Susan Abernethy)
The History Blog
History, the Interesting Bits (S.B. Connolly)
Mediaeval Manuscripts Blog
Mediaeval News (Niall O'Brian)
Time Present and Time Past (Mark Patton)

Thoughts and Images

Reading and Reviews
Black Gate Blog
The Blog That Time Forgot (Al Harron)
Parmenion Books
Reading the Past
The Wertzone

Imaginations
David Blixt
Ex Urbe (Ada Palmer)
Constance A. Brewer
Jenny Dolfen Illustrations
Wild and Wonderful (Caroline Gill)

German Travel Blogs
Alte Steine
Blickgewinkelt
Meerblog
Reiseaufnahmen
Sonne und Wolken
Teilzeitreisender
Travelita
Unterwegs und Daheim

Highland Mountains
The Hazel Tree (Jo Woolf)
Helen in Wales
Mountains and Sea Scotland

The Colours of the World
Shutterbugs


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
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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