The Lost Fort

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


25 May 2012
  A Baltic Sea Cruise

I'm back from my cruise which took place on a smaller ship than the usual monsters (800 passengers maximum) and therefore was a lot more fun for me. As usual, I got a truckload of photos. So here's the traditional overview post of the places I've visited.

Visby and Gotland's west coast (Sweden)

A Medieaval town that belonged to the Hanseatic League and to the Gotland Trade League before, with some well conserved town fortifications, a cathedral, nice old houses (trade made for rich merchants who in turn built pretty houses to show off), and a few ruins.

Visby, the town walls

I took a bus tour along part of the west coast of Gotland so I could catch some impressions of the landscape, too. We had some interesting stops; one of them the ship setting at Gnisvärd. The flip side to guided tours are the other people in the group, but I managed to keep their appearance on photos to a minimum.

Bronze Age ship setting

Stockholm, and Stockholm Archipelago

I've lived there back in the 80ies. It was nice to revisit the place. The sun played along, too, as it did most of the tour. No grey and stormy Baltic Sea photos, I'm afraid. Well, we got some of those along the Norwegian coast last year.

Stockholm, the town hall

One place was new to me; the Vasa Museum where Gustav Adolf's flagship, which had sunk in Stockholm harbour in 1628 and was resurrected in the 1950ies, is now displayed in full splendour after years of conservation and reconstruction work.

The Vasa

Our ship cruised the archipelago in the evening which made for some great motives There are about 2400 islands of all sizes from several square miles to 'just a boulder with a fir tree', and on the larger ones, many Swedes have summer houses.

Romantic islands in the evening sun

Helsinki and Porvoo (Finland)

Helsinki is a rather young town, compared to places like Visby, but there was a tour to nearby Porvoo, a small Mediaeval town with pretty timber houses which, albeit not exactly Mediaeval (those had a habit of burning down during history), give the place an old fashioned, charming flair.

Helsinki Cathedral

St.Petersburg (Russia)

We stayed in St.Petersburg for two days. It's the time of the white nights now when it doesn't get fully dark, but twilight remains. It was unusually warm, too. Petersburg is a town of cathedrals with golden cupolas, splendid palaces, kitch vendors, and cars. I bet London has nothing to the chaos on the roads in St.Petersburg.

Church of Christ's Resurrection

The town is also bascially built on a swamp by Peter the Great, and it's a place with a history of assassinations. The above church was erected on the spot where Tsar Alexander I got killed, and Tsar Paul wasn't safe in his pretty palace below, either. I took an evening cruise on the many canals that cut through Petersburg which was a nice change to the road traffic. Here are some impressions from the Neva.

Palace of Tsar Paul

Tallinn (Estonia)

Another Hanseatic town, known as Reval when most of the territory of todays Baltic States was in the hands of the German Hanseatic League and the Teutonic Knights.

Tallinn, view from the Upper Town to the Old Town

Riga (Latvia)

Another member of the Hanesatic League. It is amazing how fast those towns managed to repair their historical sites that often had been damaged or destroyed during WW2 and neglected during the Sovjet area. Tallinn, Riga and Gdansk all have World Heritage status today. And the beer is still cheaper than in Germany. *grin*

Riga, House of the Black Brotherhood

Curonian Spit and Nida (Lithuania)

The Curonian Spit (Kurische Nehrung) is a 98 km long dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. To prevent the dunes from covering everything, a reforesting program had been established in the 19th century, and today there are birch and pine woods, but still a lot of sand, too.

The Geat Dune

And some pretty villages like Nida (formerly Nidden) which had been a summer residence of rich Germans post WW2. The writer Thomas Mann spent some time there, and it would still make a good writer's retreat today; the place is very quiet, with the lagoon on one side and only a mile or so to the Baltic Sea.

A fisherman's hut in Nida

Gdańsk and Malbork Castle (Poland)

Gdańsk is another town with a great Hanseatic tradition and lots of beautiful old houses as well as an interesting cathedral. It's also a centre of amber working and amber trade, in good Medieaval tradition when amber was one of its main export articles. Yes, I got me a bracelet.

Gabled houses in Gdańsk

Amber trade was in the hands of the Teutonic Knights, and boy, did they build a whopping big castle a bit inland. Sorry, Edward I, but your Welsh castles have nothing to the Marienburg (Malbork Castle). I was lucky to be able to spend several hours there, exploring at least part of it.

Marienburg (Malbork) Castle, middle and inner bailey

Kiel Canal (Germany)

Better know as Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in Germany. Since our ship sailed off from Bremerhaven at the North Sea, we had to cross the canal to get to the Baltic Sea (it's much shorter than rounding the entire peninsula), and on the way back it took place mostly during daylight. It was almost like a river cruise.

Traffic on the Kiel Canal

Bremen (Germany)

On the way back, I stopped in Bremen for a few hours, to add another Hanseatic town to my collection. Its Renaissance town hall is one of the most beautiful in Europe, and there's a cathedral and some narrow streets with old houses as well.

Bremen, the town hall

Blog fodder for months to come, and I haven't even finished all posts about the Welsh castles from 2008. *sigh*
 
Comments:
Wow, what a great trip. St Petersburg is somewhere I'm really keen to visit, as well as the capitals of the Baltic states!
 
Welcome back, Gabriele! Some fabulous photos in these two posts. I'll look forward to more :-)
 
Some neat photos in these two posts. Thanks for sharing!
 
Visby. A great shame that....
 
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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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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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Staffa
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Wild Wales - With Castles
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Sea Gulls


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Along the Coast of Norway - 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


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
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Mediaeval History
General Essays

By Country
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Other Times
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Miscellanea
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Roman History

General Essays

The Romans at War

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Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
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The pilum
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Life and Religion

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Isis Worship
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Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
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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
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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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