My History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


27/09/2014
  Hobbit Dwellings, Brigands' Lairs, Glacier Mills and Other Fun

My father and I went to Halberstadt and surroundings for a few days to explore a bit more of the eastern Harz mountains and the lands around. Historically, this is the area where the Ottonian and Salian emperors had some of their ancestral lands, and spent a lot of time. Hiking around we came up with more fun than just old churches, though.

A Brigands' Lair - the Daneil Cave in the Huy Mountain

This cave can be found in the Huy mountain, a sandstone ridge now grown with beeches. There is a legend about an abducted maiden who was forced to work for a gang of evil robbers until she managed to escape, alert the village and give the guys their just dessert. The place has been lived in, maybe even by some unsavoury guys, but there are no documents about a veritable brigand gang harrassing the surroundings for years.

The cave houses in Langenstein

Here we got some 19th century Hobbit dwellings. *grin* They can be found in several places in the village of Langenstein. Some of these go back to the 12th century and were successively expanded. The last inhabitant left his cave in 1916. They were actually up to the living standard of the time, cool in summer and warm enough in winter thanks to ovens. The toilets were outside in the (in)famous plank huts.

One of the houses, interior (the kitchen; important in a hobbit hole)

The caves are of varying size; the average is 30 square metres for a family, with a kitchen and larder, a living room, and sleeping quarters. The caves were not poor man's hovels, but respectable housings for the working class. Several of them have been lovingly restored and equipped with old-fashioned furniture.

A very crazy way through sandstone cliffs

This crazy way leads through the red sandstone and musselkalk of the Huy mountain up to the remains of a castle. There are caves here, too, those dating back to the time of the Germanic tribes living here in pre-Roman times. They too, have been used until the 20th century, but they are larger and less comfortable, with no separate rooms. The last people to live there were some refugees from WW2 (until better places could be found for them).

Remains of Castle Langenstein (pretty much all there is)

At the end of the crazy way are some bits of castle wall. Castle Langenstein was built by the bishop of Halberstadt in the 12th century and once was a large and imposing structure covering the entire plateau of the hill. It was destroyed during the thirty Years War and used as quarry afterwards. Today only a section of a wall with the window opening is left. But the view over the land all the way to Halberstadt is nice.

Outline of a prehistoric longhouse

These are the outlines of a longhouse from the early Bronze Age (2300 - 1800 BC) near Benzingerode. When the new interstate was built, lots of prehistoric finds came up that are now spread to several museums. The area is not so far from the place where the famous Nebra disc has been found - quite a busy place some 4000 years ago. There are several menhirs in the surrounding fields, but no longer accessible. Since people kept stomping over the fields with no regard for the corn, the farmers fenced them in.

A glacier mill in the Huy Mountain

This bit of geological fun can be found in the Huy mountain ridge. Glacier mills are the result of cracks in the ground where glaciers slowly pushed forward. Melting water and small debris would run down those cracks and over time, carve canons, where the small stones washed out kettle shaped holes, the glacier mills. The mills in the Huy date back to the Saalian stage of the Ice Ages (352,000 - 130,000 years ago) and are the only ones to be found in Germany outside the Alps.

A river in the Harz

A typical Harz river, clear and cold, running over boulders.

BTW Don't miss the post below about further photo booty. :-)
 


  Cool Castles, Pretty Towns, and More Churches

Here are some more interesting places we visited during our little autumn tour around Halberstadt in the Harz; a new addition to my ever growing collection of photos for future posts (more can be found here)..

Moated castle Westerburg

The Westernburg is the oldest moated castle in Germany that is still intact. It is first mentioned as fief of the Counts of Regenstein in 1180. When the family died out, the castle changed possession several times until it came into the hands of the administration in Halberstadt. Today it houses a spa hotel, but is still accessible for visitors, and they serve some good ice cream. *grin*

Westerburg, inside view

The ringwall with two water filled trenches encloses an areal of 350x300 metres; the castle itself is 60x80 metres, with the houses built directly to the two metres thick curtain wall, and a round keep in the western part. Later, a square shaped set of buildings was added to the west; used as living quarters since the Renaissance.

Castle Lauenburg, the inner gate (with an Ent at work *wink*)

Much less is left of the Lauenburg, another of our typical hilltop castles. Castle Lauenburg was built by Heinrich IV in 1164 as part of a chain of Harz castles which also included the Harzburg. One of its functions was the protection of the town of Quedlinburg (where I've been a few years ago). Friedrich Barbarossa conquered the castle during his war against Heinrich the Lion (1180); it was destroyed already in the 14th century.

Lauenburg, keep of the outer bailey

The entire complex was once 350 metres long (that's coming close to some Norman whoppers like Chepstow), covering the Ramberg hilltop. The castle is divided in an outer bailey (Vorbug) sitting on its own peak with a still somewhat intact keep, and the main castle on the promontory, both separated by a natural trench and additional walls. The 140 metres long main castle was again separated into three baileys with two keeps.

Stolberg / Harz

Stolberg is a small town in the Harz where my father spent some holidays as child. It's always nice coming back to it after the debris left behind by years of GDR mismanagement has been turned into beautiful houses again. The town started as settlement connected to mining in the Harz mountains in AD 1000, and was in possession of the Counts of Stolberg since the 12th century. The Stolberg family held the castle (nowadays a Renaissance building on a hill above the town) until 1945.

Wernigerode / Harz, the town hall

Wernigerode is one of those towns full of pretty half timbered houses, and the town hall is particularly beautiful. The origins of the town cannot be traced before it appears in documents in 1121, when the then-to-be-called Counts of Wernigerode took their seat there. The place got town rights in 1229. After the Wernigerode line died out in 1429, the town came into possession of the Counts of Stolberg until 1714 when it became part of Preussen.

The cathedral in Halberstadt

The cathedral in Halberstadt is a predominately Gothic building that replaced an older church which was destroyed during Heinrich the Lion's wars with Friedrich Barbarossa. The main nave dates to 1260 and is influenced by the French style, but shortage of money led to delays, so the cathedral was finished only in the 14th century with the old Romanesque quire still in use until 1350 when it was replaced with a Gothic one. The transepts were added in 1491. Some things never change. ;-)

Halberstadt, Church of Our Lady, main nave

The Church of Our Lady in Halberstadt is a fine example of a four towered Romanesque church, dating back to 1005 albeit with changes in the 12th century (addition of the side naves), and again in the 14th century (cross grain vaulted ceiling to replace the former timber one). Even younger alterations during the 19th century historicism (wannabe Middle Ages style) have partly been deconstructed in the renovations post-WW2.

Benedictine monastery Huysburg

Huysburg Monastery was founded in 1080 as Benedictine monastery by Bishop Burchard of Halberstadt. It fell to the secularization in 1804, but became a monastery again in 1972; the only Benedictine monastery in the GDR. The church is a Romanesque basilica (unfortunately with Baroque bling inside). Other buildings have been added over the centuries; some of them serve as guest houses and meeting rooms today.
 


14/09/2014
  Castle Plesse (Part 1) - Rise and Fall of the Counts of Winzenburg

Castle Plesse near my hometown Göttingen is a fine example of a typical Mediaeval hilltop castle. Though pretty large for the area and extended over time, The Plesse as it is called, is not as formidable as the Norman castles in Wales, or the Wartburg in Thuringia, but it's also less tourist infected. The manor of the lord has been reconstructed and holds a restaurant, but it's closed on Mondays, so I chose a Monday to visit the place.

Plesse, the main keep

The rise of the mountain castles falls into a period of internal struggles and changes in Germany. Kings, nobility and high ranking churchmen got into conflicts with each other in the 11th century, which finally led to a stronger position for the latter two, and a weakened king. Castles were not only built for defense, but were status symbols as well. Originally, only the king had the right to build castles; he then gave them to the nobles as fiefs or sometimes allodial possessions, but now whoever had the power and the means built castles. Soon Mediaeval German lords couldn't see a hill without wanting to get a castle up there. *grin* No wonder I have six of them within half an hours driving distance.

Main keep in the centre and the hall to the left

As so often in the Middle Ages, we don't have an exact date when the first castle was erected on the Plesse mountain. The first mention in a charte dates from 1138 and names a Burggraf (Lord Commander) Robert who was commanding the garrison on behalf of Count Hermann of Winzenburg who held the Plesse as fief, but the origins of the castle likely date back to the 11th century, because it shares many features with other hilltop / promontory castles in Thuringia, Lower Saxony and Northern Hessia that have been built in the second half of the 11th century.

(Left: The so-called Little Tower)

It cannot be verified that the Castle Plesse - 'urbs qui Plesse dicitur' (1)- mentioned in a Vita of Bishop Meinwerk of Paderborn is the same as our Plesse. Meinwerk was a member of the House Immeding, an important noble family in the 10th and 11th centuries (Mathilde, the wife of Heinrich the Fowler and mother of Otto the Great, came from that house) who held land in the area. The Vita says that in 1015 he gave the Plesse and 1,100 hides of land to the cathedral in Paderborn, but the name 'Plesse' is ambiguous and the Vita Meinwerci dates from 1160 and therefore could either have confused two places, or deliberately backdated the existence of the castle to cement the claim of the bishopric; it would not have been the first case in history. ;-)

But it seems that Paderborn indeed held rights to the castle. The castle is mentioned in an exchange contract between Emperor Heinrich VI and the bishop of Paderborn dating to 1192, but which was annulled a few years later; and as late as 1326, bishop Bernhard of Paderborn gives "half of the castle and the tower therein" as fief to the Lord of Plesse.

The first owner of the Plesse to appear in a number of chartes was Count Hermann II of Winzenburg-Reinhausen († 1152) who had bits of land spread over a rather large area from the Weser and Kassel, to the lands around Göttingen, and the Harz. His main seat was the Winzenburg near Hildesheim, held as fief from the bishop of Hildesheim. He used the name 'of Plesse' in several chartes which implies that it was one of his more important castles. The above mentioned Lord Commander Robert held the Plesse for him.

Family names in our sense did not exist in the 12th century and the denomination after one seat of a family became common but later. the chatellain Robert signed as comes castelli di Plesse as well as Hermann of Winzenburg sometimes did. They often appear in chartes together, with Hermann the first and Robert the second witness; proof for their close feudal relationship. The use of a single name - Hermann of Winzenburg - is a modern construct to make it easier to keep track of the noble families.

Plesse, outer gate
(The white structure you can see gleaming through the foliage is the reconstructed keep)

It is often difficult to trace the rise of a noble family from documents which still exist, so they seem to appear out of nowhere once they become major players and are mentioned in chronicles, chartes and such. The Counts of Winzenburg are such an example. Hermann I of Winzenburg (1083 - 1138) was the son of Count Hermann of Formbach (near Passau / Bavaria) and Mathilde of Reinhausen (near Göttingen) which casts an interesting light on the scope of marriage connections. When Count Hermann of Reinhausen († 1122) left no male heirs, Hermann of Winzenburg inherited from his mother not only some nice bits of land in Lower Saxony, but also became count of Reinhausen and margrave of the Leine Valley as well as reeve of Reinhausen Monastery. The construction - or, in case the castle is older, a thorough renovation - of Castle Plesse likely falls into this time.

(Right: another view of the main keep)

Hermann of Winzenburg-Reinhausen, educated as boy by his uncle, bishop Udo of Hildesheim, was a member of the close entourage of Emperor Heinrich V (2); he accompagnied him to Italy in 1111, and fought for the emperor during the feud with the rebellious Saxon and Thuringian nobles. I won't go into detail here, but after his coronation as emperor, Heinrich V asserted his power more strongly and alienated several high ranking nobles, among them Duke Lothar of Saxony (3) and Landgrave Ludwig of Thuringia. Heinrich won an important miliary encounter and accepted their formal submission, the deditio, during the great diet in Mainz in January 1114 where he married Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England and Normandy. Lothar, barefoot and in a penitent's robe, threw himself at Heinrich's feet and was received back into grace and his possessions. Ludwig of Thuringia was taken prisoner and put in irons - obviously against prior agreements. Several nobles left the diet in protest; a highly significant action in the Middle Ages.

One may wonder what young Matilda (she was 12 at the time) thought about the events. If she learned to be uncompromising there, she missed the second part of the lesson. Lothar of Saxony turned against the emperor the moment he put a foot in his own dukedom, and easily gained followers in Saxony and Thuringia, among them the bishop of Halberstadt. The sons of the landgrave managed to capture some of Heinrich's men and put them in exchange for Ludwig's freedom.

In February 1115, a battle was fought near Mansfeld (south-eastern foothills of the Harz) which turned out a decisive victory for Lothar. Heinrich's commander Hoyer of Mansfield fell, and Hermann of Winzenburg soon thereafter joined Lothar's alliance. The move is understandable since his lands lay in the sphere of influence of Lothar, and Heinrich V was in no position to defend his former vassal. Saxony was effectively lost to him.

Heinrich concentrated his activities in southern Germany and Italy, and one attempt to support his father-in-law in Normandy, which went wrong when his army met with a larger French one and Heinrich went back home (August 1124; 4). Heinrich died in May 1125 and was succeeded by his old nemesis, Lothar of Süpplingenburg Duke of Saxony. The princes of the realm elected him in favour of Heinrich's nephew Friedrich of Staufen Duke of Swabia.

Second gate with gatehouse

Hermann I of Winzenburg seems to have kept a good relationship with Lothar at first. They were distant relations; Lothar's mother Hedwig of Formbach was a cousin twice removed of Hermann. But eventually, things turned sour. The information I could find was not verifiable in detail, so I'll stick to the basics (5). What we do know is that Hermann assassinated - or had his retainers assassinate - Burchard of Loccum, who may or may not have been his a vassal, but who definitely stood well enough with Lothar for the incident to cause major troubles. The reason seems to have been the buidling of a castle on ground that didn't belong to Burchard, at least Hermann claimed it was his land. What makes it worse is that the murder allegedly took place on sacred ground.

So Lothar called Hermann of Winzenburg to justice at the diet of Quedlinburg in August 1130. Hermann lost most of his fiefs, including the Winzenburg lands which fell back to Hildesheim. Hermann didn't give in so easily and held out against a besieging army in Winzenburg Castle for several months (6). He finally surrendered at the end of 1130 and was held captive in Blankenburg for some time. His sons, Hermann and Heinrich, sought refuge in the Rhineland. That's one of the pieces that didn't become clear to me - maybe they joined Friedrich and Konrad of Staufen who were not happy about Lothar being king (and emperor since 1133).

According to abbot Reinhard of Reinhausen, Hermann was released in 1134 and entrusted with the command of Castle Segeberg in Holstein where he died in 1137/38. Reinhard's text dates to shortly before 1156. There is no other proof for Hermann's activity in Holstein, though, and the unclear date of his death doesn't help.

Plesse Castle, outer curtain wall

But whatever the situation of the family prior to 1138, at that time Hermann II had received at least Castle Plesse back from the bishop of Paderborn, because it is during the following years that he prefers the denomination 'of Plesse' (Hermannus comes de Plessa) to the name 'of Winzenburg' since that fief had not been returned to him.

Obviously, King Konrad III, the first king and emperor of the House Staufen, needed allies to balance the increasing power of the rival House Welfen, and the Winzenburg brothers were on the rise again. Hermann became a vassal of the archbishop of Mainz, married Elisabeth of Austria, a half-sister to Konrad (in 1142; 7), and was in the entourage of the king at times.

Hermann finally managed to receive the Winzenburg fief back from Hildesheim in May 1150, though Bishop Bernhard is said to have put several 'good behaviour'-clauses in the contract. I wish I could get my hands on whatever documents still exist.

Great Hall (which today houses a restaurant)

The role of Hermann II of Winzenburg in the Northeim heritage troubles can be traced rather well. When Siegfried IV of Boyneburg-Northeim died in 1144 without issue, Hermann's brother Heinrich married his widow Richenza and thus got his hands on the Northeim heritage, the allodial possessions of Boyneburg and the fiefs they held from the archbishop of Mainz. Without that marriage, the next heir would have been Heinrich the Lion, the grandson of Richenza of Northeim (not the same as the widow) and Lothar of Süpplingenburg - their daughter Gertrud had married Heinrich's father, Henrich the Proud of Bavaria.

Heinrich of Winzenburg (also known as Heinrich of Assel after his mother's family) died already in 1146, so Hermann bought the part of the widow's heritage which she could legally dispose of. Which makes me wonder where he got the money from; his own fiefs at the time were not so large. Maybe he had a hand in the salt works in Göttingen or some other source like silver mines. Hermann also was granted the fiefs which Siegfried held from the king (8). The fiefs Siegfried once held from Mainz seem to have been so important to Hermann that he gave the family monastery of Reinhausen in exchange for their grant.

Overall, Hermann II Count of Winzenburg balanced some of the influence of the expanding Welfen in the area which may have been the reason Konrad supported him so strongly.

Gate to the lower bailey

But the return of Winzenburg Castle would not bring Hermann any luck. In January 1152, he and his third wife were murdered in the castle. The men behind it are said to have been the bishop of Hildesheim (one of his retainers was decapitated for the crime) and one Count Heinrich of Bodenburg, who lost a juridical duel and retired, severely wounded, to a monastery. Again, detailed and reliable information could not be obtained.

With Hermann's death, the Northeim-Winzenburg heritage fell to Heinrich the Lion.

The Lord Commander Robert of Plesse had disappeared from the chartes some time ago. At latest in 1150, a Bernhard of Höckelheim had replaced him, first as vassal of Hermann of Winzenburg, but later he held the fief directly from Paderborn. He would found the line of the Noble Lords of Plesse.

View from the Plesse

Footnotes
1) The Latin urbs can mean 'castle' or 'settlement' in the Middle Ages
2) The interwebs, as so often, gets things wrong and spreads the information that Hermann I of Winzenburg was landgrave of Thuringia in several linked articles. I could not find anything to support that in my research books. At best we find that, according to Warsitzka, the position of Hermann "came close to that of a landgrave" (p. 54).
3) Lothar of Süpplingenburg, the future Emperor Lothar. He had received the dukedom after the Billung family died out in the male line. Obviously, Heinrich V had thought that a man with less land to his own than the Billung family would prove more malleable. Turned out Heinrich was wrong there.
4) Heinrich may have hoped for the English throne for himself or a son with Matilda after the sinking of the White Ship in 1120.
5) Not only is the information about Bernhard of Loccum obscure, there is also a mess about the Hermanns of Winzenburg. Obviously, the death of Hermann of Reinhausen in 1122 has been confused with that of Hermann I of Winzenburg (1137 or 1138), so that some texts wrongly ascribe the events to Hermann II of Winzenburg-Reinhausen; a mistake even shared by Warsitzka. Though due to the way those guys called themselves alternately 'of Winzenburg, of Reinhausen, of Plesse' or any combination thereof, the confusion may be excused.
6) Which implies that he did not appear at the diet in person, but was condemned in absentia.
7) Agnes of Waiblingen was both their mother, first married to Friedrich I Duke of Swabia and then to Leopold III of Austria. One of Elisabeth's sisters, Gertrud of Babenberg, married Vladislav of Bohemia, another one, also named Agnes, married another Vladislav, Władysław of Poland. Geez people, get a baby name book. :-)
8) I could not find out whether he got them as direct successor of Siegfried or of his brother Heinrich. In the first case, the fiefs would have fallen home to the king and I'm not sure he kept them for two years. Fiefs were a common way to reward vassals. Or maybe Hermann had to earn them somehow.

Literature
Gerd Althoff: Heinrich V (1106-1125), in: Bernd Schneidmüller/ Stefan Weinfurter (ed.), Die deutschen Herrscher des Mittelalters. Historische Portraits von Heinrich I. bis Maximilian I. (919–1519), Munich 2003, p. 180-200
Gerd Althoff: Lothar III. (1125–1137), in: Bernd Schneidmüller/ Stefan Weinfurter (ed.), Die deutschen Herrscher des Mittelalters, p. 201–216
Gerd Althoff: Konrad III. (1138-1152), in: Bernd Schneidmüller/ Stefan Weinfurter (ed.), Die deutschen Herrscher des Mittelalters. p. 217-231
Wolfgang Petke: Stiftung und Reform von Reinhausen und die Burgenpolitik der Grafen von Winzenburg im hochmittelalterlichen Sachsen, in: Peter Aufgebauer (ed.): Burgenforschung in Südniedersachsen, Göttingen 2001, p. 65–96.
Wilfried Warsitzka: Die Thüringer Landgrafen. 2nd revised edition, Erfurt 2009
 




The Lost Fort is a history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history and architecture, as well as some Geology, illustrated with my own photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, pretty towns and beautiful landscapes.

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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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The Nydam Ship

Miscellanea

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

Along Weser and Werra
Uslar - Pretty Old Houses
Treffurt - A Walk through the Town
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk


England

Towns

Chester
A Virtual Tour of the Town

Hexham
Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower
Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
Museum Gardens
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
From Henry III to the Tudors

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 Tour of the Town


France

Strasbourg
A Virtual Tour of the Town


Other Times

Neolithicum 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
The Flensburg Firth
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
River of the Greenest Shores - The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut

Parks and Palaces
Botanical Garden Göttingen
Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Wilhelmsthal Palace and Gardens

Wildlife
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Seasons

Spring
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath (Meissner)

Summer
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016

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

Winter
Spectacular Sunset
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Winter Wonderland - Views from my Balcony


Across the Channel - United Kingdom

Mountains and Valleys
Sheep Grazing Among Roman Remains
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
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


Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea Cruise

Lithuania

Nida and the Curonian Spit
Beaches at the Curonian Spit




Historia
Geologia

Comblogium (Blog Roll)
Conexiones (Links)

- Roman History
- Mediaeval History
- Other Times / 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 Dukes of Brittany and the Honour of Richmond

From Henry III to the War of the Roses

Great Fiefs
The Earldom of Richmond and the Duchy 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 / Miscellanea

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Scandinavia and Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Life in Skara Brae
Ship Setting on Gotland

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 Literature and Music

History in Literature

Biographies of German Poets and Writers
Theodor Fontane

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane (my translation)
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

My own Novels in Progress
The Roman Trilogy
The Saga of House Sichelstein
Kings and Rebels

History in Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

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


Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit

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

Palaeontology

Fossils
Ammonites


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

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)
Viking Strathclyde (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
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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