Illustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History


30/10/2015
  A Belligerent Knight and a Faithful Wife - The History of Castle Weidelsburg

It's time for another castle, so I've been digging in my photo archives to find something interesting. My father and I visited the still impressive ruins of Castle Weidelsburg in 2008. The site was undergoing renovation and the western palas (great hall) scaffolded in, but I got enough pretty pics nevertheless. I know most of you like photos of castles and stories about feuds.

Weidelsburg, the eastern keep

The Weidelsburg is situated on a a 492 metres high basaltic conical hill at the borders between northern Hessia, Thuringia, the earldom of Waldeck, and the enclave of the archbishopric Mainz around Naumburg (1). It is the largest castle in northern Hessia and its possession was often contested.

As usual, its beginnings are shrouded in the mists of missing documents. Archaeological traces point at a fortification on the hill dating back to the 7th or 8th century. The castrum Alstat mentioned in a 12th century chronicle may be indentical with the predecessor of the present castle (2) but definite proof is still lacking.

Weidelsburg, view through the Naumburg Gate into the outer bailey

The history of the Weidelsburg is easier to trace when it came into possession of the archbishopric of Mainz in 1266 (3). The archbishop of Mainz and the landgrave of Hessia (in this case, Heinrich I) were at cahoots most of the time. In one of their feuds, the Weidelsburg was destroyed during the Star Wars in 1275.

Landgrave Hermann II (4) and Count Heinrich IV of Waldeck rebuilt the castle in 1380, but ran into problems with Mainz again, which claimed the right to the castle. It took several years to sort out the legal mess. The castle fell to the archbishop who ordered his vassal, the Lord of Hertinghausen, with the rebuilding. The remains of the Weidelsburg we can see today mostly date from that time.

Outer bailey

The feud between the archbishops of Mainz and the landgraves of Hessia, which had lasted about two hundred years already, went on and the castle was partly destroyed by the landgrave of Hessia again in 1402, together with the Naumburg, the other castle in possession of the archbishop.

(left: The eastern keep)

The next and final step in the feud took place in 1427. Count Heinrich IV of Waldeck (6) and his son Wolrad, vassals of the archbishop of Mainz, had pawned out half of the earldom to Ludwig Landgrave of Hessia in 1424 for the sum of 22,000 gulden (guilder). But then Heinrich went back on the deal, arguing that he already had given his word to the archbishop of Mainz to whom he then pawned out half of his earldom for 18,000 gulden (the landgrave would have been the better deal). Heinrich and Wolrad opened their castles to the archbishops of Mainz and Cologne, Konrad of Dhaun and Dietrich of Moers - the latter being interested in getting a foothold in the borderlands because of his interests in the bishopric of Paderborn and the Castle Krukenburg.

Landgrave Ludwig had already paid the sum and accepted the oath of fealty from vassals, burghers and farmers of the county. Of course, he was furious. Archbishop Konrad of Mainz offered Ludwig to repay the sum Ludwig had given to Heinrich and Wolrad of Waldeck. But Ludwig wanted nothing of that; it must have been more important for him to hold the power in the lands of Waldeck, so the war continued. How the young man (born 1402) got the nickname 'the Peaceful' is beyond me (7). Well, Ludwig won two battles during the summer 1427, took some 300 knights of the archbishop of Mainz captive - albeit Konrad himself escaped the Battle of Fulda - and with that card up his sleeve returned to the negotiation table.

At the Peace of Frankfurt (December 1427) Mainz paid 44,000 guilder reparation and had to hold all its Hessian possessions as fief from the landgrave. But Ludwig gave the pawn of Waldeck to Mainz and accepted a refund. The Weidelsburg must have remained a fief of the archbishop of Mainz, because it was Konrad who appointed Reinhard of Dalwigk as reeve in 1437. It turned out he let the cat loose among the pigeons by that decision.

Weidelsburg, inner curtain walls

The Dalwigk were an ancient family that first appears in documents in 1036 as ministeriales of the monastery in Corvey (5). Later, they became vassals of the counts of Waldeck; 'Bernhard and Elgar de Dalewich' were elevated to lords by Count Adolf of Waldeck in 1227. In the 14th century, members of the family also were vassals of the landgraves of Hessia and the archbishops of Mainz.

Naumburg Gate, seen from the bailey

Reinhard of Dalwigk (1400 - 1461) was called 'the Unborn' because he was delivered by cesarean. He married Agnes of Hertingshausen (1412) which may have helped in him getting the position as reeve of the Weidelsburg and probably the fief itself, which had been held by the Hertinghausen family before. The Weidelsburg might have been Agnes' dowry. The Hertinghausen played an important role in the northern Hessian borderlands from about 1250 - 1700.

Reinhard of Dalwigk fortified the castle according to the standard of his time, adding an outer bailey and a zwinger to the south. He also modernised the living quarters where he is said to have 'held court like a prince'.

(right: Interior of the eastern keep with the well tower on the kitchen level and some windows in the upper storeys)

Reinhard was rich, ambitious, and loved feuds. He kept burning villages and fighting local nobles to an extent that he was considered a breaker of the king's peace. Landgrave Ludwig I of Hessia and the archbishop of Mainz worked together for a change and laid siege to the Weidelsburg in 1443. Reinhard submitted; it seems he got away with an admonition but no real loss in power and ressources. He promptly went back to his favourite pastime and burned some more villages, joined by his nephew Friedrich IV of Hertinghausen. This time he got into real trouble when Landgrave Ludwig I of Hessia appeared before the Weidelsburg with an army in 1448.

Ludwig demanded that Reinhard surrender unconditionally. If the following legend is true, that may have implied that there were no prior negotiations and Reinhard would have risked permanent imprisonment or even capital punishment by undergoing a deditio.

The legend has it that his wife, Agnes née Hertinghausen, went to Ludwig and pleaded for her husband's life. Ludwig allowed the women to leave the castle, bearing 'what was most dear to them', but the men had to stay and await his further decisions. Not much gained there. But Agnes remembered the legend about King Konrad and the Women of Weinsberg (8). So she said what was most dear to her was her husband, and carried him on her back down from the castle while her ladies-in-waiting followed with the pretty dresses and the bling. Ludwig was angry, but the legend about King Konrad obviously was strong enough to influence his decision and he, too, stood to his word and spared Reinhard's life.

But Reinhard had to undergo the deditio, the formal surrender, and lost the Weidelsburg (thus he likely held the castle itself and not only the position as reeve - the feudal relationship is a bit murky due to lack of sources, like so often). Reinhard and his nephew Friedrich of Hertinghausen were allowed to keep the castle Naumburg where they lived together.

Remains of a half tower in the curtain wall, interior

Reinhard of Dalwigk and Friedrich of Hertinghausen didn't learn their lesson. As soon as a good feud showed itself at the horizon, they went to join it with flying banners. Both got into trouble with the family of Elben about the rights to some forests and tithes. The Elben were another noble family with possessions in northern Hessia and related to the Hertinghausen. That did not stop Werner von Elben to join with other nobles as Lords of the Federacy (Bundesherren) against Reinhard and Friedrich. Between 1450-54, the fire spread to involve more nobles on both sides; villages were plunderned and burned and skirmishes fought. During one of those, Friedrich was severly wounded and captured.

The curtain wall of the outer bailey to the north

Landgrave Ludwig and Count Wolrad of Waldeck - both obviously on speaking terms again after the Peace of Frankfurt - in vain tried to mediate between the warring parties several times. It took a number of dead nobles before Ludwig and Wolrad managed to settle the mess in December 1454. Both sides released their prisoners, Werner of Elben paid a guerdon for Friedrich of Hertighausen's wound that left him badly limping, the tithes in question were granted to Reinhard of Dalwigk. Both parties signed a settlement. That peace held.

Rounded corner of the trapezoid eastern keep, looking skyward

Reinhard von Dalwigk died on the Naumburg in 1461, without known heirs.

Since Reinhard had surrendered the Weidelsburg to Ludwig, the landgrave established a Hessian reeve in the castle, though Reinhard had held the castle from Mainz (maybe it was an Afterlehen, a fief Mainz held from the landgrave and then enfeoffed to Reinhard). There was a quarrel between the archbishop of Mainz and Landgrave Ludwig II in 1463, after which the Weidelsburg was officially given to the landgrave. It continued to be administered by Hessian reeves.

But the castle was considerend technologically outdated in the 16th century, and no money was invested in its upkeep. A severe fire in 1591 left the Weidelsburg a ruin.

The west palas building (photo taken 2016 after the restoration)

In 1891, a platform was built on the keep - the tourism to picturesque ruins had become popular. Excavations were done in the 1930ies, and restoration work from 1979-87 and again 2008-14. A good reason to go back. :-) Since both the keep and the palas or great hall are in pretty good condition, as well as remains of gates and curtain walls, the castle makes for an impressive ruin. A post about the architecture can be found here, and one about our post-restoration visit here.

The inner curtain wall with integrated great hall, seen from the outside
Footnotes
1) This is not Naumburg at the Saale with its famous cathedral, but a town with the same name in northern Hessia. The castle of the same name is now defunct.
2) Most of the information I got from the official website of the castle, cross-checking facts where I could.
3) The archbishop bought the castle, but I could not find out from whom. Likely either the landgrave of Hessia or the count of Waldeck.
4) Heinrich IV (1340 - 1397) was married to Mathilde of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. One of their daughters, Irmgard, would marry into the House of Everstein that held possessions in Hessia as well as at the Weser.
5) Dear Wikipedia, you cannot have a family be ministeriales and freeborn nobles in the same article. There was a difference. ;-) I think it's more likely they were ministeriales since it was that group of nobles the monasteries preferably employed. They are not connected with a hereditary castle at first, either.
6) He led the men who murdered Duke Friedrich of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in 1400. Another of the assassins was Friedrich III of Hertinghausen.
7) After the feud with Mainz, Ludwig got involved in a war with the grandsons of Otto the Quarrelsome during which he - unsuccessfully - laid siege to Castle Salzderhelden (1447).
8) During a feud with Duke Welf of Bavaria in 1140, Konrad III had allowed the women to leave the besieged castle of Weinsberg in Swabia under the condition that they may bring along what they could carry, and they came down bearing their husbands. Albeit some of the king's advisors argued against it, Konrad decided that he had given his word and would stick to it.
 


18/10/2015
  A Boat Tour on the Wakenitz River

I had a rather unwelcome visit by a nasty cold and didn't feel up to do much research. So here's just a little river tour on the Wakenitz from its outflow of Lake Ratzeburg northwards to Lübeck. The river is only 15 km long before it confluences into the Trave, but it is very lovely.

Ominous clouds gathering over Lake Ratzeburg

I first took a ship from Ratzeburg across the length of the lake (yeah, I got pics of that, too) to a hamlet called Rothenhusen where I changed to a river boat. The clouds didn't look nice and I was afraid I'd not get many photos because of the rain.

Outflow of the Wakenitz from Lake Ratzeburg

And right when I changed ship, the downpour began. Well, the river boat has a nice enough covered deck where they serve drinks and food, but photographing through windows is always tricky. The boat, having arrived from Lübeck, took a turnaround on the lake because the river is too narrow, and behold, when we came back under the trees framing the Wakenitz, the rain stopped and the sun peered out between the clouds.

Alder trees in the sunshine

I spent the next hours between taking photos from the bow and stern platforms to catch the different light from the sun either behind or in front, and having some coffee and ice cream in between. The whole tour turned out to be more fun than the clouds had predicted and the vistas were lovely. There were but few passengers who didn't get in the way of the photos.

Willows framing the river to the right

The name Wakenitz (Wochnica) is of Slavic origin and means Perch River. Obviously, the river has always been rich in fish. Today it is also know as the Amazonas of the North though that's a bit of an exaggeration.

Lovely details of the riparian forest

The Wakenitz had been the border between West-Germany and the GDR and so the landscape remained untouched for forty years. Luckily, it was decided to keep it that way. Part of the Wakenitz lowland is a Proteced Nature Area. Traffic on the river is very restricted except for canoes, rowing boats and ships with electric motors. There's a bicycle lane along the river and a bridge for hikers crossing it, but nothing more until we get closer to the town of Lübeck.

More trees and jungle

That way, the rare riparian forest still thrives. Alder, willow, silverleaf poplar, ash and elm are typical treees that form a veritable jungle in some parts. Among the wildlife are several endangered species that have found a sanctuary here, like fire-bellied toad, spadefoot toad, crested newt, corn crake, kingfisher, black woodpecker or barred warbler, to name just a few. You get the usual collection of carp, eel, perch and northern pike, but also a population of wels catfish.

Riparian forest along the 'Long Misery'

The first part of the river is known as the 'Long Misery' due to the fact that the river is so narrow that sailing ships cannot easily beat to windward; and in former times transport barges could not be towed because of the waterlogged shores. But a modern river boat has no problems (the passenger ferries are some of the few exceptions allowed to use engines).

A different view of the 'Long Misery'

Originally, the Wakenitz confluenced into the Trave north of the Old Town of Lübeck which is situated on a oblong ridge of dryer ground in what originally was a swampy area. The swamps have been drained over time and the rivers connected by canals to surround the entire old town. They became part of the denfense system which included a town wall on the island and later, in the 17th century, a series of bastions, particularly to the Trave side in the west.

The river widens

The first change in the course of the Wakenitz was done already in the 13th century when it was dammed to feed the mills and breweries to the south of the town, creating the Mühlenteich and Krähenteich (Mill Pond and Crow Pond). The town bought the entire river Wakenitz with its fishing rights and other rights of use from Duke Albrecht I of Saxony in 1291.

The widest part of the river prior to Lübeck

To avoid the dangerous route of the Sound, Kattegatt and Skagerrak, a canal was built to connect Lübeck (and the Baltic Sea access via the Trave) and the Elbe which confluences into the North Sea; the Stecknitz Canal, finished 1398. It also allowed the transport of salt from Lüneburg to Lübeck by water via Ilmenau and Elbe.

Upper deck of the ferry

Five hundred years later, a new canal for larger ships was built: the Elbe-Lübeck-Canal (1896). That one cut off the Wakenitz from the waters around Lübeck by the Falkendamm (Falcon Embankment) at the north end of the old town. The Wakenitz now drains into the Crow and Mill ponds by a little canal called Düker; its end forms a lake.

The Wakenitz in Lübeck

The embankment was necessary to regulate the water levels of Wakenitz and Trave. While the Baltic Sea is not tidal, storms can still cause the Trave to flood the lower parts of the town and heavy rains can lead to a rise of the Wakenitz all the way down to Ratzeburg. Already the Mediaeval system of canals helped with that, but nowadays more sophisticated means are needed.

Villas with pavillions at the Wakenitz in Lübeck

The suburbs along the Wakenitz - St. Jürgen (wih the university) and St.Gertrud - have some of the more expensive real estate, esp. if you want access to the river. St. Gertrud, grown around a pestilence churchyard from 1350, was the site of the 'summer houses' of rich Lübeck merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Just a pretty view

I did a tour of the Lübeck canals in spring, so there'll be more information about the harbours and Medieaval defenses of the town at some point.

The Wakenitz tour is operated by Wakenitz Schiffahrt Quandt.
 


05/10/2015
  Sub-Marinean Magic - The Ozeaneum in Stralsund: The Baltic Sea

The Oceanographic Museum is part of the German Maritime Museum in Stralsund and specialises on the Baltic and North Sea. The underwater world of both seas is presented in a series of themed tanks, together with additional information about themes like biodiversity, climate or the hydrologic cycle. I was surprised that some photos turned out nice, considering the darkish blue or green light and the moving fish. So here is a glimpse into an alien world.

Tank 'Harbour Bassin Stralsund', European perch, common roach and rudd

The first tank presents the hidden life of the harbour in Stralsund. The salinity is 0.8% and the temperature 12°C. With 126,000 litres, the tank is one of the larger examples. With fishlife like that, no wonder there were fishermen casting their rods and lines at the quay.

Tank 'Greifswalder Bodden', a curious pike-perch

The Bodden is a form of lagoon or bay found in several places along the Baltic Sea coast, usually between the mainland and islands. The water depth is often less than 5 metres and sandbanks can prove dangerous for ships. Other fish living in the brackish water of the Bodden are plaice and flounder who camouflage by imitating the sand of the ground.

Tank 'River Outfall', various trout and char

The simulated river outfall is colder (9°C) and with lower salinity. Most of the fishes swimming around are members of the salmonid family (and very yummy when served fried or boiled). To give you an impression of the technology involved to create such tanks; the windowpane (7 x 2.3 metres) alone weighs 1.6 tons; some of the other panes are even heavier.

Tank 'River Outfall', Russian sturgeon

This guy, a Russian sturgeon or Waxdick, had been living in the other Marine Museum in Stralsund until his move to the Oceaongraphic Museum in 2008. He is more than 40 years old; caught by a fisherman back in 1968, and something like the mascot of the museum.

Tank 'Marine Eelgrass Meadow', broadnosed pipefish

Pipefish play hide and seek by looking pretty much like seagrass. Can you spot them? Pipefish can cope with different conditions from the sea around northern Norway to the Mediterranean and live anywhere with enough seagrass to hide in.

Tank 'Stockholm Archipelago', lumpsucker

This funny looking guy is a lumpfish, a mostly ground-living fish that attaches itself to surfaces - usually stones, but the glass of the tank pane works as well - by a suction disc in its pelvis. The German name means sea-hare (Seehase). Other inhabitants of that habitat are whitefish and eelpout.

Tank 'Kattegat Reef', haddock and pollock, trying to escape my camera

The Kattegat, together with the Skagerrak, both between Sweden and Jutland / Denmark, are the connection between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The salinity of the water slightly higher than the Baltic Sea so that fish of both seas live there. The area is difficult to navigate due to a number of stone reefs as th one represented in the tank.

Coldwater coral reef in the Baltic Sea

We think of corals as creatures thriving in warm water where they build impressive reefs like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. But there are species who can live well in colder water provided it is very clean. They grow more slowly, but they are very pretty, too. These orange ones are typical for the Baltic Sea.

Moon jellyfish

Those fragile beauties reflect the blue light of the tank illumination. Jellyfish are difficult to keep under tank conditions, but if those are right, they live longer than outside. When we were on holiday at the Baltic Sea coast as kids, we used to gather dead jellyfish and plop the cold, glibbery mess on the beer belly of that nasty old guy who kept complaining about kids having fun. Hehe.

Baltic Sea crab

Crabs are one of the largest subspecies group of the crustaceans, and it's pretty hopeless to try and figure out who exactly the cutie above is. Possibly a variant of the spider crabs. They attach algae to their exoskeleton for camouflage.

The next part about the North Sea is below.
 


  Sub-Marinean Monsters - The Ozeaneum in Stralsund: The North Sea

The tour of the Ozeaneum - follow the little footprints on the floor - will now take us to the North Sea in this second post about the tank displays of the Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund.

Some fish like herring or haddock can be found in both seas, but others have developed special subspecies who can deal with the higher salinity of 3,5%.

Compass jellyfish

This jellyfish is a bit more alien looking. Compass jellyfish also have toxic nematocysts at the end of their tentacles whose discharge can lead to skin irritation. The species can be found in the deeper water off the British and Dutch coasts, but storms sometimes bring them up and onto the shore.

Great Spider Crab

Great spider crabs (Hyas araneus) are indigenous to the North Sea and Atlantic. They live in deeper water (down to at least 50 metres). They are hunters who hide under stones or other places and who, like their Baltic Sea relatives, use algae to cover their shields, until something edible, like a starfish, comes along.

Tank 'Tidal Bassin', weever

This guy may look harmless if a bit grumpy, but it's actually one of the nastier critters hiding in the tidal sands. The weever has a sting on its back that ejects poison into the foot of any hapeless tourist who happens to step on it. The pain and discomfort may be worse than a vasp sting and can lead to an allergic shock.

Coral reef in the Channel, with boar fish

Another of those beautiful coral reefs, this time from the North Sea. The violet ones are called Anthothelia, a deep sea coral that can deal well with cold, dark water. Those red darlings swimming among the corals are boar fish, almost too colourful for the environment - it's what you would expect in the Pacific. But boar fish turn black when they swim into deeper water.

A wreck with new coral and sea urchin colonies

I liked this one just because it looks so pretty. A simulated wreck starting to attract inhabitants of all sorts.

Tank 'Helgoland', catsharks

Those two guys were hanging out in the tunnel-shaped Helgoland tank. The dark colour is due to the dim light; catsharks (also called dogfish) are a bit lighter of colour, with dark spots. But I like the blue version. :-)

Tank 'Scottish Underwater Cave', with a John Dory

This one is not a nice fish to meet if you're a herring. It will suck you right in, literally. John Dorys can evert their mouth very wide and snatch an entire herring. Slurrp. But humans are safe.

Tank 'Open Atlantic', a shoaling of mackerels, with some cod

The last tank is the largest. The 'Open Atlantic' contains 2.6 million litres of water. Too bad I could not find out what the glass plane of that one weighs - it has a size of 50 square metres and is 30 cm thick. It also was the most difficult to photograph because the fish kept either moving too fast, or hiding in the background of the big bassin.

Tank 'Open Atlantic', stingray

Now try to escape the stingray and resurface back in the museum after the trip through the Baltic and North Sea. You can visit a guy from the other hemisphere on the museum roof: one of the ten Humboldt penguins living there (the other ones were hiding in their stone caves).

A curious Humboldt penguin

I hope you liked the little tour through an unknown and alien world. A hot tea or coffee may be in order now.

I could have spent more time in the museum if my itinerary had allowed it, waiting for the perfect shot of some cool fishes.
 




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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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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Two Fairy Tale Castles

Churches and Cathedrals

Churches in the Harz

Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
Development of the Cave Church

Walkenried Monastery
From Monastery to Museum

Churches in Lower Saxony

Königslutter
Exterior Decorations
Cloister

Wiebrechtshausen
Nunnery and Ducal Burial

Churches in Thuringia

Göllingen Monastery
Traces of Byzantine Architecture

Heiligenstadt
St.Martin's Church
St.Mary's Church

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
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

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)


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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
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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