My History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


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.
 
Comments:
Die Bilder sehen toll aus, die Landschaft ist wirklich sehr ursprünglich, oder zumindest so, wie ich mir eine ursprüngliche Landschaft vorstelle. Dass diese Gegend noch slawische Namen hat, war mir neu, aber logisch, das waren noch relativ lange slawische Gebiete.

Schönen Sonntag


 
Lovely photos! I wish you a speedy recovery, Gabriele! :-) Warmest wishes from Poland.
 
Eva,
slawische Namen verstecken sich in so einigen Orts- und Flussnamen aus der Gegend, einschliesslich Lübeck - Liubice.

Kasia,
thank you very much.
 
That looks like a lovely day trip! I wish there were water around here to cruise on, but alas. :)
 
Ein interessanter Beitrag mit schönen Bildern - eine Flussfahrt, die mir sicher auch sehr gefallen hätte. Ich mag solche Landschaften unwahrscheinlich gern.
Danke fürs Teilen und liebe Grüße von der Silberdistel
 
Silberdistel, die Fahrten werden von Mai bis September angeboten. Ratzeburg und Lübeck sind ja nicht aus der Welt für jemanden, der an der Küste wohnt.
 
Mein Herr Silberdistel ist leider nicht seefest. Mal schauen, ob ich ihn trotzdem einmal dazu überreden kann. Eine Fahrt zu den Kranichen bei Zingst hat er mir zuliebe schon einmal mitgemacht. Schauen wir also mal ;-)
Danke für die Infos und herzliche Grüße von der Silberdistel
 
Die Wakenitz-Tour schaukelt wirklich nicht. Und der Ratzeburger See ist eigentlich auch ruhig, wenn man sich nicht gerade einen stürmischen Tag aussucht. Eine Fahrt auf the Poeler Kogge in Wismar würde ich Herrn Silberdistel allerdings weniger empfehlen. Ich bin zum Glück seefest und habe schon ein paar Situationen auf Kreuzfahrten und Fähren erlebt, wo das Bordrestaurant ziemlich schlecht besucht war. *grins*
 
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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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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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Introduction
Otto of Northeim
Heinrich the Lion and Otto IV
The Next Generations

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Introduction

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A Virtual Tour

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A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

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A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

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A Virtual Town Tour


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A Virtual Walk through the Town


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Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar - Introduction
Ring of Brodgar - The Neolithic Landscape
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae


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- Germany
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Beautiful Germany

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From the Bay of Wismar to Hiddensee
The Flensburg Firth
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
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Bode Valley, Rosstrappe and Devil's Wall
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Oderteich Reservoir
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Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

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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

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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

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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 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 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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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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