My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology

  Trees and Old Stones

One of my favourite combinations. It can be found in the middle of York. The stones may not come as surprise, lol, but there's an entire park hidden behind a wall that stretches down to the Ouse: the Museum Gardens.

Museum Gardens with ruins of St.Mary's Abbey

The Museum Gardens were opened together with the York Museum in 1830. The Yorkshire Philosophical Society commissioned the museum, and they were also interested to preseve the ruins of St.Mary's Abbey which they had excavated in the 1820ies.

Another view of trees and the abbey

The society appointed the landscape architect Sir John Murray Naysmith to lay out a botanical garden with exotic trees and plants and integrate the Mediaeval and Roman remains. In Victorian times, the garden also held a conservatory for orchids and a pond with water lilies. Those are gone, but the ten acre park remains.

Exotic trees (in the foreground a monkey puzzle tree)

The park covers the ground that once belonged to the abbey. Parts of the walls from 1260 still remain.

After spending hours standing in front of exhibitions in the museum, it was nice to sit down in the green and have a cup of tea.

More exotic trees; to the right part of the Roman tower

There is more where this came from. You can imagine I could not resist the temptation to take lots of pics of the old stones. Luckily, there were moments I could catch them without a bunch of school kids in red jumpers running all over the place.

  Two Heinrichs, a Cathedral, and Richard Lionheart

Part of the Speyer Cathedral we can see today goes back to the Emperor Konrad II who began the building in 1030 in replacement of an older church. Konrad was very impressed by the grand cathedrals in Italy he saw when traveling to Rome for his coronation as Emperor, and he wanted to erect the largest sacral building of western Christendom.

But it was his grandson Heinrich IV who gave the cathedral its final splendour. After the humiliation at Canossa and the ongoing strife with the pope, he used Speyer Cathedral as political demonstration. Heinrich rebuilt the eastern part with choir and apsis as well as the transept with its decorated gables, gave the main nave a cross grain vaulted ceiling (it had a wooden cassette ceiling before), and added the four towers and the arcade decorations on the outside.

There is another post about the history of Speyer Cathedral here. As it stands today, the building is close again to its original form it got during Heinrich's IV reign.

Speyer Cathedral seen from the south
To the left choir with towers and apsis, and crossing tower dome,
to the right narthex tower and Westwerk with towers

Would Richard Lionheart visit Speyer today, he might well recognise the cathedral. Part of the eastern walls as well as those in choir and apsis are the very stones he had looked at during his two visits in Speyer.

How did he get there? Well, most of you will know the story of Richard's capture by Duke Leopold of Austria in 1192, when Richard fled across the Alpes in disguise in hope to get to the lands of his brother-in-law Heinrich the Lion of Saxony who had returned from exile in England.

Southern transept, decorated gable with arcades

Leopold handed Richard over to the Emperor Heinrich VI, son of Friedrich Barbarossa (though I bet he got a nice share in the ransom). And that is where politics come in. By the marriage of his sister Mathilde to the Heinrich the Lion, Richard was related to the Welfen family, while Heinrich VI was a Staufen. Those two houses didn't get along since Barbarossa exiled Heinrich the Lion, and the fact that Heinrich revolted against the son of his old enemy as soon as he came home, didn't improve matters.

Also, Heinrich VI needed money to reconquer Sicily, and Richard was a fat fish in that aspect. Since Philippe Auguste of France, another of Richard's enemies (he had a talent to make those) offered to pay the ransom if he got his hands on Richard, the latter decided to better go along with Heinrich VI's demand and pay. It fell upon his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine to gather the money.

Main nave, facing east towards choir and apsis

Since the Church considered it a crime to capture a crusader, Heinrich staged a process during a Reichstag in Speyer where he tried to prove Richard's guilt in various points. Richard managed to not lose his temper for a change but to defend himself in a noble way, and thus the process came to nothing - except that Richard was kept prisoner in Trifels Castle until the better part of the money was paid. Heinrich escaped excommunication, but Leopold suffered that fate for the capture of Richard.

The final required payment took place in January 1194, and Richard was officially released. He had to swear an oath of fealty to the Emperor Heinrich, but that was nothing more than a gesture and never influenced the power constellations in Europe. Richard celebrated the Christmas before that event in Speyer, then already more a guest than a hostage, and we can be sure he has been inside the cathedral during masses. Probably already during his first stay since no one would have refused him religious assistance.

Choir with apsis

Heinrich VI and Duke Heinrich the Lion made peace as well, though I couldn't figure out if Richard had a hand in that. Back home, Richard had to deal with his brother John, while Heinrich VI managed to conquer Sicily. And the rest is legend. *grin*

  The Cathedral in Speyer - Architecture

I explained the two first stages of the architecture of Speyer Cathedral in this post.

The highlight of the exterior is the westwork.

West facade

The Speyer Cathedral is one of the purest examples of the Romanesque style with a very balanced and symmetrical design. It is a triple-aised vaulted basilica, constructed 1030-1061, with some later additions, and holds the burials of several German emperors.

Transept and crossing tower

In 1981, the Speyer Cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

North side
Note that the aisles are lower than the main nave, a typical feature of the basilika style.

The main nave and choir belong to the second Romanesque period while the aisles and the crypt show the architecture of the first, the Konradinian stage.

South aisle, facing west

Speyer Cathedral suffered during various wars, especially the Thirty Years War and the Palatine Succesion War (1688-1697). While the eastern part survived with little damage, the Westwerk was completely destroyed and replaced by a much simpler version in 1770. Later, some idiot in Napoleon's administration wanted to tear the entire building down and replace it with a park; luckily, the bishop of Mainz managed to stop that nonsense. The cathedral escaped the bombs of the World Wars.

North aisle, facing west; seen from the quire;
You can see how similar both aisles are

In the 19th century, the cathedral interior was richly decorated with pseudo-historical, so called Nazarenian paintings which were duly ereased during a renovation 1957 (fortunately; there's a picture in the guide book: lots of gold and kitsch). By then, the cathedral was valued for its burials of Mediaeval Emperors. One of the better changes in the 19th century was the re-erection of the two-towered Westwerk.

Speyer Cathedral, seen from the north facing east

Another major renovation 1984/85 got rid of more later additons and reestablished as much as possible of the Romanesque building. The latest change (1996) was the banishment of market stalls outside the church, and the reconstruction of the narthex tower of the Westwerk. The tomb vault of the Imperial burials was opened to the public.

Main nave
(It reminds a bit of the Aula Palatina in Trier,
esp. considering the fact the latter had murals in Roman times.)

The walls are structured by double arched windows and frescoes. The murals are not original, but there have been paintings in the Middle Ages. The architect Heinrich Hübsch used old paintings and tried to come as close to the original as possible - much better than the previous Baroque version.

Crossing dome

I took the photo for the effect; I'm experimenting more these days. The angle doesn't show how high the crossing dome is - one of these days I'll look up the measurements for Constance. *grin*

Crypt, detail of the ceiling

The crypt, one of the largest in a Medieaval church, never suffered destruction and thus represents one of the finest examples of the early Romanesque style. I'll get back to it in another post. A good example of Romanesque gross grain vaults with perfectly semi-circle arcs. A bit dark, unfortunately; the light in the crypt was very Mediaeval.

  More York Impressions - Seen from the Ouse River

On the second evening, I took a cruise on the Ouse river. It was nice to sit for a change after all that walking. Though the British weather played tricks; after a rather warm day it grew cold, and of course, I took my lighter jacket. After all, you bring warm clothes to leave them in the hotel room.

One of the bridges

The old town and thus the Roman founded part of York lies to the right.

Houses at the riverside

I think some of them must have been old storage houses that have been modernised and equipped with additional windows; they reminded me of the Mediaeval part of Lübeck* where I took a Trave cruise. I love river cruises as a way to explore towns and landscapes.

Pretty houses

This pic was taken some way outside the town centre. A nice place to live, I suppose, but probably expensive.

Ghostly evening on the Ouse

* Lübeck is one of the Hansa Towns in Germany and a beautiful place. Since I now have a scanner, I'll get some of the pics I took there in 2004 online. Though I didn't take as many pics with the old camera - those rolls were too expensive.

  Walking in York

Here are some pics from York's Old Town I took while walking around and enjoying the pretty views. Since it was already late afternoon, it was not too much of a pushing your way through clusters of tourists. It was worse the next day, so I was glad I had already taken a bunch of pics.

The place reminded me a lot of Stockholm's Gamla Stan which has equally narrow streets. Göttingen has some fine old houses, but the streets are broader.

Low Petergate

Low Petergate is the old via principalis of the Roman fort. My hotel was situated in that street as well, which I thought very fitting.

Market Street

One of the broader streets in the centre. There is at least enough space for cars, but only taxis and buses are allowed.

The structure of the half timbered houses is different from the German one; we have more square structures and not those long, vertical beams, as can be seen here.

Little Shambles

It is a common feature for Mediaeval houses all over Europe that the second storey is built standing out over the first. The reason for that were taxes depending on the space of the foundations.

  Heiligenstadt - St.Martin Church

The architectural history of St. Martin is a bit of a mess. We can see it's a Gothic church in the basilica style (aisles lower than main nave), with an annexed crypt in late Romanesque style. The oldest part seems to be the choir and the main nave. One chronicle from 1276 mentions a request for donations to rebuild the old church which obviously was about to crumble. No remains of this older building have been found so far. Another source points to the fact that the choir seems to have been finished in 1316.

St. Martin Church, Heiligenstadt; seen from the south

While the nave and choir thus are early Gothic style, the southern aisle is high Gothic, and the west facade with it's rosette window is late Gothic - in England called perpendicular or flamboyant style. But the interior of the church gives the impression of harmony, despite the long time that passed until the building was finished.

View from the choir to the south aisle

The arcs of the vaults are not rounded like in the Romanesque style, but pointed at the center. During the development of the Gothic style the pointed structure gets more angular and steep, abandoning the form of a true arc.

Main nave, ceiling

The main nave looks higher than it is because of the unadorned walls. They are often structured by ornaments in other churches. The heavy 'bundled pillars' that divide the aisles from the main nave add to the effect. The aisles are more like rooms of their own here than in some other churches I've seen.

View to main nave from the north aisle.

In the photo below youcan see the rosette window behind the organ. The west part is the youngest; rosette windows are a sign of the perpendicular style. Though Heiligenstadt can't compete with York in size, the interior still gives the impression of great harmony.

Main nave, view to the west

I aimed the camera slightly towards the ceiling so you can see the late afternoon light coming in through the clerestories while the lower part of the nave remains in twilight. It was a very peaceful atmosphere the day I visited the church.

Main nave, view to the east with the choir windows

I've mentioned the architectonic tricks like the heavy bundled pillars and the unadorned walls that lend the nave greater height. Fortunately, the changes from the Baroque times, like wall paintings, additional altars and pulpits and probably some of those gilded chubby angels had been removed as early as 1862, so the original structure is visible again.

Of course, the church could have been whitewashed or painted in the Middle ages as well. But 14th century frescoes would have fit better with the architecture, I'd say. I have not found any mention of traces of Medieaval colours on the walls in the guide book, so I don't think any have been found under all that Baroque stuff. I prefer the unadorned stone.

Pulpit on the north wall near the quire

Heiligenstadt had strong connections with the archbishopric of Mainz, which is interesting because it is a good distance east of the Rhine. The influence of the archbishops of Mainz in Saxony will tie in with the posts about our friend Otto of Northeim. For now I'll only say: men of the Church were probably worse intrigants than secular nobles. :)

The crypt (photo below) must have belonged to an older church and was intergrated into the Gothic building.

St. Martin, crypt from about 1250

It is not clearly to be seen in the photos because of the angles, but this one shows an earlier stage where the rounded Romanesque style you may remember from Lippoldsberg (last picture in that post) just started to develop into the Gothic one. If you compare the vaults of the crypt with the arc on the second picture, you can see a slight difference.

Dragon relief on a capital in the south aisle
(The photo was taken free hand in a rather dark room)

These charming dragons with intertwining tails are part of a capital decoration. They date from 1360-70. Compared to the Italian Romanesque ornaments in Königslutter, the figures are more twisted with less regard to anatomy, leaves and other ornaments more splendid and wild, and the symmetry sometimes broken.

The hunt had a symbolic meaning in the Middle ages, and so we find the motive here as well.

Hunting motive on a capital in the south aisle

Since it was already evening, and I hadn't brought a tripod, it was very tricky to get some useable pics free hand. Flash doesn't work with reliefs, it flattens the outlines.

  Aelius Rufus Visits the Future, part 3

After admiring the artefacts, we took the elevator up to the glassed discus (you can see the tower in the background of the picture with the recruits here). Constructions to move people and goods to a higher level were not unknown to us, but this elevator covered a greater hight than anything I'd seen - 34 metres, and again I wondered how many slaves it would take to move it so fast. But Merlinus told us there were no more slaves in the future but the elevator, cranes and many other machines worked with something called electricity.

The view from the tower was splendid. Merlinus pointed ahead to a flat area with lines of stone and explained that was our fort, or what was left of it. During time people had taken the stones from our buildings and erected new houses on the area, and those had been taken down and rebuilt many times over until the existence of a Roman fort was all but forgotten.

Segedunum, foundation outlines of the fort

But some people remembered and researched, and during a new phase of construction where old houses were pulled down, excavations took place and remains of the Roman fort were discovered. Since the foundations were still pretty much intact (albeit not much more than those), it was decided to mark them and build the tower so people could get an overview of the fort from above. Archaeologists also reconstructed a Roman style bath and a little section of Hadrian's Great Wall. The park was opened to the public in 2000, Merlinus told us, and has developed into one of the main tourist attractions at the Wall.

We could distinguish the outlines of the headquarters and the commander's building in the foreground, and the barracks where we first entered the future back to the left. Everything looked small from here, and the tourists walking around resembles children's toys.

View towards the harbour with part of the fort's outer wall outlines
The white house outside the fort is the reconstructed bath house

Tourists seem to abound in the future even more than the Romans who visit Greece. And no Roman ever got the idea to dig in the ground for shards of old amphorae. Though I began to wonder what you might find in those old graves in Aegypt.

We moved our gaze towards the Tinea river they now call Tyne, and the harbour. Everything had become so large and wrought of steel and iron. If we could move goods in amounts like that, our supply problems would come to an end. Too bad we could not capture an engineer from the future and have him build some cranes and ships for us. Merlinus grinned at my suggestion and murmured something about 'plotbunny'.

The weather was something that had not changed in the future. We could have seen to Arbeia, Merlinus told us, but for the low clouds. Yet the view over the Tinea winding its way west was splendid enough. I had walked along it in a time where there were few houses outside the Roman forts and the vici near them, and most of the indigenous buildings were mere huts.

Tyne river at Wallsend

On the street of the other side vehicles moved that were not drawn by horses or oxen. "They use combustion engines," Merlinus said. "Basically, they burn that black liquid you find in the Arab deserts and make the cars run."

Gaius shook his head. "This is all so strange. Can we visit the bath? I might feel more at home there."

Merlinus agreed. But I caught myself wanting to ride in such a car.

Continued here.

  Playing in the Mud

For Kirsten, who got accepted as volunteer excavator in Vindolanda come summer.

Here's a glimpse of what you can expect.

Excavation site

It wasn't so muddy when I visited the place in June 2007, but I suppose after the rains later in summer the digging sites had turned into lakes.

Peek inside the hole: Victorian time drainage pipe in the foreground,
remains of wooden posts of older Roman fort in the background.

I hope you'll enjoy your time in Vindolanda. It's a great place. I spent some time hanging around the excavation site and discussing the Hedemünden finds (aka The Romans at my Backdoor) with the guys. They hadn't heard about those and were very interested.

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 photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

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

Anchor links lead to the respective sub-category in the sidebar

Visiting Historical Sites

Loci Amoeni
Hiking Tours and Landscape Photography

Roman Remains
- Germania
- Gallia Belgica
- Britannia

Mediaeval Places
- Mediaeval Germany
- Mediaeval England
- Mediaeval Scotland
- Mediaeval Wales
- Scandinavia
- Russia
- Poland and the Baltic States
- Belgium and Luxembourg

Other Times

Roman Remains

The Romans at War

Different Frontiers, Yet Alike
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Reconstructed Fort Walls
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Roman Ships
Transport Barges

Life and Religion

Religious Sites
The Mithraeum of Brocolita
Mithras Altars in Germania
A Roman Memorial Stone


Attempts at Conquest

Romans at Lippe and Ems
Anniversary Exhibitions in Haltern am See
Varus Statue, Haltern am See

Romans at the Weser
The Roman Camp at Hedemünden
Weapon Finds

The Limes and its Forts

Limes Fort Osterburken
The Discovery
The Cohort castellum
The Annex Fort
The Garrisons

Limes Fort Saalburg
Main Gate
Shrine of the Standards
The Walls
The vicus

Romans in Bavaria
The Fort in Aalen - Barracks

Provinces and Borderlands

Romans at Rhine and Moselle
Boppard - A 4th Century Roman Fort

Roman Villas
Villa Rustica Wachenheim
Wachenheim Villa, Baths and Toilets
Wachenheim Villa, Cellar

Roman Towns

Augusta Treverorum (Trier)
The Amphitheatre
The Aula Palatina
The Imperial Baths - Roman Times
The Imperial Baths - Post Roman
Porta Nigra - Roman Times
The Roman Bridge

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

Moguntiacum (Mainz)
The Temple of Isis and Mater Magna

Gallia Belgica

Roman Towns

Atuatuca Tungrorum
Roman Remains in Tongeren


Frontiers, Fortifications, Forts

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction / Photo Collection
Fort Baths
Fort Headquarters
Building the Wall
The Wall as Defense Line

Wall Forts - Banna (Birdoswald)
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Forts - Segedunum (Wallsend)
The Museum
The Viewing Tower
The Baths

Signal Stations
The Signal Station at Scarborough

Roman Towns

Eboracum (York)
Bath in the Fortress
Multiangular Tower

The Romans in Wales

The Forts in Wales

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

Mediaeval Places

Living Mediaeval
Dungeons and Oubliettes
Pit House (Grubenhaus)
Medical Instruments

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

Mediaeval Weapons
Combat Scenes

Mediaeval Germany


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

A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Erfurt

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

Town Portrait

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

Town Portrait
The Gothic House

Towns in the Harz

Town Portrait

Town Portrait
The Chapter Church

Towns of the Hanseatic League

St. Mary's Church, Introduction

The Harbour

The Old Harbour

Castles and Fortresses

Castles in Bavaria

Coburg Fortress
The History of the Fortress
The Architecture

Castles in the Harz

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

The Harzburg and Otto IV

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

The Time of Henry the Lion


Hidden Treasures
The Stauffenburg near Seesen

Castles in Hessia

Castles in Northern Hessia

The Counts of Everstein
Troubled Times
War and Decline

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

Castles in Lower Saxony

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


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

Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat

Castles in Thuringia

The Double Castle
Role of the Castle in Thuringian History

Castles in the Eichsfeld
Altenstein at the Werra
Castle Scharfenstein

Otto of Northeim
Heinrich the Lion and Otto IV
The Next Generations


A Virtual Tour

Castles at the Weser

River Reivers

History and Architecture
Outbuilding 'Shepherd's Barn'

The Castle and its History
Views from the Keep

Sababurg / Trendelburg
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

Exterior Decorations

Nunnery and Ducal Burial

Churches in Thuringia

Göllingen Monastery
Traces of Byzantine Architecture

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

Churches at the Weser

Bursfelde Abbey
Early History

Fredelsloh Chapter Church
History and Architecture

Remains of the Monastery

Lippoldsberg Abbey

Mediaeval Murals

Reconstructed Sites

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

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


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

Along Weser and Werra
Bad Karlshafen
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk

Mediaeval England


A Walk Through the Town

Old Gaol

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 in Cumbria

Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

Castles in Northumbria and Yorkshire

Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

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

Churches and Cathedrals

Hexham Abbey

York Minster

Mediaeval Scotland


Views from the Castle

The Wallace Monument


Central Scotland

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

Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
Castles Seen from Afar

Guarding the Sound of Mull

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

Mediaeval Wales


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


Edwardian Castles

The Historical Context
The Architecture

Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Norman Castles


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

The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings



Castles and Fortresses

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



The Vasa Museum


The Splendour of St.Petersburg

Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral

The Neva
Impressions from the The Neva River

Poland and the Baltic States

Towns along the Sea Coast
Baltic Sea Cruise: From Tallinn to Gdansk

Belgium and Luxembourg

Belgium / Flanders


The Old Town

A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Roman and Mediaeval Remains

Other Times

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


Historical Ships
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)
The Fram Museum in Oslo

Steampunk and Beyond
Historical Guns
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg

- Beautiful Germany
- United Kingdom
- Scandinavia and the 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 on my Balcony
Spring at the Kiessee Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath

Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Summer Thunderstorms

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

Advent Impressions
Christmas Decorations from the Ore Mountains
Winter at the Kiessee Lake
Winter Wonderland
Winter 2010

Birds at the Feeder
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

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
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
Shadows and Strongholds
Views from Castle Battlements

Sea Gulls

Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea

Land of Light and Darkness - 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 Trondheim to Oslo

Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord

Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

Beaches at the Curonian Spit

Delectatio (Fun Stuff)
Comblogium (Blog Roll)
Conexiones (Links)

- Roman History
- Mediaeval History
- Other Times

Roman History

Wars and Frontiers

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

Along the Limes
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

Roman Frontiers in Britain
Hadrian's Wall

The Batavian Rebellion

Roman Militaria

Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

The pilum

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and 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

Legend of Alaric's Burial

Mediaeval History

Feudalism, Beginnings
Feudalism, 10th Century
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings
Stockfish Trade



List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors


Kings and Emperors
King Heinrich IV
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

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


Scottish Kings

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


Princes and Rebels

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


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

Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres

Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

History in Opera and Literature

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

Raised Bogs
The Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland



Fun Stuff

Not So Serious Romans
Aelius Rufus Visits the Future Series
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Royal (Hi)Stories
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Historical Memes
Charlemagne meme
Historical Christmas Wishes
New Year Resolutions
Aelius Rufus does a Meme
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances

Funny Sights
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg

My Novels in Progress / Planning

I'm a bit of a writer, too; here are the novel projects on which I'm currently working

Roman Novels (Historical Fiction)
The Saga of House Sichelstein (Historical Fiction)
Kings and Rebels (Fantasy)


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

History Blogs - Ancient

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

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

Poets and Photographers (German Blogs)
Alte Steine (Burgdame Eva)
Durch Bücherstaub geblinzelt (Silberdistel)
Insel-Aus-Zeit (Carmen Wedeland)

German Travel Blogs
Good Morning World
Sonne und Wolken
Unterwegs und Daheim

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

The Colours of the World


Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
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
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades

Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

Ancient History
Encyclopedia Mythica

Online Journals
Ancient Warfare
The Heroic Age
The History Files

Travel and Guide Sites

Germany - History
Antike Stätten in Deutschland
Strasse der Romanik

Germany - Nature
Naturpark Meissner
Naturpark Solling-Vogler

English Heritage
Visit Northumberland

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
National Novel Writing Month


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