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

  A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

The weather turned into a mix of sunshine and clouds during the days I spent in Bruges, but despite the dramatic appearance of some of those clouds, it never rained.

A tour on the canals is very popular

Bruges has even more canals than Ghent, so one of the first things I did was to take a tour on the water, which was almost as crowded as the streets. A bicycle taxi proved the fastest way to get to my hotel, winding its way through narrow lanes and tourist clusters. (Ghent has recently closed its old town for most cars which makes walking the narrow lanes easier.) And this is Bruges in April; in summer you'll better get a Nimbus 3000 to move around. *grin*

Old houses at the canals

There are a lot of old houses along the canals, and bits of green wherever it manages to grow. It is a lovely way to explore Bruges. I got a bunch of photos and will post more of them in a separate post some day..

There are a lot of bridges

There are a lot of bridges as well. When you stand up to take a photo over the heads of the other people in the boat, you need to watch out for those and duck in time, because most of the bridges are very low. In the Middle Ages, cogs could reach the former Water Hall at the market place, but on the smaller canals, transport was done by barges.


When the sun disappeared behind a layer of grey clouds, the vista reminded me a bit of the 19th century Bruges desribed in George Rodenbach's novel Bruges-la-morte (published 1892) with its grey houses, dark waters and mists. At that time, the town had lost its connection with the sea due to silting of the Zwin river, and the industry didn't take hold like fe. in Antwerp.

But today, tourists enliven the picture in most places even on a dreary day. Though there are spots where few tourists go (and miss out on some pretty and interesting places).

Sometimes the sun came out

And when the sun came out, the canals were a most lovely place. This charming spot can be found behind the choir of the Church of Our Dear Lady, Bruges' main church (more below).

Cloth Hall with belfry

Bruges has its Cloth Merchants' Hall with a high belfry, too, dating to the 13th century. It is 83 metres (272 feet) high and can be ascended by 366 stairs. The view from top is probably spectacular, but I don't like heights and I didn't fell like ascending 366 stairs, either. Plus, those vistas never come out as grand on photos. In summer, people sometimes wait for an hour and more to get inside, because the number of people allowed in the tower is limited.

Pretty old houses at the Market

The belfry dominates the market square, but on the opposite side is a row of pretty old houses, another postcard motive.

Under those green sunshades hides a whole row of restaurants with yummy, albeit somewhat expensive, Belgian food. Yes, I did try the famous mussels and loved them.

The hall of the Provincial Court at the market

The third side of the market square is framed by the Hall of the Provincial Court, an 19th century Neo-Gothic building erected on the site of the old Water Hall, a roofed-in harbour in the Middle Ages.

The well in the foreground shows the figures of Pieter de Coninck and Jan Breydel, two men who led a Flemish uprising and successfully fought against the French occupants at the batte of Kortrijk, also known as the Battle of the Golden Spurs, in 1302.

The old town hall

The oldest square in Bruges is called Steen, after the castle that once stood there. The town hall - now its outstanding feature - was completed in 1421. It is the oldest example of a municipal building in the Brabantine Gothic style in Belgium. The town halls of Ghent and Leuven followed its example.

Town hall, interior: the great hall

The interior was restored about 1900 in the Gothic revival style. The two halls were joined into one and the ceiling renewed with some Gothic looking beam constructions. The murals show scenes from the history of Bruges.

Holy Blood Chapel, interior

The Chapel of the Holy Blood started out as a two storeyed chapel adjacent to the old castle. In 1150, Thierri of Alsace, Count of Flanders, returned from the second crusade with a relic of the Holy Blood; until today one of the most venerated relics in Catholic Flanders. It is presented in a famous procession every year.

The upper chapel was transformed in Gothic style in the 15th century, and altered again in the 19th, this time in Gothic revival style. The chapel is now a - to my taste - overdecorated mix of styles. It is also full of tourists.

St.Basil's Chapel, interior

The lower chapel, known as St.Basil's Chapel, was never changed and therefore kept its Romanesque style. Regular readers of my blog know that this is my favourite style in architecture, so I really enjoyed this beautiful example. The place was much quieter, too.

Tower of the Church of Our Dear Lady, seen from one of the canals

The tower of the Church of Our Lady is the second tallest brick tower in the world. It rises to 122.3 metres (401 ft.). The cathedral was erected in several stages from the 13th to the 15th century; its dominating style is Gothic.

Unfortunately, the tower was pretty much the only part not scaffolded in right now. Most of the interior is not accessible due to renovation work, either.

Michelangelo's Madonna with Child

What can be seen is the church's most famous treasure (and they charge the full fee for it even during renovation); the Madonna with Child sculpted by Michelangelo in 1504. Merchants from Bruges bought it during the artist's lifetime and gifted it to the town.

I almost missed it. The madonna is a small part of a huge Baroque altar setting with pillars of black marble which I walked right past because I'm not a fan of that style. I had to ask a guide where the statue was hiding.

Old St.Johns Hospital

St. John's hospital dates back to the 11th century and was expanded during the Middle Ages, eventually incorporating a monastery and a convent. Further wards were added in the 19th century. It was a place where the sick too poor to pay for private treatment by a physician, including pilgrims and travellers, were cared for. It was in use as hospital until 1977. Today, the buildings house a congress centre and museums.

Béguinage Ten Wijngaerde, the inner court

Of all the béguinages in Flanders, the one in Bruges is the most beautiful, especially in spring when the narcisses on the central lawn are in bloom. It was founded in 1245 by Margaret of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut. Fun fact aside: she had a few too many sons from two marriages, which led to a nasty little succession war.

Most of the pretty white houses date to the 16th - 18th century. Beguines lived there until 1927, since then it is a convent of Benedictines, and a place of quiet despite the tourists (most of them respect the signs that ask for silence).

The Ghent Gate

The Gentpoort is one of the remaining gates of the Mediaeval town fortifications. The town walls date to 1297 (little of them remains), but several of the gates are from the early 15th century, including the Ghent Gate. It includes a little museum which unfortunately was closed for lunch; and I didn't have the time to return.

Jerusalem Chapel, interior

One of the places missed out by the busloads of tourists is the Jerusalem Chapel and the town manor of the Adorne family, who some may know from the Niccolò series by Dorothy Dunnett. A member of the Adorne family - which had moved from Genua to Bruges in the 13th century - commissioned the chapel in 1470. An existing chapel was altered to resemble the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Chapel, the crypt

The main room with the stone altar and stone-carved calvary is flanked by two staircases leading to a second floor with another altar. Hidden behind the stairs is the entrance to the crypt which in turn leads to a narrow corridor and a small room with an imitation of the holy sepulchre.

There were no other tourists around and I found the chapel to be a nice and peaceful place. Some rooms of the former manor house include a small museum about the Adorne family.

House Ter Beurze

The place in front of the inn run by the family van der Beurze was used as stock exchange market since the 14th century, when purely financial transactions were introduced from Italy. The family also worked as brokers and agents for visiting merchants. The house and square gave the name to the German word for stock exchange market - Börse. The house with its Gothic façade dates to 1493, though the inn existed since 1276.

Seven houses in seven different styles

Bruges is a town with lots of old houses, often with crow step gables or decorated façades in late Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque style. The ones in this photo represent seven different styles; the houses just happened to end up in a row.

Crow step gabled brick houses

A number of houses are made of brick and reminded me of Lübeck, like the ones in the photo above.

Bruges is a town that is best explored by walking around a lot, also outside the main tourist paths (and a boat tour on the canals, of course).

Van Eyck Square

The Jan van Eyck Square lies on the site of the former toll stop for ships visiting Bruges. At that time the canal, crossed by a bridge, ran all the way to the market. Part of it has been covered in the 18th century, thus creating the square. Today, the pretty vista is included in the boat tours.

  Dominated by the Cathedral - Antwerp's Old Town

Antwerp is a bigger city than Ghent or the charming Bruges, with one of the largest ports in Europe and a famous shopping mile, but the historical centre is no larger than in the other towns.

Interior of the central railway station in Antwerp

I visited the city on a day trip from Ghent - the train connections are very good - so the first thing I saw of Antwerp was the railway station, an imposing hall in the Art Nouveau style built between 1895-1905 and renovated in the 1980ies, after the consequences of bomb damage during WW2 and constant vibrations from the fast speed trains had made the building instable.

The spire of the cathedral against the morning sun

It followed a walk along the 'fashion mile' to the old town. Antwerp is famous for its fashion, but since I can get the labels I want in my home town, I didn't stop in any of the stores. I like nice clothes, but I'm not a fashionista. If you want to do some shopping, you need to plan more time for your visit to Antwerp, though.

The towers of the cathedral westwork

One cannot miss the way, because the 123 metres (404 foot) high tower of the cahtedral is well visible, especially in the morning sun. Originally, there should have been two towers crowning the westwork, but at some point the money went out. The story of so many public buildings. ;-)

Cathedral of Our Lady, interior

Like so many other Gothic churches, the Cathedral of Our Lady has been erected in place of an older church. Construction started in 1352, but it took about two hundred years to finish, so most of it is in the Brabantian Gothic style, known as flamboyant style in England. It is an imposing seven-naved building of 120 metres (390 ft.) length and 75 metres (264 ft.) width.

Details of the crossing cupola

The interior of the cathedral was severely damanged in a fire in 1533, and during the Calvinist iconoclasitc fury, much was destroyed as well, but today several paintings of Rubens as well as other works from his compatriots are displayed in the church. Most of the other interior is Neo-Gothic, like fe. the choir stalls.

Flying buttresses

The cathedral is closely surrounded by houses, so it was difficult to get good exterior shots. But I found a nook between roofs where I got get a closeup of some flying buttresses. I'll save a few more photos for another post about the cathedral.


In front of the cathedral is the Glove Makers' Market, one of several places in Antwerp. It is rather cozy with some pretty old houses with crow-stepped gables.

Fine old houses at the Grote Markt

More of those houses can be found on the Grote Markt, the Great Market. Those are even more splendidly decorated. Most of them are 19th century reconstructions of old Renaissance and Baroque houses, but they kept the style matching the town hall.

The town hall of Antwerp

The town hall of Antwerp is late Gothic in style, one of the finest town halls in Belgium.

The well in front of it shows the foundation legend of Antwerp - (H)ant werpen (Hand Throwing). Some evil giant took a toll from every ship passing on the nearby Scheldt river and cut the hand off everyone who didn't pay, until a Roman soldier named Silvio Brabo put an end to it by cutting the hand off the giant. He threw the hand into the river, and on that island Antwerp was built.

Castle Steen

The name rather goes back to aanwerp, a headland. The oldest remaining part of the town is the castle Het Steen on a headland in the Scheldt river. The castle dates back to the 12th century, though it has been changed in 1520 when Charles V had it altered to accomodate artillery. The keep was also replaced by a palace building.

The Steen was used as prison from the 15th - 19th century; until 2011 it had been a museum.

The Steen, seen from the other side

The Steen looks like the little brother of the Gravensteen, but once it was part of a series of fortifications that protected access to Antwerp and controlled the traffic on the Scheldt river.

The river Scheldt

The river Scheldt which enters the North Sea 60 miles further north-west has always been the heart of Antwerp, its harbour in the Middle Ages, its port nowadays. In the 19th century, more than two million people left Europe for America by ship from Antwerp.

I left the town in direction of the railway station and back to Ghent.

  A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Let us take a little tour of Ghent, this time with photos from the 'real' camera. The smartphone camera works well enough on the small mobile screen, but when I checked my Twitter travel series (link see sidebar) I noticed that esp. the interior shots were not up to the standard of my other camera. But I still like the idea of taking some extra pics during a tour and posting them in the evenings.

Gravensteen castle, just a few steps from my hotel

It was warm and sunny when I arrived in Ghent. And right outside the very nice hotel situated in a old town house, I found this fascinating castle. Both hotel and castle are called Gravensteen (Count's Castle).

No question where to go first. :-)

A big whopping castle in the middle of Ghent

The castle is huge and I spent quite some time exploring all the corners and rooms, inlcuding the torture chamber. Unfortunately, the historical buildings in Flanders often don't provide guidebooks like the ones I keep bringing back home from Scotland or Wales (or the more famous German sites), so I will have to hunt down some information for a longer post some later time.

The great hall

The castle was built by the counts of Flanders in the 12th century. They lived in the place until about 1400 when they moved to the - now destroyed - Prince's Palace. The castle then served as high court of justice until the French Revolution and afterwards housed a cloth manufactury. The Gravensteen was restored to its Mediaeval look in the early 20th century.

Outer curtain walls with walkway and battlements

Due to the fine weather and it being a Sunday, there were a lot of tourists around, but I could still mostly photograph around them. The place will be even more crowded in late spring and summer. There also was a knight in shining armour who posed for pictures with the kids.

The oldest hall

The castle is dominated by the donjon turned into a great hall, surrounded a set of curtain walls with 24 watch towers. The high double gate tower reminds me a bit of the Edwardian castles in the UK. The oldest hall (photo above) is now under the ground level of the inner bailey.

The gate tower seen from the curtain walls

When I finally left the Gravensteen I walked around in the old town, looking for pretty vistas which I found in abundance, esp. with the sun and lots of water to add to the beauty. Later I also took a tour on the canals - you can't visit either Ghent or Bruges without doing one of those.

Pretty old houses at the Kornlei

Ghent lies at the confluence of the Leie (Lys) river into the Scheldt (which in turn enters the North Sea) and had been criscrossed by canals called Grachten in the Middle Ages. Many of them have been filled in or covered up in later centuries, but there are still a number of waterways around, and the town plans to open up several more.

A canal tour by boat

Here is a shot from the boat. The red brick building to the right is the Fishers' Hall, a Neogothic building at the place of the old fish market. There are a lot of tourists from the French speaking part of Belgium around, so the guide gave the tour in Flemish Dutch, French and English. A fun way to pick up some Flemish.

Vleeshuis - the Butchers' Hall

At the other side one can see the Butcher's Hall. The quality control of meat was very important and every butcher who wanted to sell his wares could only do so in this hall since the 15th century - the time to which the building dates. Today, local food produces are sold in the hall.

Old houses at the Graslei

And more pretty houses, either truly old, or restored. The grey stone house with the crow step gable dates to the 13th century. Graslei and the opposite Korenlei (not to be confused with the Kornlei in a photo further up) were the old town harbour. Today the quays are full of restaurants where one can sit outside in fine weather.

Het Rabot - the remaining city wall gate

The remaining town gate, called The Rabot, dates to the late 15th century. It is a combination of gate and sluice, situated where the river Leie crosses the town moat. The name is a corruption of the French word rabattre - shut down the beams.

The Duivelsteen

The next morning started out misty, but the sun came out about mid day.

The fortified manor of Geraard de Duivelsteen was one of the first stone houses in Ghent. It started out as fortified house in the 13th century. The large windows were probably added by Geraard 'the Devil' in the 14th century. We don't know for sure why I got that nickname; some say that he had an unusually dark skin, others blame his alleged five marriages and mysteriously dying wives.

Town hall, the Gothic façade

The town hall is a work of several centuries, as its façades show: the older one is flamboyant Gothic, the younger one Renaissance style. The Gothic part was begun in 1518 to grand plans, but only part of the house was eventually built and most of the niches in the façade don't hold any statues as was intended. When construction was continued, the style had changed and the other side got a Renaissance design.

The 13th century Ter Hoyen béguinage

The eldest of the three béguinages in Ghent. Beguines were women who lived together in a semi-religious community without taking vows (though they remained chaste). A lot of them were widows. In the Middle Ages, béguinages were often founded by nobles to provide charity for the poor, later women had to buy themselves in. Béguinages are typical for Flanders and the Netherlands where they were in use until the last century.

Yard in the Huis van Alijn

Huis van Alijn once was a hospital and infirmary, then an ethnological museum, and now a museum showing furniture of the 20th century. Well, I didn't care about rooms decorated in the style of the 1970ies - I had one of those myself - but the courtyard with its little pub is a lovely and quiet place to sit and have one of the famous Belgian beers.


The Friday Market is the place in the Ghent that has seen a lot of history since 1199, processions and tournaments, but also revolts and bloodbaths, like the feud between the weavers and fullers in 1314. Edward III of England was given a splendid reception here in 1340, much to the displeasure of the King of France.

St.Nicolai Church and Stone Masons' Guild Hall (right)

A nice view of one of the churches of Ghent, St.Nicolai, another Gothic building, with the Stone Masons' Guild Hall to the right. The latter had been hiding behind a façade from the 19th century until 1976. The old one has now been restored.

St.Bavo cathedral, the Romanesque crypt

The most famous church is St.Bavo Cathedral. The building is mostly 16th century Brabantian Gothic, but the crypt is Romanesque, remains of an older church beneath it. The famous Ghent Altar of van Eyck is displayed in the cathedral, but no photos of that one, sorry. Absolutely verboten.

The canals of Ghent

Let us return to the cathedral and the Bavo Square in front of its westwork. The place is framed on the other side by another building with a tall tower, the belfry of the Cloth Merchants' Guild Hall (Lakenhal).

A tale of two towers:

Right: belfry of the Cloth Merchants' Hall; left: tower of St.Bavo cathedral

There was a competition going on between the rich merchants and the Church who could build the higher tower. Today, the belfry of the Cloth Merchants' Guild Hall and the main tower of St. Bavo Cathedral dominate the skyline of Gent's old town. The third, the tower of St.Nicolai Church, isn't quite as high. The belfry is 91 metres high, the cathedral tower 89. The merchants won.

Evening in the Patershol quarter

In the 19th century, the Patershol was a poor workmen's quarter and fell into decline when most of the industry left the town, but in the last 20something years the houses have been renovated, and today it is a very nice place.

Posts about Bruges and the other places I've visited (Antwerp and Tongeren) are linked here.

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.
My Photo
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


May 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 / December 2017 / January 2018 / February 2018 / March 2018 /



Powered by Blogger