See trips hub: Europe Road Ways

For themes of conflict, present in any country, see Studying War.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wartburg Castle - Siege, Architecture, Half-Timber, Cannon. Duke Ludwig

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Wartburg - the castle on the hill - was founded in 1067 AD by Duke Ludwig de Springer - long before Martin Luther at the start of the Reformation 16th Century  needed it for a safe haven, and translated the New Testament into German here.

If only medieval geneologies were more comprehensible to outsiders.  We looked up Duke Ludwig, and lost our wits in names, cum barba or not (with beard, or not, we think) to find out more about the one who found a fabulous view of the Alps there, and started a fortress on this site.  See://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/THURINGIA.htm  Did the good duke have his wife's first husband murdered so he could marry her? That may have been the "cum barba."

The lands here, known as Thuringia, were part of the Soviet allocation after WWII - East Germany, the Iron Curtain. During the Middle Ages, the castle was known for its minstrel festivals and contests.

See glimpses of Romanesque, Gothic and  Renaissance architecture by now. 

We forget that, during times of siege, the castle enclosed an entire living space, a mini-town.The defense could be sustained for a long period, so long as the well water and food held out. This cannon, of course, is not medieval. Perhaps 19th Century? See the history of small cannon at ://www.cannon-mania.com/history.htm


The half-timber style is durable. Some of the oldest, tiltiest, biggest buildings from medieval Germany are half-timber.  The timber framework was solid, and then the spaces filled with plaster, horsehair, straw, grease, mud, matter that retained some flexibility - instead of a crack that weakened the building when it shifted, it bulged.