Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


25.5.12
  Towns and Nature Along the Baltic Sea Coasts - Part 2

Back west from the easternmost stop in st.Petersburg, we visited some more places in the Baltic States and Poland.

Tallinn

This one's in Estonia. Another Hansa town, known as Reval when most of the territory of todays Baltic States was in the hands of the German Hansa and the Teutonic Knights.

Tallinn, view from the Upper Town to the Old Town

Riga

And on to Latvia. It is amazing how fast those towns managed to repair their historical sites that often had been damaged or destroyed during WW2 and neglected during the Sovjet area. Tallinn, Riga and Gdansk all have World Heritage status today. And the beer is still cheaper than in Germany. *grin*

Riga, House of the Black Brotherhood

Curonian Spit and Nida

The Curonian Spit (Kurische Nehrung) is a 98 km long dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. To prevent the dunes from covering everything, a reforesting program had been established in the 19th century, and today there are birch and pine woods, but still a lot of sand, too.

The Geat Dune

And some pretty villages like Nida (formerly Nidden) which had been a summer residence of rich Germans post WW2. The writer Thomas Mann spent some time there, and it would still make a good writer's retreat today; the place is very quiet, with the lagoon on one side and only a mile or so to the Baltic Sea.

A fisherman's hut in Nida

Gdansk and Marienburg Castle

Gdansk is another town with a great Hansa tradition and lots of beuatiful old houses as well as an interesting cathedral. It's also a centre of amber working and amber trade, in good Medieaval tradition when amber was one of its main export articles. Yes, I got me a bracelet.

Gabled houses in Gdansk

Amber trade was in the hands of the Teutonic Knights, and boy, did they build a whopping big castle a bit inland. Sorry, Edward I, but your Welsh castles have nothing to the Marienburg (Malbork Castle). I was lucky to be able to spend several hours there, exploring at least part of it.

Marienburg (Malbork) Castle, middle and inner bailey

Kiel Canal

Better know as Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in Germany. Since the Albatros sailed off from Bremerhaven at the North Sea, we had to cross the canal to get to the Baltic Sea (it's much shorter than rounding the entire peninsula), and on the way back it took place mostly during daylight. It was almost like a river cruise.

Traffic on the Kiel Canal

Bremen

On the way back, I stopped in Bremen for a few hours, to add another Hansa town to my collection. Its Renaissance town hall is one of the most beautiful in Europe, and there's a cathedral and some narrow streets with old houses as well.

Bremen, the town hall

Blog fodder for months to come, and I haven't even finished all posts about the Welsh castles from 2008. *sigh*

 
Comments:
What great pictures - looks like a wonderful vacation!
 
Love the different views. Found Gabled houses in Gdansk very interesting, and Marienburg castle. Crossing the canal must have been fun, with all those big ships.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home


Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK and Scandinavia.

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

My Photo
Name:
Location: Germany

I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.

e-mail
Twitter


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