Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895. This stone castle was constructed in 1257 as the fortress residence of the Grandmasters of the Teutonic Order and later became a residence for Prussian rulers. The people captured in… Continue reading Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895.
Max und Moritz, the iconic terrible duo who were involved in many bad pranks, are known to all in German speaking lands. This image shows the boys playing a practical joke...pouring gun powder into a smoker’s pipe so that they could later laugh about the results of their prank. These two comic-book-like characters… two young… Continue reading Max und Moritz, the iconic terrible duo who were involved in many bad pranks, are known to all in German speaking lands
In Germany the year 1888 is remembered as the year of 3 Kaisers. Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded his father as Emperor in 1888, but ruled for only 98 days, before succumbing to throat cancer. Although still young at age 57, he was Emperor of Germany for only 3 months. Upon Friedrich's death, his son Wilhelm II… Continue reading If Friedrich had lived longer, he might have been able to change European alliances, preventing the outbreak of WWI and thus WWII
Being mostly landlocked, Germany was never really known as a sea power, but in some of its northern cities it was different. In particular, the cities of Lübeck and Hamburg were famous for their flourishing maritime trade…already since the Middle Ages…and for using their merchant ships as armed warships during times of conflict. As an… Continue reading Pirates were a serious problem in Germany from 1398 to 1402
...with walls 27 ft high and 7 feet thick...and with outermost castle walls that enclose 52 acres. For perspective, that is four times the enclosed area of Windsor Castle. Amazingly, this huge German medieval structure still exists... it has survived the ages and is now 743 years old, although it is no longer located within… Continue reading Marienburg Castle is the largest fortress ever built in Europe
Image from a book, History of Clothing, from a page showing outfits from the first third of the 16th century. The three men at the right are Landsknechte, demonstrating the very colorful and unique clothing that was worn by these mercenary soldiers. Landsknechte became an important military force through late 15th- and 16th-century Europe. At the… Continue reading Landsknechte are probably best known for the variety and flamboyance of their unconventional uniforms
This regal portrait of a man who lived 1200 years ago was painted in 1512 by Albrecht Dürer...it is a representation of what he thought his subject, Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne), may have looked like at age 58 in the year 800. It was known that Karl was slim and very tall...6' 0" versus 5'… Continue reading Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne, was crowned on 25 December 800…All future German Holy Roman Emperors and all French Kings considered themselves to be descendants of his Empire.
"Dinner at the Ball" captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire. It was 7 years after the German unification of 1871 and was the era of Kaiser Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Bismarck, who created a booming economy and a foreign policy that produced 43… Continue reading Most of Menzel’s paintings were quickly gathered up by museums and patrons in Germany
Try to imagine what it was like to be 6 years old and declared King of the Germans, a powerful medieval nation. This actually happened in 1056 in Aachen Cathedral, when Heinrich IV was crowned King of the Romans, the medieval official title for King of the Germans. If you think a 6 year old… Continue reading Six year old Heinrich was declared King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor in 1056, kidnapped at age 12 and regained control at age 16…and the drama was just beginning
The oldest archaeological evidence of the Celts comes from Hallstatt, Austria, near Salzburg. Excavated graves of chieftains there, dating from about 700 BC, exhibit an Iron Age culture (one of the first in Europe) which received in Greek trade such luxury items as bronze and pottery vessels. It would appear that these wealthy Celts, based… Continue reading The Celts populated Europe and England until conquered and assimilated by Germanic peoples