The Germans that colonized and built cities in the lands bordering the Baltic Sea were referred to as Baltic Germans. They ruled regions named Prussia, Kurland, Memel, and Livonia which are now known as the Baltic States: Latvia, Estonia, and northern parts of Lithuania and Poland. German culture thrived in these regions for 700 years.… Continue reading Baltic Germans were the legacy of the 300 year old Teutonic State that ended in 1525
In March 1193, Richard the Lionheart was captured on his way back from the Third Crusade. The English King was arrested by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, and soon imprisoned by Kaiser Heinrich VI at Trifels Castle in the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany. The arrest was revenge for Richard’s support of a massive conspiracy against the German… Continue reading German Emperor Heinrich VI arrested Richard the Lionheart, King of England and held him for ransom
Prussia circa 1250, Teutonic Knights Charge during winter, their favorite season in the Northern Crusades. Much of German history is not well known ...for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years and the largest castle ever built in Europe was a German crusader castle, the Marienburg. There once existed… Continue reading There once existed a German state, governed by Warrior Monks, that ruled over all the lands along the Baltic Sea for 300 years
In the 1300’s, the northern German city of Lübeck was the "Queen of the Hanseatic League", by far the largest and most powerful member of this medieval trade organization, with offices in many countries. Medieval Lübeck Trade routes and office locations of the German Hansa League Lübeck was the "Queen of the Hanseatic League" As… Continue reading Lübeck’s German offices in London were the largest medieval trading complex in Britain, from 1282 until 1853
Here are some of my thoughts regarding genealogy and family names in northeast East Prussia (Ostpreussen) and Memel. Many people there had German ancestors who emigrated from Saltzburg and a variety of other German cities and states. But many of these families had a common denominator... the “eit” at the end of their Surnames. How… Continue reading My thoughts regarding genealogy and family names in East Prussia
Teutonic Knights have such a compelling history...their story has all the makings of a great mini-series. In its first 200 years, the Teutonic Order was invincible. Its heavy cavalry of ordained Catholic monks, clad in white surcoats with black crosses, numbered some 3000 men. They were the best in Europe and formed the core of… Continue reading Teutonic Knights and their descendants, the Baltic Germans, prospered for 700 years in north eastern Europe.
My parents lived in Königsberg and were married there in 1940. The city was the capital of East Prussia in Germany. I remember a photo of them in 1937 in a rowboat on this large castle lagoon, the one pictured here. And stories of how they had dinner in the somewhat spooky Königsberg Castle’s Blutgericht… Continue reading This photo brings back memories of my parents who lived in Königsberg
The Teutonic Knights were warrior monks who fought to convert pagans to Christianity and also built and governed their Monastic State of the Teutonic Order all along the Baltic coast in northern Europe. At the core of their organization was a group of 3000 highly trained and well equipped warrior monks...men who also gave up… Continue reading For 300 years two men were included in the daily prayers of the Teutonic Knights
...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
Another interesting aspect of German history is the long running connection with Italy. For example, there is a statue of German Kaiser Friedrich II …who lived in the 13th century…still being honored today in Naples, Italy. The image posted here, painted by Arthur von Ramberg, portrays this Kaiser at his court in Palermo, Italy. If… Continue reading Another interesting aspect of German history is the long running connection with Italy.