Focus: Middle Ages - 19th Century
The focus on my learning in history during this year will be the Hanseatic League and its cultural influence on northern european cities and citizens. I will learn about the history of Europe by reading books, watching documentaries and visiting historic places and museums. Some of my excursions and learning journeys are listed below.
Excursions and learning journeys
For this year's subject, I spent a lot of time visiting various Hanseatic League cities. I have listed the cities I visited here:
- Stralsund and Wismar (the historic inner cities are UNESCO world heritage)
I also visited many other museums to experience and learn about the thoughts of normal people and culture in the Middle Ages, the Age of Enlightenment and how culture changed in the course of the centuries.
The city of Münster
Middle Ages: The city of Marburg in Germany
Marburg is one of the loveliest cities in Germany.
In 1130 the name Marburgwas first used when it belonged to the landgraves of Thuringia. Marburg developed at the crossroads of the trade road between Cologne and Prague and the trade route from the North sea to the Alps on to Italy. The early history of the city is associated with St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who arrived in 1228 from Wartburg and spent the last 3 years of her life there. She was canonized in 1235. There is so much to see.
If you only visit one city, Marburg is where you want to go.
I took a guided tour and visited all the historic sites. Not only is the inner city authentically medieval, it also played a prominent role in the development of Protestantism in Germany. I saw the house were Martin Luther had his first stop in Marburg as he was on his way to the Marburg Colloquy to talk with his opponent Phillip Melanchton, is the same house where the Grimm brothers lived while they studied law at the world's oldest protestant-funded University in Marburg! The barefoot alley, where the barefoot Fransican monks used to pass through, the Elizabeth church, named after St. Elizabeth of Marburg...
I have written a paper about it and have revisited the city in 2015. You can view some of my other photographies of Marburg in the "gallery" section.
Baroque: The city of Hannover in Germany
This year I traveled to the city of Hannover to hold a speach about midwifery, or more exactly about maternity nursing of mother and child after birth. Hannover is a beautiful city with a vast number of historic and contemporary monuments, so I used this opportunity to learn something about the history of Hannover. What I liked the most, were the Herrenhausen Gardens (Herrenhäuser Gärten). These are gardens in baroque style and are among the most beautiful gardens of their kind in Europe. In the morning, before my speech, I visited the gardens and the baroque museum. The gardens were so impressive and so beautiful, that we decided to visit the gardens again at night, when they are immersed in indirect lighting. We even did so although I had blisters on my feet because of all the sightseeing we did!
Baroque museum in the Herrenhaus Gardens
Hanseatic League: The city of Münster in Germany
This year I visited the city of Münster to attend the DGTI congress. Münster is a city with a rich history. I wrote a paper about my trip and made photos from all the interesting things I saw.
17-19th century: Freilichtmuseum Klockenhagen
How did people live outside of the cities? The Mecklenburg countryside as it was 100-300 years ago. In Klockenhagen, you can walk through real farm houses from those days before machines revolutionized human labour. You can feel like Cinderella, trying to spin wool with a spindle or a spinning wheel. Or try ploughing through the dirt with a man-driven plough. You can eat bread from a real stone baking oven and see the "modern" horse-driven threshing mill.
19th century: Dutch Wind Mill "de Ster"
My grandfather is an architect. After the historic windmill, built in 1866, was destroyed by flames, he sifted through old documents to rebuild the mill, as this knowledge had vanished in last century. He was the one who constructed a building plan for the mill and the mill was rebuilt and has been working ever since. He has taken me to the mill numerous times, from the time I was a child and I know the wording of the "making of the mill movie" by heart. I love the scent of cinnamon, cardamom and snuff tabacco when I visit the mill. If you are in the Netherlands, make sure to visit a windmill!