The Pfalzfeld Pillar

The Pfalzfeld Pillar


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HEAD: THE CELTIC HEAD CULT

Head-hunting as a proof of prowess and the veneration of the head as the seat of the soul and the source of spiritual potency are both far older than the dawn of the historical period. In Europe there is fairly clear evidence for them as far back as Mesolithic times. They were therefore part of the European heritage long before the Celts emerged as a distinct cultural entity. But here, as in so many other instances, what the Celts borrowed or inherited from others they soon made peculiarly their own. The veneration of the head became a central element of their ideology, a deep-set preoccupation which lasted from the birth of the Celtic peoples to their final conquest, one which left its imprint ubiquitously on their art and on their mythology.

The archaeological and artistic evidence for the head cult among the Celts is too extensive to catalog briefly. For example, at the Celto-Ligurian sanctuary of Entremont in southern Gaul (Provence), fifteen male skulls were found, several of them still bearing the marks of the spikes with which they had been fixed for display, and at Bredon Hill in Gloucestershire, England, a row of skulls uncovered near the entrance seem to have fallen from above the gate of the fort. At Entremont there are many examples of severed heads sculpted on blocks of stone, while Roquepertuse, also in Provence, has its famous decorated portico with niches in which human skulls were placed. There is also a wealth of heads sculpted in stone or carved in metal which, while not explicitly identified as severed heads, reflect clearly and sometimes very dramatically the importance accorded the head as a symbol of extraordinary power and divinity: for example, those from Heidelberg or from M š eck é - Ž ehrovice in Bohemia, or the pear-shaped heads on the Pfalzfeld Pillar, or the three-faced head from Corleck, County Cavan, Ireland.

Classical authors confirm the archaeological testimony. According to Posidonius, as reported by Diodorus Siculus (5.29.4 – 5) and Strabo (4.4.5), the Celts returned from battle with the heads of their defeated enemies hanging from the necks of their horses. The heads of their most distinguished opponents they embalmed in cedar oil and stored carefully in a chest to be displayed proudly to their visitors, and in some instances they used the skull of a distinguished enemy as a vessel for sacred libations. These and other similar references are supported by the insular Celtic literatures, where the return of the hero carrying the heads of his foes as trophies is commonplace. Cormac's Glossary, which dates from around 900 ce, defines the term mesradh Machae, "the nut harvest of Macha (the war goddess)," as "the heads of men after they have been cut down."

But the cult of the head went far beyond the pursuit of martial glory. The head was not only a prized heroic trophy but also a profoundly religious symbol, sometimes evidently representative of a deity and generally suggestive of supernatural wisdom and power. It was a source of prosperity, fertility, and healing as well as an apotropaic agent to ward off evil from the individual and from the community as a whole. Severed heads are often associated with sacred wells — themselves instruments of healing — in the archaeological record, in the early insular literature, and in modern oral tradition, and this association was carried over into the legends of the Christian saints. There are many instances in the literature of heads continuing to live — speaking, directing, entertaining — long after they have been separated from the body. Perhaps the most striking example is that of Bendigeidvran (Br â n the Blessed), whose head presided over the otherworld and protected the island of Britain since its burial at the White Mount in London. Indeed so widespread and so persistent is the image of the head in its various aspects that Anne Ross has seen fit to describe it as "the most typical Celtic religious symbol."


Celtic Sculpture

Given their preference for abstract or stylized forms, it is scarcely surprising that the Celts should have left us comparatively few images of their gods. Most of the finest examples of Celtic sculpture involve disciplines like metalwork and jewellery art, as well as stone carving. Of the stoneworks, many of the finest surviving examples were placed in or near important burial sites.

Pride of place is usually given to depictions of Cernunnos, the horned-god, since he is the only deity that has been positively identified through an inscription. This was discovered on a rather worn altar relief, originally located beneath the present-day church of Notre-Dame de Paris. The monument was erected by Parisian sailors and was dedicated to Tiberius. On the strength of this, a number of other portrayals of the deity have been identified.


Turoe Stone, Galway

CELTIC CULTURES
For a review of Celtic culture,
see Hallstatt Culture (800-450 BCE)
and La Tene Culture (450-50 BCE)

The most notable of these is a Gallo-Roman altar from Reims, whieh shows Cernunnos sitting cross-legged between the figures of Apollo and Mercury. The sculpture dates from the 1st century CE, after Gaul had been Romanized. This accounts for the overtly classical appearance of the group. Even so, several of the god's traditional attributes are clearly recognizable. These include his horns, the torc around his neck and the animals at his feet. In his lap, he holds a sack of money, which represents abundance. The rat above his head relates to the underworld and, in this instance, probably refers to Mercury rather than Cernunnos. The horned god was most popular in Gaul, although evidence of his worship has also been found elsewhere. On some of his shrines, the deity's antlers were removable. This implies that the rites associated with him may have been seasonal, coinciding with the natural growth of a stag's antlers.

CELTIC ARTISTRY
The Celts were important traders
and used their control of European
rivers like the Danube to acquire
expertise in the iron trade, from
which sprang their skill in the use
of chisels, hammers and other tools
essential to the art of sculpture,
carving, and stonework. In their
engraving and geometric patterns
they were influenced by sculptors
from Etruria and Ancient Greece.

ART & ARCHITECTURE IN IRELAND
For facts and information about the
evolution of painting & sculpture
in Munster, Leinster, Connacht and
Ulster, see: History of Irish art.
For a list of sites of significant
cultural and artistic interest, see:
Archeological Monuments Ireland.
For more details please see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland.

EVOLUTION OF THE ARTS
For a chronological list of dates
and events in the development
of painting, sculpture, ceramics
and metalwork, please see:
History of Art Timeline. For details
of the evolution of artworks from
the Stone Age epoch, please see:
Prehistoric Art Timeline.

After Cernunnos, the most widely represented deity was the horse-goddess, Epona. This may be due to the fact that, alone of all the Celtic divinities, she was worshipped at Rome. In most cases, Epona was shown riding side-saddle on a mare or, alternatively, standing between a pair of horses. On coins, she was occasionally represented as a horse with a woman's head. The goddess represented fertility, particularly in relation to horse-breeding, but she was also linked with death. On some images, she was portrayed with a key. One of her roles, it seems, was to conduct human souls to the Otherworld and the key symbolized her access to this legendary realm. Predictably, the cult of Epona was especially popular with cavalrymen. Her name is the source of the English word 'pony'.

Regrettably, many of the surviving items of Celtic religious art (sculpture) can no longer be identified. Nevertheless, they can be classified under a number of different thematic groupings. It is noticeable, for example, that many Celtic deities had zoomorphic overtones. Cernunnos himself was often represented with cloven feet, and this tendency can be discerned in a variety of other figures.

The tiny sandstone statue from Euffigneix in eastern Gaul (1st century BCE) is particularly striking. Measuring just over 25cm, it was probably intended for private devotions, rather than for a larger tribal shrine. The stylized face has been damaged but this is overshadowed, in any case, by the spirited depiction of a boar on the front of the figure. Its dorsal bristles are erect, an aggressive feature which normally underlined the creature's role as a war symbol. On one side of the statuette, there is also an outsized carving of a single human eye, its prominent eyebrow echoing the line of the boar's crest. No one has been able to find a satisfactory explanation for this combination of motifs, although the figure is sometimes thought to represent a hunting god.

Sculpted from bronze rather than stone, the curious figure from Bouray (50 BCE - 50 CE) falls into the same category. A cursory glance might suggest a classical source, but closer examination reveals not only the torc around the neck, but also the figure's awkward, squat-legged position. The tiny legs, which are out of proportion with the rest of the figure, resemble the hooves of a deer. Indeed, if it were not for the complete absence of antlers, it would be tempting to interpret this as a depiction of Cernunnos. The figure was dredged out of the River Juine, to the south of Paris, in 1845. It was fashioned out of sheet metal, and it seems quite possible that its designer was a specialist cauldron-maker. Certainly, there are some stylistic affinities with the figures on the cauldron from Rynkeby.

Many of the other worthies represented by Celtic stonemasons take the form of pillar-statues. This reflects their original purpose, which was to crown the summits of ancient burial mounds. One of the oldest discoveries in this vein was the life-sized figure of a warrior, carved out of sandstone, which was found near the German tomb of Hirschlanden. The statue dates back to the 6th century BCE and was originally placed at the top of the barrow, until it was broken off at the feet. Its various attributes - the conical helmet, the weighty neck-ring, the dagger hanging from a belt, and the erect phallus - were all designed to emphasize the heroic status of the princeling in the tomb below. The distorted facial features are sometimes thought to represent a mask.

The stone monuments at other Celtic burial places offer variants on this theme. At Pfalzfeld in the Rhineland, the stele takes the form of a tapering, four-sided pillar. This was decorated with a series of stylized human faces, each with a leaf-crown headdress and a lotus-bud carved on its forehead. The emphasis on various plant forms suggests that the pillar may have been intended as a representation of a sacred tree. The shaft of the pillar is broken at the top, and it is likely that it was once surmounted by a larger version of the stylized heads.

Janiform figures provided an alternative format for the pillar-statue. With their ability to gaze out in two directions at once, Janus heads were particularly appropriate for the tops of tumuli, dominating their entire surroundings. The best surviving example is a sandstone pillar-statue from Holzerlingen. This is slightly more than life-sized and shows Celtic stylization at its most severe. The mouth is nothing more than a horizontal gash and the heavy, hooded eyes exude menace. Unlike the Hirschlanden figure, which was meant to glorify the occupant of the tomb, this is clearly a deity of some kind. By tradition, Janus figures fulfilled a protective, custodial function, and this may well have been the intention here. Originally, there was a horn-shaped protrusion between the heads. It is not clear whether this was a variant of the leaf crown, as seen on the Pfalzfeld pillar, or whether the deity was actually horned.

Smaller janiform figures have also been unearthed at the Gaulish shrine of Roquepertuse, in Provence. Here, the finds consist solely of heads and there can be no doubt about their watchful purpose. They were designed to be placed over a doorway or entrance. This is confirmed by the fact that there is no modelling on the sides of the sculpture, emphasizing that it was never meant to be seen from that angle. At an early stage, the heads were painted and, as is so often the case with Janus heads, the two faces are different. The frown on one of them is rather more intense than the other.

The sanctuary at Roquepertuse was thoroughly excavated in the 1920s, offering a rare insight into Celtic ritual practices. It may date from as early as the 6th century BCE and it was in continuous use for several centuries, until it was destroyed by fire at the start of the 2nd century BCE. At the entrance to the shrine, there was a portico consisting of three limestone pillars. These contained niches, where the skulls of defeated enemies were triumphantly displayed. Similar activities were carried out at Entremont, another Provencal retreat. This featured the same arrangement of severed heads, nailed into cavities in pillars, but at Entremont there were also a number of carvings of these grisly trophies. On these, the faces had no mouths and were shown with their eyes closed, pointing to the fact that they were dead.

At Roquepertuse, archaeologists also made a number of other discoveries: a series of carved birds, a crudely executed frieze of horses, damaged statues of two cross-legged figures, and traces of animal paintings. Originally, there were five statues, perhaps mounted on pedestals. The remaining pair have lost their heads and arms, making it hard to determine their initial purpose. It is likely that they represented either heroic soldiers or war gods. Hections of armour can still be discerned at the top of the torsos and, like the Janus heads, the figures were once coloured. It has also been suggested that the missing hands may once have presented severed heads towards the spectator. This theory is based on comparisons with the Tarasque de Naves, a chilling sculpture which portrays a ravening monster, probably a form of lion, holding two severed heads beneath its paws. From its jaws, a human arm dangles lifelessly. A similar creature was found at Linsdorf, in Alsace. In both cases, the inspiration is thought to have come from classical funerary art. The Romans often used scenes of animals devouring humans in this context, to symbolize the triumph of death.

Comparatively little wood-carving has come down to us from the Celtic era, largely because of the perishable nature of the material. The majority of the surviving pieces are votive figures, which were cast into the water at sacred springs or river shrines. Unlike the magnificent weapons and items of jewellery that were discarded at other sites, these wooden figurines were usually plain, cheaply made objects. They were also deposited for a very specific purpose, namely to invoke the healing powers of tutelary deities.

The most important healing shrines that have come to light are both in France, at Chamalieres in the Massif Central and at Sources-de-la-Seine near Dijon. The latter was dedicated to Sequana, the personification of the River Seine. Between them, these two sites have yielded up several thousand votive offerings. In general, the sacrificed items appeared in two main guises. Often, they took the form of the limb or organ that was diseased. In other words, the supplicant might offer up a wooden image of a damaged hand in the hope that, in exchange, the deity would restore their real hand to health.

The second type of offering was the so-called 'pilgrim' figure, representing the actual donor. These ranged from fairly naturalistic pieces, frequently betraying the influence of classical art, to stylized, armless figures, wearing thick, hooded cloaks. Their appearance is reminiscent of the Cucullati, the hooded deities who were worshipped in many parts of the Celtic world.

Other Celtic Sculpture

Famous monumental Celtic stonework such as the La Tene style Turoe Stone in County Galway Ireland, the Killycluggin Stone in County Cavan, the Mullaghmast Stone in County Kildare, the Derrykeighan Stone in County Antrim, and the Navel Stone at Delphi, in Greece, is more engraving than sculpture. Likewise the 3-D goldwork of the Broighter boat and other similar artifacts is considered under Celtic Metalwork art rather than sculpture.

As for the famous ringed Celtic High Cross Sculptures, sculpted during the medieval period (c.750-1150) of early Christian art, such as the 10th century Muiredach's Cross, the Celtic-style designs (eg. the interlace, knotwork and spiral designs on the South Cross of Clonmacnoise, the St. Mullins Cross, and the Ullard High Cross) are almost all abstract (the few exceptions being zoomorphic images), while the figurative reliefs owe little to the art of the Celts.

• For more about painters and sculptors, see: Irish Artists.
• For information about the history of stonework in Ireland, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more on the history and types of Celtic sculpture, see: Homepage.


The Pfalzfeld Pillar - History

When Celtic art is mentioned today, the term evokes the art that characterised those peoples now known as the ancient Celts – the peoples documented in the fifth century BC to the north of the Alps and recorded by classical historians during the following centuries as they expanded their territory towards the south and south-east. This art movement extended into Britain and Ireland once they had been Christianised in the first half of the fifth century.

So Celtic art can give the impression of being the artistic expression of all the peoples speaking the Celtic language. But the art of the ancient Celts was the result of a very long search for image-based expression, and the ideas common to the Celts since their origins vary according to the context. Venceslas Kruta, author of a new book, Celtic Art, explains its origins.

The emblem of the pair of dragons, present on the Continent since the sixth century BC, decorated mostly weapons, especially sword scabbards of warriors in the fourth and third century BC. According to an account of the Welsh Mabinogi, such dragons would have been found on Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur. The fight between the two dragons is figured in a most meaningful way on the cover/top of a remarkable artefact, the ceremonial jug from Brno, a masterpiece of Celtic art associated with the beginning of the bright season, the Beltane festival. It represents in a suggestive way most of the constellations that dominated in about 280BC the night sky on the day of this festival, as well as the one for both solstices and the Samain feast, beginning of the dark season.

Several monuments have been discovered which marked the supposed place of the world axis, different for each community. This type of monument, known as their Greek name omphalos (umbilicus), has the shape of a pillar with decoration on each of its four faces. The most ancient one – the Pfalzfeld pillar in Rhineland, from the fifth century BC – and the most recent one – the Irish pillar of Turoe (Co Galway), probably from the first century BC – illustrate the evolution of this concept: from the representation of the divinity face wearing the mistletoe leaves, repeated on each side, to different images on each side, even maybe evocations of areas of the canopy of heaven that correspond to the four cardinal directions.

The ancient Celts’ artworks are not made of borrowings or fortuitous inventions but are the expression of an extremely structured system of their idea of a universal order and its spatial and temporal understanding. Its dynamical aspect is fundamental. Its roots are ancient ones and its general elements are common to both continental and insular Celtic people. Those elements are one of the basis of their cultural unity.

The ultimate step of its symbolic representation is the Irish Christian cross, on which the pattern is arranged vertically. The Christ figure is in the centre – it has thus become the axis that links the heavenly, terrestrial and infernal worlds. However, on some of the crosses, solar patterns are depicted in place of the Christ. Even the pair of dragons can be found on some of them, which are supposed to have their annual fight. Such is the case of a cross of Gallen Priory (Co Offaly), where dragons coil up around a giratory pattern, a sort of curvilinear swastika, or on a Dromiskin cross (Co Louth). This confirms that the specific shape of the Irish cross is the result of a reuse of the old Image of the World in the Christian iconography. None of this is unusual, since the meaning of origin was fully compatible with the Christian doctrine. In Ireland, the image has thus been treated the same way texts from the traditional literature have been, turned away from their most obvious pagan aspects, and customised with a Christian aspect to best serve the new religion.


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The cross and the dragon: the pagan roots of Irish crosses

When Celtic art is mentioned today, the term evokes the art that characterised those peoples now known as the ancient Celts – the peoples documented in the fifth century BC to the north of the Alps and recorded by classical historians during the following centuries as they expanded their territory towards the south and south-east. This art movement extended into Britain and Ireland once they had been Christianised in the first half of the fifth century.

So Celtic art can give the impression of being the artistic expression of all the peoples speaking the Celtic language. But the art of the ancient Celts was the result of a very long search for image-based expression, and the ideas common to the Celts since their origins vary according to the context. Venceslas Kruta, author of a new book, Celtic Art, explains its origins.

We see a lot of crosses and dragons in Celtic art – what do they have in common?

At first glance, very little. However, the Celts believed they were fundamental elements of a system, complex but consistent, which expressed their understanding of the universal order. The starting point is the notion of centre, a crucial concept for ancient Celts. It is here that the cosmic axis is supposedly found, imagined as a tree, preferably oak carrying mistletoe, whose branches support the canopy of heaven and the roots joining the underground world. It thus linked together three superimposed worlds: the Heavens, the Earth of the humans and the Underground world.

The representation of a world defined as four parts linked by a centre is one of the most frequent themes in Celtic art, isn’t it?

Yes, since the fifth century BC. Its simplest shape, a circle and a cross superimposed, is thus depicted on flat spoons most probably used for a ritual purpose, many of which have been found in Ireland. Their midpoint is sometimes pierced, suggesting their use during libations. This association of a cross, indicating the four major directions, and a circle, symbolising the limits of the territory that surrounds the central point, not only has a spatial value, but also a temporal one. The space defined by the journey of the sun and time can indeed not be separated: the four arms of the cross refer to the four daily events of the sun: from sunrise to sunset, including zenith and its equivalent underneath the horizon, but also the yearly events: solstices and equinoxes.

And what’s with the dragons?

The emblem of the pair of dragons, present on the Continent since the sixth century BC, decorated mostly weapons, especially sword scabbards of warriors in the fourth and third century BC. According to an account of the Welsh Mabinogi, such dragons would have been found on Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur. The fight between the two dragons is figured in a most meaningful way on the cover/top of a remarkable artefact, the ceremonial jug from Brno, a masterpiece of Celtic art associated with the beginning of the bright season, the Beltane festival. It represents in a suggestive way most of the constellations that dominated in about 280BC the night sky on the day of this festival, as well as the one for both solstices and the Samain feast, beginning of the dark season.

What other images were there?

Several monuments have been discovered which marked the supposed place of the world axis, different for each community. This type of monument, known as their Greek name omphalos (umbilicus), has the shape of a pillar with decoration on each of its four faces. The most ancient one – the Pfalzfeld pillar in Rhineland, from the fifth century BC – and the most recent one – the Irish pillar of Turoe (Co Galway), probably from the first century BC – illustrate the evolution of this concept: from the representation of the divinity face wearing the mistletoe leaves, repeated on each side, to different images on each side, even maybe evocations of areas of the canopy of heaven that correspond to the four cardinal directions.

So this was about the Celts trying to impose some kind of order on their world?

The ancient Celts’ artworks are not made of borrowings or fortuitous inventions but are the expression of an extremely structured system of their idea of a universal order and its spatial and temporal understanding. Its dynamical aspect is fundamental. Its roots are ancient ones and its general elements are common to both continental and insular Celtic people. Those elements are one of the basis of their cultural unity.

And, finally, where does the Irish Christian cross come into all this?

The ultimate step of its symbolic representation is the Irish Christian cross, on which the pattern is arranged vertically. The Christ figure is in the centre – it has thus become the axis that links the heavenly, terrestrial and infernal worlds. However, on some of the crosses, solar patterns are depicted in place of the Christ. Even the pair of dragons can be found on some of them, which are supposed to have their annual fight. Such is the case of a cross of Gallen Priory (Co Offaly), where dragons coil up around a giratory pattern, a sort of curvilinear swastika, or on a Dromiskin cross (Co Louth). This confirms that the specific shape of the Irish cross is the result of a reuse of the old Image of the World in the Christian iconography. None of this is unusual, since the meaning of origin was fully compatible with the Christian doctrine. In Ireland, the image has thus been treated the same way texts from the traditional literature have been, turned away from their most obvious pagan aspects, and customised with a Christian aspect to best serve the new religion.

Venceslas Kruta is one of the world’s leading experts on Celtic art and civilisation and author of Celtic Art (Phaidon)


Planning and opening of the route

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the railway lines in the Hunsrück were built. The line from Langenlonsheim to Simmern was opened on October 7, 1889, and the Hermeskeil - Türkismühle line was opened in 1897 . On April 1, the Royal Prussian and Grand Ducal Hessian Railway Directorate in Mainz set up a construction department for the construction of the Simmern – Kastellaun and Simmern – Kirchberg lines . The Simmern – Kastellaun section was opened on October 28, 1901.

Already when planning the railway line from Simmern to Kastellaun, there was already agreement to extend it to the Rhine and Moselle. There were three variants that always required steep inclines, high bridges and numerous tunnels. On the one hand there was the western variant of leading the route via Gondershausen into the Moselle valley and on to Koblenz. The second, eastern variant was a continuation of the railway line via Pfalzfeld through the Gründelbach valley to St. Goar . The third, middle variant, which was finally implemented, also led via Pfalzfeld to Boppard instead of St. Goar. There were two ways of routing here again. One possibility was to lead the route over the Kreuzberg and the Buchenau forester's house in order to then connect it from the southeast to the Boppard train station. However, it was decided to route via Buchholz and connected the railway line from the north-west to the station, which is why the Säuerlingsturm of the medieval city ​​fortifications of Boppard had to be relocated.

On May 18, 1903, the Prussian king authorized the state government to build the line between Kastellaun and Boppard, for which they were allowed to spend a sum of 5,943,000 marks. This amount did not include land acquisition costs or vehicle acquisition costs. While the cost of the Simmern - Kastellaun route was 80,000 marks per kilometer, one kilometer of the Buchholz - Boppard route cost 640,000 marks. These eight times higher costs were due to the height difference of 328.5 meters that this route overcomes and the two viaducts and five tunnels that had to be built. Despite a winding route over 6.3 km, the gradient was 1: 16.5. Therefore the installation of a rack became necessary. The Swiss Abbot system was used. The construction of the line began in March 1905 and in October 1906 the largely flat section Kastellaun - Pfalzfeld was put into operation. For the steep section, however, three years of construction were planned. This section of the route was built by Grün & Bilfinger .

One worker was killed while the Rauerberg tunnel was being built, and another was shot dead in an argument in an inn on Orgelborntag 1906. On January 4, 1907, 13 workers were initially killed in a rock slide near Leiningen. A second rock slide occurred during the rescue operation, killing 5 spectators. A total of 15 people were injured. A memorial stone at the accident site from 1991 commemorates the dead. After the construction of the line had been completed within the estimated time, the last section between Boppard and Pfalzfeld was opened on August 2, 1908. General rail operations began the next day.

Business

On the occasion of the opening, responsibility for the line between Kastellaun and Boppard was transferred from the St. Johann-Saarbrücken Railway Directorate to the Mainz Railway Directorate on August 3, 1908 . Locomotives of the Prussian type T 26 were used .

For the winter timetable 1922/23, the (old) 2nd class was no longer available on all trains. They only led the 3rd and 4th grade.

On October 1, 1925, responsibility for the route between km 15.57 and 45.6 was transferred from the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz to the Reichsbahndirektion Trier .

The cog railway was stopped in 1931. This was followed by adhesion operation with class 94.5 steam locomotives , which lasted until May 1956. From May 1956 to the closure of the Emmelshausen – Simmern section, class VT 98 railcars operated on the entire route (from 1968: class 798) with special equipment for use on steep sections.


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Detalles del Libro

  • Name: The Sutton Hoo Sceptre and the Roots of Celtic Kingship
  • Autor: Michael J. Enright
  • Categoria: Libros,Arte, cine y fotografía,Otros soportes y técnicas
  • Tamaño del archivo: 18 MB
  • Tipos de archivo: PDF Document
  • Idioma: Español
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Contents

Location Edit

The name Rhine Gorge refers to the narrow gorge of the Rhine flowing through the Rhenish Slate Mountains between Bingen am Rhein and Rüdesheim am Rhein in the South and Bonn-Bad Godesberg and Bonn-Oberkassel in the North. Between Rüdesheim and Lorch, the left bank belongs to the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate the right bank belongs to the wine region of Rheingau in the state of Hesse. Downstream of Lorch, both banks belong to Rhineland-Palatinate until the river crosses the border with North Rhine-Westphalia shortly before Bonn.

The Middle Rhine basin at Neuwied separates the upper and lower halves of the Middle Rhine. On the Namedyer Werth peninsula (between Rhine-kilometer 614.2 and 615.5), is the Andernach Geyser, which at 50 to 60 metres (160 to 200 ft) is the highest cold-water geyser in the world. On 7 July 2006, the geyser was reactivated for tourists.

Transport Edit

There are major railway lines on both sides of the river: the Linke Rheinstrecke on the left and the Rechte Rheinstrecke on the right. Major roads are the federal roads B9 and B42 and, of course, the Rhine itself is a major international waterway.

Towns and cities Edit

The most important cities on the left bank are Bingen, Bacharach, Oberwesel, St. Goar, Boppard and Koblenz on the Upper Middle Rhine and Andernach, Bad Breisig, Sinzig, Remagen and Bonn on the Lower Middle Rhine. On the right bank are Rüdesheim, Assmannshausen, Lorch, Kaub, St. Goarshausen, Braubach and Lahnstein on the Upper Middle Rhine and Vallendar, Bendorf, Neuwied, Bad Hönningen, Linz am Rhein, Bad Honnef and Königswinter on the lower part.

Tributaries Edit

Larger tributaries on the left include Nahe, Moselle and Ahr on the right Lahn, Wied and Sieg.

The most outstanding castles are the Marksburg, the only undamaged hilltop castle in the Middle Rhine Valley, the Burg Pfalzgrafenstein, on a rocky island in the middle of the Rhine, and Rheinfels Castle, which was developed into a fortress over time. Stolzenfels Castle is a synonym for Rhine romanticism like no other. It did not just encourage the acceptance of the existing castles, it also encouraged their restoration and the building of even more castles. The Electoral Palace in Koblenz was the last residence of the Electors of Trier. It was demolished by the French revolutionary army. The most powerful fortress in Rhineland-Palatinate, Koblenz Fortress, was built in the 19th century by the Prussians. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, once part of the fortification system, dominates the Rhine Valley to this day.

The following castles are found along the Middle Rhine, in downstream order:

Prehistory Edit

The terraces of the Middle Rhine Valley have been inhabited since the early Iron Age. Evidence of this are the barrow fields around the city forest of Boppard and in the forest of Brey and the ring walls on the Dommelberg in Koblenz and on the giant hill at St. Goarshausen. On the western border of the Middle Rhine region, there are also traces of a Celtic settlement, with the grave pillars of Pfalzfeld and the Waldalgesheim chariot burial. In the 4th century BCE, the area had come under the influence of Mediterranean civilizations. The north-south link between mouth of the Nahe and the Moselle estuary rich already in use in pre-Roman times. The Roman development of the route overlaps in large sections with the route of the modern Bundesautobahn 61

Roman period Edit

The Romans settled in the area of the Middle Rhine from the mid-1st century BC to about 400 AD. An important factor was the construction of the Roman Rhine Valley Road between the provincial capitals Mainz and Cologne along the left bank of the Rhine, both on the plateau (northbound from Rheinböllen) as on the left bank in the Valley (the route of the modern highway Bundesautobahn 9). The Rhine was the border of the Roman Empire, which is why the road had to be constructed on the left bank, just inside the Empire.

Traces of significant road construction have been identified near Stahleck Castle at Bacharach. The cities of Bingen (Bingium) and Koblenz (Confluentes) are the sites of early Roman fortresses, and Oberwesel (Vosolvia) housed a Roman Mansio. The fortresses protected agriculture and natural resources against the Germanic tribes of the Tencteri, Usipetes, Menapii and Eburones. The agricultural settlements in the hinterland provided for the people in the cities and military camps.

The Romans used the Rhine for shipping. In the 1st century CE, bridges were constructed at Koblenz across the Rhine and the Moselle. In 83—85 a limes was constructed between the Rhine and the Danube, to protect a weak section of the border. In the 2nd century, the Romans ventured onto the right bank of the Rhine and constructed a fortress at Niederlahnstein. Emperors Constantine and Valentinian safeguarded the frontier by constructing fortresses in Koblenz are (Confluentes) and Boppard (Bodobrica) with strong walls and round towers, of which remnants remain.

In the 5th century, the Alamanni and Franks forced the Romans to withdraw from the area. They took over the Roman cities and the Franconians began founding new cities of their own. Unlike the old Roman cities, the new Franconian cities were independent of the old Roman farmsteads agriculture and livestock farming took place inside the city. These cities can be recognized by their names ending in -heim.

At the end of the 5th century, the Merovingian king Clovis founded the Franconian Kingdom. Although the Roman population of the area declined steadily, the people spoke a Franco-Roman dialect and the language of administration was Latin. Grave inscriptions from the 4th to the 8th century in Boppard, in the St. Severus Church and the Carmelite Church prove the survival of a small Roman population in addition to the Frankish immigrants.

Middle Ages Edit

The Roman settlements, especially the fortified cities in the Middle Rhine Valley, were taken by the Franconian Kings as Crown possessions. Almost all of the territory between Bingen and Remagen, including the cities of Bacharach, Oberwesel, St. Goar, Boppard, Koblenz and Sinzig, were in royal ownership. The enfeoffment of individual parts of the empire began in the 8th century and continued until the early 14th century. Beneficiaries of the gifts were, among others, the abbots of Prüm and Trier and of the Abbey of St. Maximin and the Archbishops of Cologne, Trier, Mainz and Magdeburg. The Counts of Katzenelnbogen are also governors of the Abbey of Prüm and this allow them to establish their own territory around their seat Burg Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar. When the male line of the Counts dies out in 1479, this territory is inherited by the Landgraves of Hesse.

The grandsons of Charlemagne split his Empire in the Treaty of Verdun of 843, which they prepared in the Basilica of St. Castor in Koblenz in 842. The left bank of the Rhine between Bacharach and Koblenz falls to Middle Francia. In 925, Middle Francia is finally becomes the Duchy of Lorraine within East Francia, the German Empire. The Rhine remains the heartland of the royal power, or Vis maxima regni as Otto of Freising called it, until in 1138 Conrad III is elected King of Germany in Koblenz, the first King of the House of Hohenstaufen.

Late Middle Ages Edit

The late Middle Ages were marked on the Middle Rhine by the territorial fragmentation. In addition to the spiritual Electors of Cologne, Mainz and Trier, the Count Palatine had gained influence on the Middle Rhine since Hermann of Stahleck in 1142. Most of the forty castles in the area between Bingen and Koblenz arose during this period as a sign of mutual competition.

These castles are interesting examples of late medieval military architecture. They were partly influenced by developments in France, Italy and the Crusader states. The Counts of Katzenelnbogen in particular, excelled as castle builders. They built the Marksburg, Rheinfels Castle, Reichenberg Castle and Katz Castle. Another outstanding ruler in the 14th century was Elector and Archbishop Baldwin of Trier from the House of Luxembourg. His brother King Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg and Roman-German King from 1308, had pledged him the imperial cities of Boppard and Oberwesel, two of the around twenty cities and towns established on the Rhine between Bingen and Koblenz in the 13th and 14th century that had city rights and similar freedoms. Not all of those city rights have resulted in effective urban development, but in almost all these places more or less extensive remnants of the fortifications remain to this day.

Boppard and Oberwesel resisted of integration into a modern territorial state for a long time. Boppard fought battles for the freedom of the city in 1327 and 1497. The grave stone in the popular "wide-track bully" type in the Carmelite church of Boppard of the knight Sifrid of Schwalbach, who fell in 1497, is a testimony to this struggle for local liberties which erupted for the last time in the Palatine Peasants' War of 1525. The City Castle of Boppard, built by Baldwin of Trier in 1340, however, is a monument of the suppression of urban autonomy by territorial princes.

Since the territories of the four Rhenish electors lie close together on the Middle Rhine, these cities have been the venue for countless historically important events, such as imperial diets, electoral diets, royal elections and princely weddings. The most important of these events was the Declaration of Rhense in 1338. Boppard was especially frequently visited ed by German Kings and Emperors. The rulers would then reside with their entourage in the Königshof ("Royal Court"), outside the city gate. Bacharach was a founding member of the League of Rhine Cities in 1254. King Louis IV the Bavarian resided in Bacharach at the time. The painted Volto Santo by Lucca in the local St. Peter's church is testimony to the reverence for the reverence Louis held for the Lucca archetype and the cultural exchange between imperial Italy and the Middle Rhine.

Modern Period Edit

Landgrave by Philip the Magnanimous of Hesse introduced the doctrine of the Reformation in the Katzenelnbogn area in 1527. In 1545 the Reformation reached the area of the Electorate of the Palatinate through Elector Frederick II.

The Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618 from the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants and the political tensions in the German Empire. France, Spain and Sweden intervened. When peace was established in 1648, the country was economically ruined with and half the population having died from the fighting, disease or famine.

During the 17th century, the Middle Rhine was increasingly the scene of a long-lasting conflict between Germany and France. After devastation of the Thirty Years' War, the War of the Palatine Succession brought in 1688–1692 further destruction of castles and fortifications part of the cities' defenses. The city of Koblenz was reconstructed in the 18th century and is characterized by the style of early classicism.

After the French Revolutionary Wars, the left bank of the Rhine was annexed by the French Republic and later the French Empire. Prefect Lezay-Marnésia, who resided in Koblenz began restoring the road on the left bank, which had not been maintained after the Romans had left and had fallen into disuse. He also promoted fruit production in the Middle Rhine (for example, cherry growing in Bad Salzig, like it was practiced in Normandy). This partly replaced the viticulture, which had declined sharply at the end of the 18th century.

19th century Edit

The French included the Middle Rhine area in the department of Rhin-et-Moselle, with its seat in Koblenz. The new government replaced the German princes with French secular rulers, abolished the feudal system, seized land from the church and nobility in order to resell it and introduced French-style legislation.

On New Year's Day 1814, an army under general Blücher crossed the Rhine at Kaub. This marked the end of the French rule, the final defeat of Napoleon and the beginning of Prussian rule over the Middle Rhine. On the Congress of Vienna in 1815 Prussia received its "Watch on the Rhine" on the left bank. The right bank was held by Hesse-Nassau. Prussia secured its supremacy by the construction of the great fortress at Koblenz from 1817 onwards. After 1830, most of the changes introduced by French rulers were abolished in the Rhine Province and the old corporate state (nobility, cities, farmers) was rebuilt. The nobles resumed the political power the educated middle class had almost no political influence outside of towns. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia annexed the Nassau areas on right bank.

Steamships were introduced on the Rhine from about 1830. Railway lines were constructed from 1857. Neither innovation led to industrialization in the narrow Rhine valley. As late as 1900, viticulture dominated the economic structure of the Middle Rhine, with its small cities and agriculture.

20th century Edit

After the end of the First World War in November 1918, the left bank of the Rhine and 50 km wide strip on the right bank were declared a "demilitarized zone". At first the Americans administered this territory, after 1923 the French. In the Rhineland, the change from a monarchy to a republic went almost unnoticed. The plan, in 1923, to build a "Rhenish Republic" failed. The French withdrew their troops again in 1929.

After the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor on January 30, 1933 the enthusiasm on the Middle Rhine was great. In many places, Hitler was named an honorary citizen. Jewish and other non-Christian officials were replaced by party functionaries. The Jews, who had played a significant role in small town business were robbed and driven out, some of them murdered.

The Battle of Remagen during the Allied invasion of Germany resulted in the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine and shortened World War II in Europe. Damage during the battle caused the bridge's collapse on March 17, 1945, but only after the Allies had gained a foothold on the eastern side of the bridge. By March 21, Allied forces had ended the war's hostilities on the Middle Rhine. Because of the battle's outcome, Hitler ordered a court-martial that sentenced to death five officers that had been involved in defending the bridge. [2]

The French again took up the administration of the territory in its occupation zone. At end of 1946, the Americans created the State Hesse in their occupation zone six months later the French founded of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Although some areas were combined in the new states that historically do not belong together, a sense of togetherness quickly appeared. The desire for state boundaries more in line with historical territorial boundaries, however, never ceased entirely.

The "cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley" is the narrow Rhine Valley from [Bingen and Rüdesheim to Koblenz. On 27 June 2002, the UNESCO included this unique landscape in the list of the World Heritage sites.

Criteria for a cultural landscape Edit

Recognistion as a "cultural landscape" requires under the terms of the criteria an integrated landscape space that has a certain uniqueness and where humans experience an unusual configuration. In the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, the breakthrough by the Rhine through the Rhenish Slate Mountains created this configuration. The valley with its steep rocky slopes, which forced users to create terraces, which shaped the valley over the centuries. It was particularly influenced by the vineyards on terraces (since the 8th century), shale mining and coppicing. Agriculture was possible only on the plateaus. The valley is unique in its variety of over 40 castles along only 65 kilometres (40 mi) of the stream. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is the epitome of the Romantic Rhine landscape and also a traditional transport axis (important shipping lane, two highways and two railway lines).

Transport planning Edit

When the world cultural heritage status was granted, UNESCO pointed out that the noise generated by traffic (in particular, the railway lines) is a problem. Concrete measures but were neither recommended nor required. Nevertheless, the Rudesheim section was scheduled to be routed through a tunnel (construction began in 2011).

The Rhineland-Palatinate state government plans to construct a new Middle Rhine Bridge near St. Goar and St. Goarshausen. This should be coordinated with UNESCO. On 29 July 2010, UNESCO announced in this regard that before further planning of a bridge, a master plan is to be presented to demonstrate the need for new bridge and compatibility with World Heritage status. Only further consultations can reveal whether problems similar to those in the former World Heritage Site Dresden Elbe Valley can be avoided. [3] Various explanations by the state government notwithstanding, reports that consent of UNESCO had been granted after discussions is Brasília, turned out to be premature. According to the UNESCO commission, a decision could be reached in the summer of 2011 at the earliest.

The Rhine Cable Car that was constructed for the Federal Garden Show 2011 in Koblenz also posed a threat to world heritage status. For this reason, the garden show organisers agreed with UNESCO on an inconspicuous design of the cable car structures and the demolition of the cable car after three years.

With a few exceptions, the castles in the Middle Rhine Valley were constructed between the 12th century and the first half of the 14th century. They were usually built on the middle terraces that were created during the formation of the valley. In the 10th and 11th century, castle building had been a privilege of the king and high nobility. Structures from this period were usually made of wood or rammed earth and have not survived.

The weakening of imperial power began in the 12th century and the power of the Princes grew.

Between 1220 and 1231, several important rights (regalia) were transferred to the spiritual (Confoederatio cum principibus ecclesiasticis) and temporal (Statutum in favorem principum) princes of the empire. From 1273, the Emperor was elected by the Electors in 1356 imperial fiefs became territorial states. This was also the period when most castles were constructed. Four of the seven Electors held territories in the Middle Rhine Valley. The political landscape was a patchwork, as the parts of these territories were not connected. initially, the castles served to secure territory. In the late 12th century, the princes discovered customs revenue as a source of income and some castles were built to control customs. Castles were also built outside cities to keep the aspirations to freedom of the city dwellers in check.

By the end of the 14th century, firearms were introduced in the area. Structural responses were needed, which only wealthy castle owners could afford. Many castles lost their strategic importance to firearms in this period. Most castles declined slowly or were abandoned. In the Thirty Years' War, many castles were destroyed by passing troops. The final destruction of almost all castles was brought about by Louis XIV's troops during the War of the Palatine Succession. Only the high castles Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Marksburg and Burg Rheinfels were spared.

With the advent of Rhine romanticism after 1815, many castles were rebuilt.


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