Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany Today

Five Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany Today

Table of Contents

  1. Crane  in the Port of Luneburg – Germany
  2. Ostricher – Germany
  3. Trier – Germany
  4. Andernach – Germany
  5. Tower of Daniel. Nördlingen – Germany
  6. References and Bibliography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany: The treadwheel cranes were used by architects and engineers from the times of the Romans. Probably some stopped being used only at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a detail of those that still exist. Some are original and have a thousand years of antiquity. A few others were rebuilt. These are the five medieval treadmill cranes existing today in Germany. All are worth knowing and if possible visit them.

Crane  in the Port of Luneburg – Germany

The old crane in the old port of Ilmenau in Lüneburg (4) was mentioned for the first time in documents in 1330. Considered in its time one of the most efficient cranes in northern Germany, it is 15 meters high and could hoist 9 tons.

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - Port of Luneburg
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in Germany – Port of Luneburg

The Medieval Treadwheel Crane was used mainly for the transport of salt and salting herring from department stores. Also firewood and merchandise. The crane was used until 1860 and the current state is operable but not used.

The plant of the crane house is circular and has a diameter of eight meters and the lifting arm is nine meters. The power plant consists of two wheels of 5 meters in diameter. Four blocks of sandstone were used as counterweight to the load

Anecdotes of the treadwheel crane

In 1840, the Treadwheel crane lifted its heaviest load on land: a steam locomotive for the Ducal Braunschweig State Railway. The locomotive was manufactured by George Forrester & Company (11) in England and transported by water to Germany. The weight of the locomotive was estimated around 9 tons. To operate the wheel crane, 38 men were needed at that time. 

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - port of Luneburg
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – Port of Luneburg

As a load test, before the locomotive, a package with 80 railway tracks weighing about 9.2 tons (20,300 pounds) was made. The crane was rebuilt in the summer of 1797 by Master Carpenter GP Hintze as it appears on the plate.

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - port of Luneburg
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – port of Luneburg

With the construction of the Hamburg-Hannover railway line (12), which arrived in Lüneburg in 1847, the transport of goods to and from Lüneburg went quickly from the waterway to the railways. As a result, the port and, therefore, also the crane quickly lost importance. In 1860, the treadwheel crane stopped working for economic reasons. 


Ostricher – Germany

The construction and operation of a treadwheel crane in Germany, was until the nineteenth century absolutely, an archbishop’s privilege in this area. Only a few cities in Rheingau and in other German areas had the right to operate a loading device.

We will cite Cologne, Trier, Würzburg, Andernach, Bingen am Rhein, Stade and Hamburg, as cities, without doubt privileged. In the Rheingau region in the 15th century, only Eltville, Rüdesheim and Lorch obtained this privilege.

The Oestricher Wheel Crane is located on the right bank of the Rhine River, at kilometer 518.1, near Federal Highway 42. All treadwheelcranes from Rheingau and elsewhere, such as Trier and Andernach, were initially floating wooden cranes. These cranes were generally very prone to deterioration due to constant exposure to water and ice in winter.

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - Oestricher Kran en Rheingau 1744
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – Oestricher Kran en Rheingau 1744

This port treadwheel crane was begun to be built in 1744 (10). The boom of the crane is 12 meters. It has a conical roof to protect the crane. The conical roof with the ball and the tip of the roof is firmly connected to the upper end of a central column of vertical crane. Inside the crane house, there is a double wheel. The operation was in charge of two people per side.

The operating staff was well paid and affiliated with a guild called Aufläder. The load capacity of the wheel crane was approximately 2.5 tons. The crane today is functional.


Trier – Germany

Alte Krahnen, also called Trierer Alter Moselkran, is a harbor treadwheel crane located in Trier. The stone building dates from 1413 and is located on the right side of the Moselle River.

The design is a tower-type wheel crane, with two wheels that are 4.16 meters in diameter.
 
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - Trier
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – Trier
 

A double boom drives the crane. Initially it was equipped with a single feather, and since 1778 with a second feather as a counterweight. It has a rotating conical roof on a vertical axis of wood called Kaiserbaum 12 meters long. The conical roof is 360 ° rotating with two balancing arms and single pulley chain. 

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - Trier
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – Trier

It has in iron spikes and chain of drum with chain and simple pulley. Its estimated load capacity is two tons. It has similarities with another crane of the same name “Alte Krahnen” in Andernach (10), also built in stone in Gothic style, although this crane is 100 years older. The oak gear of the crane house (Kranhaus) dates back to 1763. The treadwheel crane was damaged (although it was not destroyed) in 1944 by the war and in 1984 it was restored.


Andernach – Germany

The treadwheel crane was built between 1554 and 1561, was used until 1911 and is located at kilometer 613.8 of the Rín River. The crane house measures 10.70 meters outside diameter and 8.70 meters inside diameter. The walls are made of stone and have a thickness of 2 meters.

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany - Trier- Andernach alter-krahnen
Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany – Trier- Andernach alter-krahnen

The Andernacher Krahnen was the largest loading device among approximately 80 cranes in 32 locations in the inland waters of Germany and served for 350 years until 1911. At present it can only be seen from the outside. You can not visit.

The Crane

The medieval treadwheel crane consists of two wheels of oak wood 4.2 meters in diameter and 1.2 meters wide. The boom, which extends from the upper half of the pillar of the crane through the rotating roof, is formed by two heavy oak beams with support struts coated with lead sheet. It should be noted that the lifting capacity of the crane was estimated at 3.2 tons. The central drive shaft that joins the two wheels is 0.6 meters in diameter. On that axis a chain was wound (originally Rope).

The usual load to hoist were millstones and wine barrels. The roof is rotating, conical and covered in slate. As a novelty to the house of the treadwheel crane is also added a pyramid-shaped basalt icebreaker. This icebreaker stretched up to the height of the window to protect against drift from the ice.

The load and lift pen is made of a solid oak trunk, 0.64 meters in diameter and 10 meters high. It is also called “Kaiserbaum” or “support tree”. Like the wheel crane of Gdańsk, this means of hoisting belongs to the category of cranes, which due to its height was also suitable for the installation of ship masts.


Tower of Daniel. Nördlingen – Germany

It is visible from a distance and it is the tower of the church of San Jorge, It is 90 meters high, it is called Daniel and it is considered the landmark of Nördlingen (it is called Daniel by a passage of the Bible, Dan 2-48 “. And the king exalted Daniel and made him ruler […] of all Babylon.”)

 

Tower of Daniel. Nördlingen - Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany
Tower of Daniel. Nördlingen – Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany

In the level 35.60 meters there is a treadwheel crane that was used for the construction of the tower. Apparently the operators of the crane were all prisoners.

The council of the city of Nördlingen decided to build the church of St. George on October 17, 1427. The choir of the church’s hall was completed in 1451, and in 1454 the construction of the tower began. The high altar of Friedrich Herlin was completed in 1462, the tower in 1490. With the completion of the vault in 1505, construction was completed.

As a result, Nördlingen joined the Reformation under the Church of St. George became a Protestant church in 1523. The first restoration of the church took place between 1877 and 1887. In March 1945 a bomb destroyed the clock. More recently, the church and the tower were restored between the years 1971-1977.

Maybe it interests you too: Medieval Treadwheel Crane in England– Beverley Minster

 References and Bibliography

      1. Friends of Beverley Minster
      2. Legende van de Maneblussers
      3. National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk 
      4. Alter Kran (Lüneburg)
      5. Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel – Cage à écureuil
      6. Historic England Org.- The Harwich Treadwheel Crane
      7. Grua de Rueda de la Catedral de Estrasburgo
      8. Medieval Treadwheels: Artists’ Views of Building Constructions –  The Johns Hopkins University Press
      9. Surrey Industrial Hiistory Group – Guilford
      10. Denkmalgesellschaft Bingen – Oestricher Kran
      11. The privatisation of the Brunswick State Railways in 1869-70
      12. George Forrester and Company
      13. Tower of Cathedral – Nördlingen 
      14. Ingenieria de Puertos en la Roma Clasica
      15. Medios de elevación de materiales en la construcción medieval
      16. Marco Vitruvio Polión
      17. De Architectura
      18. St. Georg (Nördlingen)

 

 

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany Today
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Medieval Treadwheel Crane – Beverley Minster

Ancient Crane in Beverley Minster – England

The cranes of wheel ( or Treadwheel Cranes) were used by architects and engineers from the times of the Romans. Probably some stopped being used only at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a detail of those that still exist. 

Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane - traveling-cooking
Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane

Some are original and have a thousand years of antiquity. A few others were rebuilt. All are worth knowing and if possible visit them.

Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane - traveling-cooking
Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane

The Minster

Beverley Minster is an English parish church located in Beverley – East Yorkshire. It is undoubtedly one of the largest parish churches in England, being larger than some English cathedrals. It is considered a masterpiece of Gothic art. Also called Minster because in ancient times it was the church of a monastery.

Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane - traveling-cooking
Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane

Construction work began in 1225 and probably lasted almost 200 years. The twin towers of the western façade inspired the design of the present Westminster Abbey – London.

The building was able to survive after the dissolution of the monasteries, between 1536 and 1540, decreed by King Henry VIII of England. The current building retains almost everything except the chapter house.

Beverley-Minster Medieval TreadWheel Crane - traveling-cooking
Beverley-Minster Medieval Treadwheel Crane

To conclude, we will say that the wheel crane is placed on the vault of the central tower, and was driven by two people. The visit to the tower where the medieval wheel crane is done is through guided tours on Saturdays at 11am.

Beverley-Minster Medieval Treadwheel Crane
Beverley-Minster Medieval Treadwheel Crane

There are other Treadwheel cranes in Europe. One of them is in the Cathedral of  Strasbourg – France,  Here I could see the note.

Other Medieval & Romantic castles:

Carcassone – France. Medieval City

Medieval Treadwheel Cranes in Germany

External Links:

Friends of Beverley Minster

Lista de las Grúas de Rueda Existentes en Europa

Treadwheel Crane of  Mechelen Cathedral – Belgium

Medieval Treadwheel Crane – Beverley Minster
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The History of Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome.

Historic Evolution of Tourism

Table of Contents

Tourism is a series of trips made for pleasure or for commercial, professional or similar reasons, during which the absence of habitual residence is only temporary.
 
Modern tourism was born in the XIX century, as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, with displacements between distant places, with the main intention of developing leisure, rest, culture, health, business or family relations.

These movements are differentiated by their purpose of other types of travel originated by wars, migratory movements or conquest. But tourism has many historical antecedents.

Ancient Age Tourism: Greece

In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held, which consisted of athletic competitions in honor of the gods of Olympus. Artistic and athletic offerings were offered as a gift. Many times sacrifices and prayers were also performed in honor of some god in particular.

 Acropolis - Atenas -- Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Acropolis – Atenas – Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome

Although lesser known, the Pitios, Ismios and Nemeos festivals were also celebrated. These celebrations mobilized a large number of people, who of course, needed transportation and roads to travel. The roads system was very similar to that of the Persians and they usually traveled on foot or by donkey. 

Greece had a network of inns that only offered a bed for the night. They did not have dining rooms or bathrooms

It is also known that in each city public baths were built, open to everyone, where tourists of that time had to bring their own towels. They took off their clothes and kept them in special lockers, and then a slave took care of the hygiene with jars of hot and cold water.

Acropolis & Pyramids

Pilgrimages to the different temples of Greece and to the oracles were very common. the most important one was that of Apollo in Delphi and among the most visited sanctuaries is the one of Esculapio, god of medicine.

The Greek lands also offered medicinal baths. Also seaside resorts, theater festivals and the opportunity to see monuments such as the Acropolis of Athens. The Acropolis are from the fifth century BC became one of the most visited sites in the world ancient along with the pyramids of Egypt. These were two of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Greeks visited other regions, such as Egypt. In most cases these visits were for military or trade matters, although it is known that the pyramids attracted many tourists.

Roman Theater - Orange - France Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Roman Theater – Orange – France

Proxenos

In ancient Greece there were offices called proxenos. Here foreigners were received (it is remembered that foreigners did not have any kind of rights because of their status as non-citizens). It was for people who had problems to return to their city or country.

They could also need lodging, or even a loan to continue their trip. Many times the managers of these almost consular offices, arranged with merchants passages in boat where the tourists could take their own servants, offering them food and drink.

Slaves & Tourism

In classical Greece free men gave great importance to leisure, and devoted it to culture, entertainment, religion and sport. We must remember that all these activities could only be done by free men of the upper class or the Nobles. Many slaves were also available at that time.

Approximately seven slaves for each free man. It is for this reason that tourism was an exclusive activity of wealthy class that moved with servants, slaves and a considerable guard for protection. The tourist activity that was not religious or to attend the Olympic games was scarce.

Amphitheaters & Odeon of Lyon (France) -- Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Amphitheaters & Odeon of Lyon (France)

Tourism in the Roman Empire

During Roman Empire the Romans frequented thermal waters and great spectacles, like the theaters, and the coliseums. They made trips to the Mediterranean coast in the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Campania area (near Naples).Also the island of Capri, where there were summer residences. The Emperor Tiberius had a villa on the island of Capri (today you can visit its ruins).
 
These pleasure trips were possible due to Pax Romana, the development of communication routes. They also influenced economic prosperity due to the trade that allowed the creation of an upper class. And of course free time.
 

 

A Bit of Roman History

During the empire (27 BC to 476 AD) begins a period of absolutism in Rome, where the emperor was chosen by the army. With Octavio Augusto (first emperor) the Pax Romana was achieved, which lasted approximately 200 years. In this epoch is where the Roman tourism had its maxima.
 
The empire was divided into provinces that in turn were divided into Municipium and Coloniae.  It is depending on their legal hierarchy Each territorial division had services for public enjoyment and entertainment, which were sometimes visited by inhabitants of other territories.
 

 

All Roads Lead to Rome

These attractions were temples, circus maxima, pantheons, basilicas, markets, amphitheatres and theaters. All the provinces and colonies communicated through a network of roads, roads and roads, which began to be built around 150 BC, covering some 100,000 miles. This allowed to reach the entire empire from Scotland and Germany to Egypt, Persia and Crimea
 
Roman Roads -- Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
 
There were stone signs indicating the distance to the next city, the name of the road, its construction date and its constructor Every 10 miles approx. There were some posts where travelers could change their exhausted horses and even eat. It was through these trade routes that tourism was developed as a secondary activity. Maritime routes were also used, being the main ports those of Alexandria, Ostia and Cartago Nova.
 
Triumph Arch in Via Domitia - Saint Remy de Provence - (France)- Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Triumph Arch in Via Domitia – Saint Remy de Provence – (France)
 
 

Tourism: Only the Upper Class

The Roman citizens were very fond of tourism, in most cases for pleasure. We must consider that it is the same case as the Greeks. Only free noble and upper class men could afford a tourist transfer. This transfer included servants, slaves, clients and armed escort. This was both by land and by sea. 
 
The only documented case of the displacement of a high class and noble character was that of Caton. Senator and Roman governor of Hispania (Present Spain). Caton was mobilized on foot or on horseback with only one servant. The day he left to be governor he sold the horse so as not to cause more expenses to the treasury. Needless to say, his example was not imitated by anyone.
 
Roman Theater - Orange -- (France) Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Roman Theater – Orange – France — Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
 
Returning to the main theme, tourism among the Romans included a displacement overnight at least one night and less than a year to a place of destination. All this done, of course, in free time. They had a lot of free time, getting to have 200 holidays a year (in 345 AD)
 

Non-Religious Tourism

The Romans traveled to see the temples of the Mediterranean, the pyramids and monuments of Egypt. Also to attend the Olympic Games in Greece and the prosperous markets of Asia Minor. In these markets there were many exotic items never seen in Rome, with which to decorate the villas of Campania.

They also hired local guides and consulted papyri that explained a certain area and their entertainment possibilities. They were the tour guides of that time. Of course they bought something smaller as souvenirs and had a tendency to engrave the traveler’s name on the stones of the monuments they visited. This was at the request of the inhabitants, since the prestige of a noble visitor attracted more tourists.

Temple of Juno - Nimes - (France) Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Temple of Juno – Nimes – (France)

The trips were made for pleasure, business or health or religious issues. Religious tourism and pilgrimages to both Greek and Roman temples became part of almost every tourist itinerary. But it was not about devotion but about entertainment. These temples were visited by tourists who in some cases were no longer sacred places, but monuments to visit. (almost equal to what happens today in the Catholic churches of Europe)

Weekend Roman Villas: Capri & Pompeii

The Romans also liked to spend a leisure time away from the city and used to move to the Campania (Naples). From the time of the empire of Octavius ​​Augustus, the Senate was no longer an institution of power. The emperor reigned and were not consulted.

The senators retired to live in the countryside, near Rome but away from it. The area chosen was Campania, Cities such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, Tivoli, Beneventum and Islands such as Capri, where luxury villas were built. Infrastructure was also built as additional roads, ports, passenger ships, inns and markets.

The houses in the city of Rome became the second residence and the country villa the habitual residence. You find the infrastructure was also built in those compestres places. Amphitheatres (Pompeii), circus maxima, thermal baths and medicinal baths. all this thanks to the pax romana that lasted approximately 250 years from the reign of Octavius Augustus.

Emperor Caracalla built in Rome the baths that bear his name. They were public baths that had steam rooms, pools of hot water (caldarium) and cold (frigidarium), gymnastics, rest and massage rooms. There were also writing rooms, libraries and gardens. 

On the island of Capri, the Tiberian emperor built a luxurious villa with a swimming pool. You can still visit today’s day

Amphitheaters for all

The construction of the Maximum Circus and the Colosseum in Rome, led to tourism also going in the other direction. Inhabitants of the entire empire wished to know Rome. The network of roads, security and the pax romana contributed to a flow of tourists to the Rome.

They also built amphitheatres like the Colosseum in Rome and theaters in other cities, which also enjoyed a fair share of tourists. We can name the theater of Orange (France) and the amphitheaters of Nimes and Arles (France).  That amphitheaters can be visited nowadays and in a very good state of conservation.

 

amphitheaters of Nimes and Arles (France) Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Amphitheaters of Nimes (France)

My Darling, and if We Visit Esparta?

During the Roman domination in Greece, the city of Sparta, powerful and famous in other times became a focus of tourism on the part of the Roman upper class. Sparta no longer had possibilities of any kind, military or economic or political. But focused on their ancestral military education to young people. The education of the It was so hard that it became a tourist attraction in itself

Amphitheater in Sparta Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Amphitheater in Sparta

The ritual combats that had traditionally been fought in the shrine of Artemis Ortia, under Roman domination, became the dimastígosis (they existed for a long time) ,  where the children were scourged and sometimes even death. Also the Romans had a deep curiosity to discover how a city so feared in its time, I am reduced to a town of goat herders and a circus military education.

Cicero tells in the Tusculanas (II 34) how Spartan education and its excesses had become a spectacle that attracted tourists. The crowd that comes to the show is so numerous that it was necessary to build an amphitheater in front of the temple to welcome it. This show attracted tourists until the fourth century of our era. Documented by Libanio in his Discourses, (I, 23).

Triumph Arch in Via Agrippa - Orange - (France) Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome
Triumph Arch in Via Agrippa – Orange – (France)

End of the first part : Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome

The History of Tourism in Ancient Greece and Rome.
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