Klaus Störtebeker, the German Privateer (1360-1400 or 1401), and Hanseatic Mercenary

Klaus VS Mercenary of the Hanseatic League 

Klaus Störtebeker (1360 - Hamburg, 1400 or 1401) was a German pirate of the North Sea and Baltic Sea and the most famous leader of the so-called Vitalienbrüder, the extraordinary privateers in the war between the Swedes and the Danish and the powerful Hanseatic League. "Victual Brothers" because originally they were hired to supply the besieged city of Stockholm with provisions.
After the end of the war, the "Brothers" continued to capture merchant ships by themselves (by true pirates) and renamed "Likedeelers" (literally: equal sharers). At the helm of their power they also plundered Bergen in Norway and posed a huge threat to any commercial vessel on the Baltic Sea and (later,  when they were driven from their base in Visby, Gotland) and the North Sea.
He was finally captured by the Hanseatic League, which had put in place enormous resources, and executed by decapitation, along with his companions. A skull of these, found in Hamburg, was used to suggest a hypothetical "reconstruction".

German Mercenary of the Hanseatic League

Fachwerk Lexikon - Lexicon of German Half-timbered Architecture

Hagenwil Castle, Swiss Fachwerk "Riegelbau"
Fachwerkdorf Schiltach, Village of Schiltach, Black Forest (1600) 


1; Sparren
2; (Quer-) Riegel
3; Diagonale Streben (Mannfigur)
4; Schwellen
5; Rähm
6; Ständer (Eckständer)
7; Fenstererker
8; Andreaskreuz
9; Gefach/Ausfachung
10; Schnitzdekorationen
11; Fensterständer
12; Gebälk E.G.
13; Geschweiftes Andreaskreuz
14; Inschriftlicher Dekor
15; Brüstungsgefach
16; Geschweiftes Holz
17; Kopfwinkelholz 

The drawing with some of my bibliographic sources
A photo of the beautiful Palm’sches Haus, in Mosbach, 1610

Here is my article (text, illustrations and photos) on the German half-timbered houses published on "Borghi Magazine"

Medieval Knights (Artwork for Conquest Games)

The Artwork "Medieval Knights"
(end of the 12th century, beginning of the 13th century)
And the cover of the CONQUEST GAMES boxed set

Swiss Standard-bearer, Battle of Dornach, 1499 (Swabian War - Schwabenkrieg)

 The Swabian War (Schwaben- oder Schweizerkrieg) broke out due to the ancient contrasts between the Habsburgs ant the Swiss Cantons, and in this case was the territorial controversy between the Grisons and the Habsburg Duke of Tyrol (the Emperor Maximilian) to turn on again the fuse.
The conflict expanded from the Rhine Valley to the Lake Constance; saw small-scale clashes but bloody looting. Imperial troops were finally defeated at Dornach on July 22, 1499.
The battle saw the complete triumph of the Swiss Cantons (Old Swiss Confederacy) on the imperial Swabian League and ended the Swabian War.
Among the Swiss fighters there were 5000 from Bern, 400 from Zurich, 600 from Lucerne, plus contingents from Uri, Zug and Unterwalden. The arrival of the Lucerne and Zug soldiers was decisive for the victory over Maximilan's army  (16,000 men).
The battle was a key step in the history of the Swiss Confederation.
In the figure is depicted a Standard-bearer from the mighty city of Bern, with the typical feather turban and the transition clothes between the fashion of the 15th century and the much more extravagant "slasing" fashion of the 16th century.

Swiss Soldiers, Burgundian Wars, March 1476

On 2 March 1476 the Swiss army has directed an attack on the castle of Vaumarcus, near Neuchâtel.
The attack was led by the men of Berne.
The standard bearer of the picture carries the flag and colors of Hans von Hallwyl, a Swiss army commander.

Hans Franz Naegeli, Conqueror of the Vaud, 1536

Hans Franz Nägeli was Supreme Commander of the Bernese troops in the conquest of Vaud (1536), during the war agaist Savoy.

 In the campain of March 1536 he conquered Chateau Chillon and Lausanne; the conquest of the Pays de Vaud was completed on the 29th March 1536, the day when the wonderful castle of Chillon (http://www.chillon.ch/en/castle) fell.

 This figure is based on the beautiful “Schützenbrunnen” and “Vennerbrunnen”, two of the many charming sculture-fountain of Bern, made by the Master Hans Gieng in the years between 1542 and 1543. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Gieng

The illustration depicts Nägeli in half-harness, with the typical broad-brimmed plumed hat.

The sculpture of the "Vennerbrunnen" in Bern 

My illustrations of Landsknechts for "FORGED IN FIRE", History Channel

 This evening the italian translation of the broadcast ("Il fuoco di spade: la spada dei lanzichenecchi")! History Channel, September 5, 2017

The Landsknechts were chosen to show the typical "Katzbalger" sword, the theme of the episode's final challenge.
FORGED IN FIRE: Season 4, Episode 3: The Katzbalger
First Aired: April 18, 2017
FORGED IN FIRE, S4, E3, The Katzbalger
Watch the Bonus:
Forged in Fire Bonus: What is a Katzbalger?

German Peasants' War, 1524-25: Peasant Rebel of the "Bundschuh"

1524: the revolt spreads along the Rhine, the Danube, the Lake Constance, in the Black Forest, in Swabia, Franconia. Peasants storm monasteries and castles.

In March 1525 some leaders of the peasants (Baltringer Haufen, Allgaeuer Haufen, Seehaufen) met in Memmingen to agree a common cause. On March 20, 1525, they adopted the "Twelve Articles". The Articles demanded the rights for the communities of the peasants and are considered to be the first written set of human rights in Europe.
In the photo: the front of the Kramerzunft in Memmingen; the building where the Articles were written.

Wilhelm Tell, 1307 AD

Wilhelm Tell is the legendary hero of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. His exploits are traced back to 1307. Here is indeed represented as a "real" crossbowman of the years before the battle of Morgarten (1315). The landscape is that of the original story: the enchanting scenery of Lake Lucerne.

Hagenwil Castle - Schloss Hagenwil

This beautiful castle, one of the most picturesque and iconic castles in Switzerland, was built in the 13th century and is still surrounded by a wide moat. It is immersed in a beautiful idyll of meadows and orchards and is one of the few examples in Europe of castles with moat preserved in their original architectural form (drawbridge, tower, palace, chapel, battlements).
The castle was besieged in 1405 by the troops from Appenzell (Appenzeller Kriege, Wars of Appenzell); during the 15th and 16th centuries (largely under the Bernhausen family) he took on its Gothic appearance. In 1633, during the Thirty Years War, he was attacked and looted by the Swedish troops.
From 1684 it was a small summer residence of the Abbots of St. Gallen. Today it is privately owned and a restaurant.

Anna Sacher, 1907

Food illustration + Historical illustration? My tribute to Austrian bakery, to "Wiener Kaffeekultur" and to the most extraordinary cake (the ORIGINAL Sacher-Torte).

Swiss halberdier, Morat/Murten 1476, & Swiss soldier from Bern, 1475

In 1475 the Bernese, with Fribourg, conquered large parts of the Vaud Savoyard, which was allied with the Burgundians. During the month of August the Bernese attacked the castle of Aigle, to end the restless deployment of enemy troops.

Der Murtenlauf, 1476 (The Legend of the Murten Runner)


Legend says that when the Battle of Murten ended (1476) a messenger covered the distance from Murten to Fribourg to bring the good news of the victory of the Swiss over Charles the Bold and a Linden branch, but died immediately afterwards for the fatigue.
The citizens of Fribourg took the Linden branch and planted it in memory of the messenger. Even today, the "Tilleul de Morat" (Murten) stands opposite the town hall, in the well preserved old town of Fribourg.