BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 112


This week’s Pic of the Week takes us to the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and to the oldest known communities in the state, both located on the Schlei Bay but on opposite ends. The first is Schleswig, which was founded in the 9th Century and is located on the north end of the Schlei. Opposite the bay is a rebuilt Viking community of Hadderby, known in German as Haithabu.  Founded in the 760s, the community was built at the junction of the Schlei and  Hadderby Noor. The Vikings had resided there for three centuries, having survived three conquests before finally abandoning the village after the Slavic army destroyed the city in 1060 in favor of resettlement in Schleswig.  The remnants of the village were discovered in 1900 and after years of excavations and research, a museum was established in 1985, featuring Viking villages built mimicking the original  forms researchers found.

Both Hadderby and Schleswig had a dense connection of canals and waterways as merchants sailed along the Schlei before using the waterways and canals in both communities as a shortcut to the River Treene, located 13 kilometers northwest of the Schlei, which would later flow into the North Sea via the River Eider near present-day Friedrichstadt. How wide the canals were, let alone how the crossings were built to allow for passage over them are still open for research but judging by the readings and my observations during my visit to the Museum Haithabu, it appeared that the waterway to the Treene had a good network of roads with bridges to cross, with Schleswig being the earliest and northernmost version of Venice with dozens of bridges crossing some key canals- at least until sometime before the age of Industrialization. But more research is needed to determine whether my arguments are true. We do know that a canal that cut through Schleswig Holstein was built in the 1700s and was the predecessor to the present-day Baltic-North Sea Canal, which connects Kiel with Brunsbüttel via Rendsburg.

And with that we go to this bridge, the Noorbrücke, which connects the Hadderby and Selke Noor. This unique structure features a queenpost truss design but the vertical beams are piers that support the stairway approaches and the main span.  While we don’t know whether there was a bridge located there before this structure was built in the 1980s, we do know that the bridge is part of a Noor hiking trail which goes around the two lakes and connects the museum complex with Schleswig. The bridge is one of the main attractions and has been used not only for crossing but also for photos both near and far.

My photo was one that was far away- taken from the Museum complex. While the Pentax gave me the range needed to get the shot, the photoshopping that was done after that made it appear that it was taken in close range.  Sometimes when your pics are too far away and you want to zoom in on an object, you can do that with any type of program , be it Light Room, be it a software program your camera has, be it Instagram, like this was done. It takes some considerable time to experiment and come up with the best picture, whether it’s a realist shot or something rather funky that captures the photographer’s attention. It depends on how creative the photographer is and in what mood he/she is in. In this case, I wanted to get a close-up before the museum complex closed down for the day.

While the bridge was probably built around the time the museum opened, the only records available indicated that it was rehabilitated in 2013 upon orders from the District of Flensburg-Schleswig. Nevertheless, judging by the photo taken, the bridge is well-visited, regardless of whether we have Corona-based vacationing, where most of the residents decided to stay in Germany and in Europe or vacationing that was the norm before the Corona outbreak. In either case, the bridge is well received and is one that will eventually garner some sort of historic status in about 20 years or so.