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 ( 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.

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.

Georg von Frundsberg (1473-1528), "Father of the Landsknechts"

Georg von Frundsberg, Lord of Mindelheim, supreme commander ("Obrist Feldhauptmann) of the imperial forces under Charles V and "father of the Landsknechts". Many times victorious against Venice and France, at the Battle of La Bicocca (1522) and Pavia (1525). Famous his motto: "Viel Feind, viel Ehr'!"

Landsknecht versus Reislaeufer, c. 1520 AD

"Hie Lanz"
German Landsknecht
"Hie Schwytz"
Swiss Reislaeufer

"Hie Schwytz"
Swiss Reislaeufer
"Hie Lanz"
Landsknecht Schultheiss

Burgundian Guardsmen, 1460-70

A Guardsman of Antoine, Bastard of Burgundy 
Bodyguard of Charles, Count of Charolais, 1465

The cover of the Book "WARBAND", from Pendraken Miniatures

A digression in Fantasy: The book cover of "Warband": Fantasy Tabletop Wargaming Rules from Pendraken Miniatures

Alamannic Warriors and Hillfort, 5th century AD


There are many wrong informations about the life and the general appearance of the people who lived in the late Antiquity/Dark Ages.
First of all: folks were not always short!
According to the data of the beautiful Archaeologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg in Konstanz (average height of the men at 172 cm and at 162 cm for the women in Alamannic area,, the archaeologist of the Oxford University Sally Crawford writes about the Anglo-Saxons:
“(the earliest cemeteries) show that the population buried in these Germanic burial grounds was a little taller than the population associated to the late Romano-British cemeteries, with males standing at about 173 cm and females at 162 cm on average. (…) The evidence from the early Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemeteries shows that the population was relatively healty, with little bone evidence for diseases caused by malnutrition or deficiency in the diet.”
©Sally Crawford, “Anglo-Saxon England”, Shire Publications, 2011, page 65.
The results of the measurements of Charlemagne's tibia indicates that he was 1.84 m tall!