Braathen Dendrokronologiska Undersökningar

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Hotellet 13, Visby

The property containing a hotel in the block Hotellet 13 at Strandgatan south of Donners Plats is based on some old houses, built to one unit. Traces expose more than one rebuilding period.

In the book, 'Visby förr i tiden' by Waldemar Falck, Hanseproduktion 1988, on the pages 104 - 109 are 12 pictures showing parts of the block from 1844 and onwards. In 1989 the property was renovated and extended to the east.

Some minor outside signs of medieval origin disappeared, but already from the entrance hall of the hotel a medieval column is visible. It belongs to the supporting construction of vaults in a medieval building. The base of the column is downstairs in the middle basement. The basement is dendrochronologically investigated.

The southern part is separated from the middle part by a thick wall with an entrance opening. In the wall is a chimney-like extension. The northern wall of the middle part is adjacent to the remains of a medieval lane. North of the lane is the basement of a medieval house with its original beams in the ceiling. This space can only be reached by a scuttle from the street.

In the southern part four beams in the ceiling, pointed east-west, are dated. Two of these have waney edge, and the outermost annual ring is dated 1282.

In the middle part of the basement bore-cores were taken from east-west pointed beams in the ceiling and from the wall-head beams in the west wall. Unfortunately some bore-cores fell into pieces, and it became impossible to return for additional samples because of the building activity. Sample no 'Visby 991' from the wall-head beam in the south-west corner has squared cross-section, lacks waney edge and is dated 1227 in its outermost annual ring. The wall-head beam at the west wall, north of the stairs up to the street, is made of oak, has waney edge and is dated 1296 (bore-core 'Visby 994').

In the basement of the northern medieval house four beams in the ceiling (four joists of the upper floor) are dated. They are pointed north-south. According to a notation in the field-diary two of these have waney edge. Sample no 'Visby 1004' is dated 1333 and sample 'Visby 1009' is dated 1335. It is uncertain whether the two outermost annual rings in no 1004 are missing or as the tree has been cut two years earlier. The shape of the beam is in favour of the later alternative.

The dates 1282, 1296 and 1335 indicate that the basement might contain remains of three medieval buildings, but because of rebuilding that was not obvious just by walking through the spaces. The dates must be put together with results from archaeological investigations made in the block. Further investigations must be restricted to the study of documents. In 1989 a swimming pool was built in the two southern spaces of the basement.