The Externsteine near Horn-Bad Meinberg, Germany are outstanding sandstone rocks near a lake and surrounded by forest. They were once one rock but over the centuries water has washed out the weaker materials. In all times this rock formation has attracted the people and many myths exist.
The name of the rocks in the Teutoburger Wald has been discussed many times. Common interpretion is that it goes back to the word ‘Egge‘ which means in local dialect a long outstanding rock. The rocks have been changed by humans over the time and you can find artificial caves, platforms, a bridge and frescos.
Once a road was passing between the rocks but today it is only a track for bicyclists. Next to it you’ll find a cash desk and then you can climb the first rock from witch a nice round bridge leads to the second one. On top of the third one you’ll find a platform where you have nice views on the surroundings.
In this third one next to the water there is a cave which cannot be visited. Also there is a fresco showing Jesus Christ taken down from the cross dating back to the year 1115 – it is the oldest fresco in a rock north of the Alps. If you walk down to the water you’ll see a stone with a grave in it.
The Externsteine were used for different purposes over time. People lived here, mystics came here because they believed that this place has special powers and the Nazis tried to make this a place to remember their ancestors. The fresco and the grotto show that Christians tried to make this a place where you can experience the story of the Bible – for everyone who is unable to travel to Jerusalem.
Later the rocks were also used as the prison for the city Horn. If you get there you’ll find plenty of parking lots – you’ll have to pay three Euros per day. But therefore there is also a toilet, a restaurant and an info centre with some information about the rocks next to the parking lots. From there it is a short and easy walk to the Externsteine.
Externsteine Straße 35
32805 Horn-Bad Meinberg