These strange rock formations attracted the attention of neo-pagans and neo-Nazis. The Externsteine rocks have a strange cult and a very strange history. Externsteine is translated in different ways — as «Egge stones», or «Star stones». This place is a series of pillar-shaped rock formations in the middle of the Teutoburg Forest.
But it’s not just a geological curiosity — Externstein is also believed to be an ancient and sacred Paleolithic place of worship, an astronomical calendar, and the location of a sacred pagan pillar known as the «Irminsul». Externstein is the current Mecca for neo-pagans.
In fact, the prehistory of these breeds is largely unknown, and archaeological digs have proven little. It is still difficult to assume that they had any great significance for the Paleolithic peoples. The strange rock formations were probably used as an occasional hiding place until the late 700s, when Christian monks settled on the Externsteine, carving stairs and reliefs into the huge rocks. Externsteine will continue to change its purpose, serving as a fortress, pleasure palace, and prison, before becoming something even stranger: a place celebrated for its history and spiritual significance, despite the «history» being largely fiction. created by Nazi occultists.
The lack of evidence for the ancient significance of the Externstein rocks did not stop Heinrich Himmler from claiming otherwise. Himmler was head of the Nazi occult division Ahnenerbe, a Nazi think tank that billed itself as a «study society for intellectual ancient history.» In fact, it was a pseudo-scientific organization engaged in the search for or fabrication of the glorious German past. One of the sites identified by the society as important evidence of ancient Teutonic activity was Externstein. Thus, the «Externstein Foundation» was created for further «investigation».
A story was born where Nazism and the occult intersected, and the real history of Externstein was overshadowed by a completely imaginary ancient Teutonic history. Even the carvings of the monks were fabricated by the Nazi pseudo-historian Himmler. One of them is said to have depicted Christianity crushing the Teutonic pagan God prop known as «Irminsul». Nazi Germany was built on this pseudo-history. Nazi youth gathered in Externstein to sing pagan hymns during the solstice and on Hitler’s birthday.
Today, the site remains in the same historical chaos, with adherents of both neo-paganism and neo-Nazism making pilgrimages here. Of course, ordinary tourists also visit Externsteine, because this place is fascinating, even if it is not credited with a fictional history and cultural significance. The tallest of the 5 limestone pillars is 30 meters high. The site does contain many astronomical features (the timing of their creation is still unclear), including a 20-inch window that aligns with the sun at the summer solstice. In addition, the staircase and monk-created relief carvings add a real sense of meaning and awe that has nothing to do with the wild dreams of the Nazi occultists. Every year around the summer solstice, Externstein hosts a Woodstock-style festival.