Fascinating rock formation of one of the most remarkable natural and cultural monuments in Europe, medieval sacral site and popular excursion destination – these are the Externsteine in the heart of Lippe, also called Stonehenge of Germany.


The mountain range of the Teutoburg Forest, to which the Externsteine also belong, formed 80 million years ago. Finds of flint show that hunters were already in the vicinity of the Externsteine in the Stone Age. Archaeological excavations brought then only again medieval ceramic finds from the 10th – 14th century to light. What was here in the meantime leaves much room for speculation and imagination.

The creative works at the Externsteine (the grottoes, the rock tomb, the relief of the Deposition from the Cross) were probably created in the Middle Ages by monks from the surrounding monasteries. In the main grotto there is a consecration inscription with the year 1115.

The caves, which are latticed today, were already used by people of earlier times (proven fireplaces) as well as the tower rock with a cave, including a round hole and an altar from pre-Christian times.


To this day, the mystery of the actual age and use of the site is unsolved, despite some interpretations and studies by experts scientifically not clearly assignable. But this is probably what captivates people here.


(A. K.)