You may have heard of the mythical menhirs (i. e. standing stones) in connection with the comic Asterix and Obelix but in fact they may be discovered in many countries of Europe, not only in Brittany. So when I learned that one example of megalithic culture can be found just 150 kms from my home at Langeneichstädt near the city of Halle in Germany, I had to go and see this place.
The menhir of Langeneichstädt (ca. 3,600 – 2,700 BC)
When visiting the neolithic site of Langeneichstädt comprising an ancient menhir and a stone cist grave in 2017 on 3 November (i. e. shortly after All Saints Day), former visitors had left fresh flowers at the place ritually to my real great surprise – hence I did hesitate instinctively moving forward for a while.
Carving on the menhir said to symbolize the dolmin goddess
Such places at times imply special energies and dynamics because a little bit later I heard a clear, mysterious and yelling voice out of nowhere although nobody else could be seen somewhere except me. May be it was only the wind, you might certainly argue, but the incident made me shivering immediately while not finally falling into absolute delusive panic like people in the dark novels of H. P. Lovecraft.
Cover-stones of the stone cist grave (ca. 3,600 – 2,700 BC)
A however deep and ice-cold irritation made me leaving this primeval location much faster than planned with the clear agenda not to return so soon again. A baffling and surreal message from the past must have passed my way at this very moment.
View inside the pristine burial place of Langeneichstädt
In Unteruhldingen, Germany, on Lake Constance, wooden posts in the water still serve as reminders of the houses that once stood there.
During the Neolithic Period (4,000 BC), the first farmers settled by the lakes around the Alps. They often built their villages directly in or by the water and protected themselves from the wet grounds and floods by building their homes on wooden stilts. These pile dwellings are an early form of settlement offering the people protection against enemies and predators. And the close proximity to water was also vital for survival by the direct access to the lucrative fishing grounds.
The pictures here were all taken some days ago at the Pile Dwellings Museum of Unteruhldingen, Lake Constance. This site comprises an open-air museum with 23 reconstructed houses from the Stone and Bronze Age (4,000 until 850 BC). After archeological excavations in the lake the first houses were reconstructed in 1922 based on replicas and original findings making a fascinating submerged world visible again.
Towards the end of the Bronze Age (approximately 850 BC), a dramatically worsening climate and rising lake level pushed the settlers back inland into the surrounding hills. Since then, the remains of the sunken villages have been resting well protected at the bottom of Lake Constance. Complex underwater excavations brought numerous finds of building parts which allowed for accurate reconstruction of the houses.
Other diverse finds can be seen in a small museum, and in the houses you get also a deep insight of ancient living conditions being really worth a visit.
Tuesday Photo Challenge – Connections
In our neighbourhood at home one of our favourite trails for hiking leads through Briese Valley / Briesetal near the Northern gates of Berlin. The Briese is a small, not very long river flowing mostly in a glacial groover. Here you may find a wild alder swamp forest, beaver dams and marshland in quite original condition. During our recent visit nature has rested still in winter mode but at least some green to be admired on the watersurface.The nicest part of this trail starts at the village of Briese in the direction of Zühlsdorf over a distance of around 6 km. There it is possible to make a rest at a nice old forester’s lodge in the woods where you get small snacks (such as homemade deer sausage) and drinks during the weekend all year round and then go back on the other riverside with different views, a nice roundtrip of approx. 12 km.
Jo’s Monday walk : Natural beauty at Fonte Filipe
Do trees fall asleep? Well at least they droop and do relax their branches at night which might be a sign of snoozing between dusk and dawn.
Each journey requires an appropriate device. This building in the East-German countryside at Gellmersdorf used to be a stable for pigs for very long time before changed to an airplane in 2012 by a local aviation enthusiast. The painted house shows “Aircraft 152” being built in the former German Democratic Republic starting from 1958. 12 jet aircrafts of this type were manufactured then production was stopped as it had turned out as simply too expensive. The premise serves as a small information centre and venue regarding aviation.
During summer holidays a friendly advice and recommendation led us to this geological quite special place and rock formation near the Isar meadows of Lower Bavaria in the small village of Usterling. The location is called Wachsender Fels, (i. e. growing rock) but this self-enlarging boulder is not situated within a stalactite cave but just outside at the end of a hillside.
The growing rock with an age of ca. 5,000 years has today a length of 40 m and a height of 5 m, each year 1-2 cm are added by the very small water runnel flowing down on its crest. The fluid from a nearby karst spring contains a lot of soluted limestone and carbon dioxide. As soon as the water reaches the surface the carbon dioxide begins to leave the fluid and the limestone is being deposited down on the rock.
We luckily reached the site late in the afternoon when the last sunbeams of the day touched and transformed the rock for a very short time to a real sculpture. A few moments later this unexpected appearance rapidly dissolved again with the approaching sun-set. A wooden stairways leads visitors easily to the beginning of the growing rock.
The German geological term for this kind of rocks is steinerne Rinne (i. e. stony runnel) but an equivalent scientific term in English seemingly does not exist for this more seldom rock formation near karst hills and mountains.
Tuesday Photo Challenge – Slippery
A rather dreamy place worth a visit is the former rehabilitation centre Beelitz Heilstätten near Berlin in Germany. It is a vast area of varied buildings being constructed in the early 20th century with a quite modern concept for healing and recovery.
After WW II it was seized by the Soviet Red Army which left Germany and this area in 1994. Nobody felt responsible for the place afterwards or had an idea for further use so nature took over control quite easily.
Some years ago the place was changed into some kind of openair museum, and a long freestanding bridge was built for viewing the amazing ruins from the very height which requires however the payment of an entrance fee.
You will find there also a lot of other houses on the huge premises which you can view free of charge. Guided tours are offered there also inside some buildings.
#ThursdayTreeLove – 49