The Balm ruins are the remains of a fortified cave dwelling in the Jura Mountains, in the municipality of Balm bei Günsberg. It is that canton's only cave stronghold and one of the few in Switzerland.
The stronghold was built 20 metres high in a natural cave of about 20 metres wide and 6 metres deep.
The outer wall was provided with two doorways and some narrow windows. The wet rock face was covered with a lining wall; and the rest was a simple two-story timber construction, which is shown evident by the presence of holes into which beams were inserted. While being restored, the presently visible wall openings were distorted from their original form. At a later stage in the building of the stronghold, a fortified, inhabited house with an inside width of 3.5 metres and a length of 29 metres was erected in the forecourt. Presumably this was a defensive fortification of some farming complex.
The entrance to the stone fortress stretched over a long, partly walled rise which is partly hewn from the rock. The connection between the forecourt and the fortress itself is still only incompletely reconstructed. The present-day rise is of modern source, and only partly represents its original state.
Excavations from the years 1939 and 1941 indicate that the place had been used as a habitation since early times.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.