Göksholm is the oldest privately-owned building in Sweden that has been continuously inhabited.
In the middle ages Göksholm was just a fortified castle with a large tower. Its oldest existent parts have been dated to the 13th century. It was built (rebuilt and enlarged) during the Middle Ages through six different stages.
After a fire at the end of the 16th century, the building was modernized according to that period's style, getting a more regular plan, bigger windows and details in the Dutch renaissance style. Despite the thorough renovation, the medieval base structure remains. A painted inner ceiling from the time of this renaissance renovation exists with 121 cassettes which is remarkably well preserved today.
Under the 17th century owners, Baron Knut Kurck and Baron Fleming, the castle was encrusted with portals, and circle-patterned outer buildings. Lars Gustaf Tersmeden had the ceiling renovated in 1801. This was the last big change in its structure. Some facade details were changed in the 1950s.
Historically Göksholm is famous for the popular uprising's leader Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, the leader of the government, having been murdered on its lands in 1436 by Måns Bengtsson, the son and heir of the then owner of the castle.
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.