The castle ruins in Gamla Höjentorp dates back to the 13th century. The castle is said to have been donated to the bishop of Skara in 1284, but was then returned to the crown at the time of Gustav Vasa’s reformation. At the middle of the 17th century, Queen Kristina gave the castle as a wedding gift to Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie’s wife, Maria Eufrosyne. In 1722 the castle burnt down and it is said that Queen Ulrika Eleonora was visiting at the time. She watched the fire from a nearby hill, which was then named after this Drottningkullen (the Queen Hill).
Today only the ruins of the basement remain of the original castle, but the place bears witness of the importance of this area in the Middle Ages, which was also when Skara had its period of greatness. In the overgrown castle garden are beautiful ashes and lime-trees and in the slope down towards the Garden Lake it smells of ramsons and other rare plants.References:
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.