In contrast to near St. Lawrence's Church, Drothem church was referred to as the 'peasant's church' and used as a parish church by the rural population rather than the strictly urban. The present church was probably preceded by a wooden church on approximately the same site. Remains of a Franciscan monastery have been excavated in the close vicinity of Drothem church, leading scholars to believe that the church started its history as part of the monastery, which in turn was founded on land donated from the royal manor nearby.
The first written records mentioning the church date from 1307, but construction of the church started sometime during the second half of the 13th century. The present-day vestry is the oldest part of the church. Later alterations have been plentiful, as the church has been damaged both by fire on several occasions, and also in war, during the Northern Seven Years' War when Danish troops under the command of Daniel Rantzau caused damage to the church. In 1586, the church was still in disrepair and the congregation pleaded to the king (John III of Sweden) to help funding the repairs.
The church is built of stone with some details made of brick, and whitewashed. Both the west and the east façades are decorated with blind arches and crow-stepped gables. Heavy buttresses support the building. The roof is made of shingle. The church has an external belfry.
Inside, the church is divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of pillars, carrying Gothic vaults. The altarpiece is from Germany, made in 1512 and, according to a note written in medieval German found in the altar, by a craftsman called Vlögel. The baptismal font is from the 13th century. Other noteworthy interior details include the pulpit, from 1704, and an altar painting from the 17th century, originally forming part of an epitaph.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.