The Kerimäki Church is the largest wooden church in the world. Designed by Anders Fredrik Granstedt and built between 1844 and 1847, the church has a length of 45 metres (148 ft), a width of 42 m (138 ft), a height of 37 m (121 ft) and a seating capacity of more than 3,000. Altogether there can be 5,000 people at a time in the church.
It has been rumoured that the size of the church was the result of a miscalculation when it was built (supposedly the architect was working in centimetres, which the builder took to be inches, which are 2.54 times larger). Further studies, however, have shown that the church was actually intended to be as big as it is, so it could easily accommodate a half of the area's population at the same time.
During wintertime, services are held in a smaller "winter church" (built in 1953), since the main building has no heating.
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.