Brahetrolleborg is a castle was known as Cistercian Holme Abbey before the Reformation. The abbey was founded and settled in 1172 from the Cistercian Herrevad Abbey in Scania, now in Sweden, of which it was a daughter house. It was secularised during the Reformation, probably in 1536.
After the abbey was secularised and taken into the possession of the Danish Crown, the Crown released it into private ownership. In 1568 it became the property of Heinrich Rantzau, from whom it acquired for a time the name Rantzausholm. After reverting again to the Crown in 1661, it was granted in 1664 by King Frederick III of Denmark to his court favourite, the German merchant and politician Christoffer Gabel, who exchanged it three years later for the chalk mountain of Segeberg with Birgitte Nielsdatter, of the Trolle family and married into the Brahe family, whence the name of the castle and also of her barony, Brahetrolleborg. The Trolles sold it in 1722 to Christian Detlev von Reventlow, the Oberpräsident of Altona, and the estate has remained until today in the Reventlow family.
The former Cistercian church, laid out according to the plan of Saint Bernard, is now the chapel of Brahetrolleborg. It has a tower on the west front, and possesses a crucifix by Claus Berg of about 1500. The conventual buildings, located to the right of the church, were converted after secularisation for use as a castle, which was comprehensively overhauled in about 1870.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.