Utö is a small island in the Finland Archipelago Sea. It is the southernmost year-round inhabited island in Finland. The written history of island dates back to the 16th century. Since the 17th century, it has been a base for pilots, lighthouse keepers, custom officials and soldiers.
The first lighthouse in Finland was built on Utö in 1753. The round lighthouse building was blown up during the Swedish-Russian war of 1808-1809. The present lighthouse was built in 1814 under the supervision of Chief Pilot Gustav Brodd. The lantern and the lights have been modernized several times. The present lens was installed in 1906.
Today Utö is popular place for a day trip. You can visit on lighthouse, a small museum and village with old wooden cottages.
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.