Built in 1590 on the remains of the old fortified castle destroyed during the Battle of Arques, the Miromesnil castle is the testimony of four centuries of architectural history. The simple lines of the Henry IV style south façade contrast with the decorative profusion of the Louis XIII monumental north facade.
Despite the succession of numerous landlords, the castle has kept its decorative elements from the past centuries: wooden panels from the XVII and XVIII century. The furniture (sofas, chest of drawers, wardrobes) relates life in the castle in the XVIII century. On the ground floor of one of the tower, a small lounge has been reorganised in a XIX century style, to recall the presence of the Maupassant family between 1849 and 1853.
The chapel Saint Anthony in the castle park was built between the XV and XVI century. The door is mounted with an arch, only decorative element of quite a sober general aspect. Its austere outside contrasts widely with the richness of the inside. Four XVI century statues in painted stone stare at the visitor when they enter the sanctuary. The stain glasses, from the same period, represent a Blamed Christ in the centre, and the landlords atthe time on the sides. Three contemporary stain glasses, made in 1964 by Guy De Vogüé offer an abstract representation of the Christ Passion. Finally, the chapel is entirely decorated with wooden panels and stucco ornaments. You can find an altar in oak and a fence made by a local blacksmith (Le Chien) from the XVII century. It was used by the monks from the Fécamps abbey until the revolution.
Today Château de Miromesnil is a hotel with beautiful gardens.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.