The Luxembourg City History Museum illustrates the thousand-year history of the City of Luxembourg with both permanent and temporary exhibits.
Like the city itself, the museum successfully combines ancient architecture with modern extensions. It is housed in four restored houses from the 17th to the 19th century which still bear archeological traces from the Middle Ages. Examples of how to combine old buildings with the expectations of museum visitors are the floating glass façade and the panoramic lift which offers extensive views of all floors. The huge glass cage of the lift gives up to 65 people views of the rock foundations on the lower levels as well as views of the city's Grund district and Rham plateau on the upper levels, revealing the stages of Luxembourg's history over the centuries. Also of interest are the ancient, vaulted cellars which were discovered during excavation work in the early 1990s.
The floors below the street level entrance house a permanent collection illustrating the town's architectural and urban development while the upper floors are reserved for temporary exhibitions. A multimedia system extending throughout the building documents the history of the town including its cultural, political and social development. It provides access to some ten thousand documents and almost sixty audio-visual sequences.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.