Petrusse Casemates origin goes back to 1644, when the Spaniards reinforced the medieval fortifications. Under the supervision of the Swiss fortress builder Isaac von Treybach, they built - among other defence works-the powerful Beck Bastion, named after Governor Baron Johann von Beck, a native of the city who had played a key role in the Wallenstein affair on the side of the Emperor. Initially this bastion was as high as the adjacent terraces on the right; it was raised to the present level of Constitution Square (the wall is 27 meters high) by Vauban in 1685.
In 1673 the Spaniards erected the so-called 'Ravelin du Pate' to strengthen the defence of the Beck Bastion; this triangular construction is one of the few well-kept fortifications. Marshall de Vauban conferred the present shape to all the Petrusse fortifications and built the 'Small Staircase'. From 1728-29 the Austrians added the 'Bourbon Lock' and the 'Large Staircase' and in 1746 the casemates of the 'Petrusse Battery' (54 gun emplacements).
One century passed and the fortress was enlarged and reinforced: the second ring was extended and the third started, so that Luxembourg became the 'Gibraltar of the North'. By and by, the Petrusse fortifications fell into oblivion and neglect, as their strategic momentum limited itself to the valley. After the dismantling, stipulated by the 1867 London Treaty, they confined themselves to walling up the loopholes and most entrances. In 1933 the Petrusse casemates were opened to the public.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.