The Württemberg Mausoleum is a memorial standing on the peak of Württemberg Hill at the westernmost end of Schurwald woods overlooking the Neckar river. The memorial was built for Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (1788–1819), the second wife of William I of Württemberg (1781–1864). The remains of William I and his daughter Maria Friederike Charlotte of Württemberg (1816–1887) are also housed in the mausoleum.
The mausoleum was built after the death of Queen Catherine between 1820 and 1824 based on a design drafted by Giovanni Salucci. The location on the former site of Wirtemberg castle was chosen as the home of the House of Württemberg.
Between 1825 and 1899 the mausoleum was used as a Russian Orthodox Church place of worship. The memorial is still used to this day for a Russian Orthodox service every Pentecost.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.