The Goloring is an ancient earthworks monument located near Koblenz. It was created in the Bronze Age era, which dates back to the Urnfield culture (1200–800 BC). During this time a widespread solar cult is believed to have existed in Central Europe.
The Goloring consists of a circular ditch of 175 metres in diameter with an outside embankment extending to 190 metres. Technically this makes the structure a henge monument, although the use of the term henge outside of Britain is sometimes disputed. The outside embankment is approx. 7 metres wide and 80 cm high. The ditch has an upper width of 5–6 metres and is approx. 80 cm deep. In the interior one can find a roughly circular leveled platform, which is about elevated by about 1 metre. The platform has been created based on piled gravelled rock and has a diameter of 95 metres. Remnants of a 50 cm thick wooden post with an estimated height of 8–12 metres were excavated in the middle of this platform.
The design of the ditch is unique in Germany, and makes the earthworks similar to many British monuments of the same era. It is often compared to Stonehenge in England, which has similar diametric proportions.
Goloring is located within the boundaries of a former military dog training camp, but was acquired by the town of Kobern-Gondorf in June 2004. The Goloring is currently not accessible to the general public but there are plans under way to build a historic park with the earthworks at its centre.References:
The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.
The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.
After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.
The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.
Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.
The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.