The history of Puurmani Manor (in German: Schloß Talkhof) dates back to the Middle Ages when a castle of the Order was located here. It was a residence of the Vogt of the Order. The castle was built to protect the crossing point of River Pedja and the main road between Tartu and Tallinn.
Later the place of the former castle was turned into a manor. The Estonian name of the estate stems from the Buhrmeister family, who were the owners in the Swedish times after having been given the manor in 1645 by Queen Kristina. By 1919, the year of expropriation, the estate was owned by the aristocratic von Manteuffel family.
The present neo-Renaissance styled main building was built by Ernst von Manteuffel in 1860’s. One of the palace's frontal corners is emphasized by a five-floored octagonal tower. Both the tower and the facade of the building are richly decorated. In the interior design Neo-Renaissance is combined with Neo-Baroque.
The Puurmani park and estate complex is under national protection. More than 50 species of trees and bushes can be found in the well organized park, which is divided into two parts. The front of the manor is arranged symmetrically according to the French style. The part behind the building exhibits the English style with its informal landscape gardening. Linden alleys and red brick fences also enhance the beauty of the park.
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.