Blutenburg Castle is an old ducal country seat in the west of Munich. The castle was built between two arms of the River Würm for Duke Albert III, Duke of Bavaria in 1438–39 as a hunting-lodge, replacing an older castle burned down in war. The origin of this castle is a moated castle of the 13th century. The core of this castle was a residential tower, the remains of which were uncovered in 1981. The fortress was first mentioned in writing only in 1432.
Albert's son, Duke Sigismund of Bavaria, ordered extensions of the castle beginning in 1488; he died here in 1501. The main building became derelict during the Thirty Years War, but was rebuilt in 1680–81. The castle is still surrounded by a ring wall with three towers and a gate tower. The defensive character of the castle, however, was with the reconstruction in 17th Century significantly reduced. The plant was already at that time no longer defensible.
Sigismund of Bavaria also ordered the construction of the palace chapel, a splendid masterpiece of late Gothic style which still has preserved its stained-glass windows, along with the altars with three paintings created in 1491 by Jan Polack. The cycle of the statues of the apostles on the side walls was built around 1490/95.
Since 1983 the International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) has been housed in Blutenburg Castle. The Blutenburg concerts are well known.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.