Steinerne Brücke in Regensburg is a 12th-century bridge across the Danube linking the Old Town with Stadtamhof. For more than 800 years, until the 1930s, it was the city's only bridge across the river. It is a masterwork of medieval construction and an emblem of the city.
Charlemagne had a wooden bridge built at Regensburg, approximately 100 metres east of the present bridge, but it was inadequate for the traffic and vulnerable to floods, so it was decided to replace it with a stone bridge. The Stone Bridge was built in only eleven years, probably in 1135–46. Louis VII of France and his army used it to cross the Danube on their way to the Second Crusade. It served as a model for other stone bridges built in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. For centuries it was the only bridge over the river between Ulm and Vienna, making Regensburg into a major centre of trade and government.
The Stone Bridge is an arch bridge with 16 arches. At the south end, the first arch and first pier were incorporated into the Regensburg Salt Store when it was built in 1616–20, but remain in place under the approach road to the bridge. An archaeological investigation was performed in 2009, and revealed fire damage during the Middle Ages.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.