Ehrenburg Palace was built by Johann Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg, in 1543-47. It replaced the Veste Coburg as the Dukes' city Residenz. The new city palace was built around a dissolved Franciscan monastery.
According to tradition, the palace was named Ehrenburg ('Palace of Honour') by Emperor Charles V for having been constructed without the use of forced labour.
In 1690, a fire destroyed the northern part of the palace. This was an opportunity for Albert V, Duke of Saxe-Coburg, who had a new Baroque style palace built in 1699.
In the 19th century, Ernst I had the palace redesigned by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Gothic Revival style, beginning in 1810. Between 1816 and 1840 the state apartments were redesigned in the French Empire style.
The palace is used as a museum today. Among other exhibits, it features art galleries with works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Dutch and Flemish artists of the 16th and 17th centuries as well as romantic landscape paintings.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.