Grodno Castle (formerly Kynsburg) is a castle located in the southern parts of the Wałbrzych Mountains, on the Choina Mountain (450 metres), standing to the left of the river Bystryca. The valley of this river, formerly known as the Silesian Valley, creates a natural boundary between the Owl Mountains and to the west of it the Wałbrzych Mountains. The castle is located in Zagórze Śląskie (11 km east of Wałbrzych), Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland.
The picturesque location of the castle is exacerbated by the barraged Lubachowskie Lake in the foothills of the mountain.
According to tradition the castle was built in 1193, by Duke Boleslaw I the Tall. The castle, together with a network of fortresses was used as a defense line between the Duchy of Jawor and the Kingdom of Bohemia. In the sixteenth century Grodno Castle was expanded by a gatehouse, on which there is precious sgraffito, and a sundial clock from 1716. The castle was devastated in battles against the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War, slowly falling into ruins. In the nineteenth century the tower had collapsed. The last owner of Grodno, was the Zedlits family, which had continued renovation works and strengthened the castleReferences:
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.