The Cathedral of St Nicholas is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in České Budějovice. The foundation stone of the parish church was laid around 1265, shortly after the founding of the city. The church of St Nicholas was consecrated in 1297, although it was still incomplete at the time. The completion of the main building probably occurred sometime around the mid 14th century. The original Gothic church was damaged by fire and repaired in the years 1513 - 1518. The church was significantly rebuilt several times. During the 16th century the church acquired a new bell tower called the Black Tower. In the 17th century, reconstruction took place and the church acquired its current baroque appearance. The church has a triple nave layout with 18th century interiors. In 1785 the interior was renovated when the church was elevated to a cathedral due to the creation of the Diocese of České Budějovice.
A cemetery was located beside the church and was in use from the Middle Ages up to the year 1784, when the decree of Joseph II forbade further burials. Between 1969 and 1971 internal adjustments were made in the cathedral in order to improve the liturgical space after the changes made during the Second Vatican Council.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.