The Church of Our Lady was initially dedicated to St. Michael. Its original form dates from the year 1439, and in the 17th century it was restored. Hence its exterior and interior are significantly baroque.
Next to the central altar from the 18th century, there is a painting of Mary with the Child. The church is richly decorated with four paintings representing the stages in the life of St. Augustine. They were initially attributed to F. Fontebasso, but today they are considered to be the work of G. Agnelli, a pupil and successor of the great Piazzeta. The wall intarsia and the wooden frame, made by the Venetian carver Brustolone, are also worth mentioning.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.