The Munot is a circular 16th century fortification in the center of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen. It is surrounded by vineyards and serves as the city's symbol. The earliest presence of a castle on a round hill above the river goes back to 1379, but not much is known about the earlier fort. The castle seen today dates in the 16th century at the height of the city’s commercial power, built in a relatively short time between 1564 and 1589. The castle name comes from the middle high German “Annot” meaning without danger, transformed into Munot.
The Munot Fortress was never a residence and its short useful life means it remains nearly exactly as it was built, a relatively pure castle of the Renaissance. Its most distinctive features ar the cavernous camponiere galleries in the foundation, upon entering the castle from below, and walking the winding stone path up the turret. A single large round tower rises from the open stone upper platform with views out to the Rhine past the Roman Turret, which takes its name from its style, rather than from its period, and the surrounding Emmersberg hills. Fallow Deer were introduced to the fortress moat in 1905, and can still be viewed grazing happily undisturbed on the grass below the stone walls.
The Munot Fortress of Schaffhausen is one of the city’s tourist landmarks and the site of many city festivals and events, including a children’s festival and open air cinema shows.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.