The Wörth water castle is built on a small island in the Rhine river at the municipality of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, opposite of the Laufen Castle in the canton of Zürich.
Wörth was first mentioned in the 13th century, serving up to the middle of the 19th century as a major transhipment point on the east-west trade route, that led from Lake Constance and Basel, and was interrupted by the Rheinfall waterfalls.
The present castle was built in 1348 AD, according to the excavations by the archaeological team in 2004. Like the predecessor building, which was built in the mid-11th century as Burg im Fischerhölzli, it served as a customs house and secured the area. Earliest owner of the Habsurg fief were the Herren von Jestetten, followed by the Schultheiss of Randenburg (1291) and the Herren von Fulach (1422), and in 1429 by the Kloster Allerheiligen Schaffhausen.
In the late 1790s, a so-called Gertzler was the custodian of the then Schlösschen Wörth. It was given as a so-called 'Schupf-Lehn' (fief) by the Kloster Allerheiligen Schaffhausen along with the salmon fisheries, customs, vineyard, forest etc. The Gertzler moved the customs for the monastery and had to deliver 2/3 of the salmon catch. For subsistence, he was allowed to fell timber out of the forest, and had to pay a lease of 30 thaler per year for the use of the vineyard and the fields. The term 'Schlupf-Lehn' derives from the Swiss German word for 'slide out', as the feudal hereditary could be revoked if the administrator did not meet its obligations to the monastery.
When the railway was built, the water traffic route lost its importance, and the Canton of Schaffhausen rebuilt the building as a restaurant in 1835/36. The former customs station and Salmon farming was converted in the restaurant that was opened in 1837.
A bridge was leading from the righthand shore of the Rhine river into the ring the walled courtyard. On the north side a palace-like building was built, whose third floor consisted of a cantilevered clerestory timbered. In 1621 a stone floor replaced the clerestory. New floors were added, new windows broken, and the ring wall and gate was broken. As of today it houses the restaurant Schlössli Wörth that claims to be a gourmet restaurant, and also a gift shop and a fast food joint, connected with a terrace and a brilliant view of Rheinfall. Wörth is also the starting point of the Rheinfall tour boats.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.