Situated on the banks of the River Adaja, San Segundo church was built in Caleno granite between 1130 and 1160. Before it was dedicated to St Segundo after the remains of the town's first Bishop were found in 1519, it had been dedicated to St Sebastian and St Lucia. The Bishop's remains were moved in 1615 with great pomp and ceremony to the chapel of St Segundo, which was built on to the apse of the Cathedral specifically as a final resting place.
The layout draws inspiration from the basilica style and has three naves and an upper end with three apses closed off with calotte and barrel vaults. Its slightly off-centre north-eastern orientation is probably due to the existence of an earlier church or an error made when the construction was being marked out. The southern porch has five archivolts set on columns and there are others of similar characteristics to the North and West, which were replaced in the 16th century. The structure of the naves was replaced in 1521 with a structure that shows Mudejar-style influences. Its current appearance is the result of refurbishment work that was carried out as from the 16th century.
The decoration with Romanesque sculptures is limited to a number of capitals with plant and figurative motifs. Inside, it boasts a sculpture of St Segundo in prayer by Juan de Juni.
There is a Roman altar stone opposite the west entrance that was found during recent archaeological work on the church.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.