The Cathedral Basilica of Ciutadella de Menorca was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island, in 1287 on the site of an old mosque.
Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the Catalan Gothic style, and is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by six chapels to each side. The five-sided apse is oriented to the east.
After the desecration and devastation of the cathedral by the Ottoman Empire Turks under Admiral of the Ottoman Fleet Pialí Bajá in 1558 and the collapse of the vaults of the apse in 1626, the damage was quickly repaired in the original style.
In 1795, with the restoration of the old bishopric of Menorca (which had existed at start of the 5th century) the parish church of Ciutadella came to be the cathedral of the new diocese.
Under Bishop Juano, the main façade was rebuilt in 1813 in a neoclassical style, contrasting with the Gothic style of the building, while the restored side door called the Porta de la Llum ('Portal of the Light') keeps some of its medieval ornamentation.
In the interior, the baroque chapel of the Angelus dates from the start of the 17th century with exquisitely-carved columns.
The cathedral was sacked and desecrated in the first days of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, but was restored in its current form by Bishop Bartolomé Pascual between 1939 and 1941. During this work, the Quire was moved from the nave to its current location in the apse.
The great altar is a marble monolith covered by a 15-metre-high canopy. At the back of the apse, under an image of the Virgin in the mystery of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, is found the episcopal throne, made with Roman marble blessed by Pope Pius XII to signify the links of faith and devotion of this church of Menorca to St. Peter's Basilica. In 1953 Pope Pius XII gave the cathedral the title of minor basilica.
From 1987, the seventh centennial of the conquest of Menorca by the Crown of Aragon, a new plan was undertaken for the restoration and development of the cathedral.
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.