Dvigrad was originally two towns, Moncastello and Castel Parentino. Dvigrad was first mentioned in 879, when it fell under the rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia. However, it had existed long before it as a part of the Roman province settlement. Its name speaks originally of two towns. Today's ruins are the remains of the northern town of Moncastello, while the other one, Castel Parentino, was abandoned in the 10th century.
Dvigrad fell under the rule of the Counts of Gorizia, it was destroyed by the Genoese fighting against the new owners, the Venice. Many lives and towns were lost in this war, which mainly took place in Istria. It is most likely that Parentino was abandoned at that time, and Montecastello was solely renovated. Following more than a century of peace, the second half of the 16th century was marked by a continuous conflict between Venice and Austria. This is the time of the plague epidemics, followed by the malaria.
In 1630, inhabitants had left the town and moved to Kanfanar. Only the poorest family remained in Dvigrad. It was noted that in 1650, the Bishop blessed only three families in Dvigrad. Some twenty years later, the Church of St. Sophia was also abandoned and the time has taken its toll. Current remains represent a well preserved, typical medieval town castle. It is encircled by the two rings of town walls connected by the town gate, of which there are three just as many as its defensive towers. The Church of St. Sophia still dominates the town. It is located on the highest point of town, on the same location from the Early Christian times. It current fascinating three-nave form was built in the 13th century. In front of this Romanesque style edifice there is the main town square and the town palace. Military quarters were located in the town's western part, while the craftsmen inhabited its southwest. The remaining, rather a large area, was occupied by houses for regular citizens.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.