The Momjan castle, presently dilapidated and ivy-grown, can hardly evoke the power and wealth of the life that characterized it. It was built above the abyss overlooking the Dragonja River, today a border between Croatia and Slovenia. Located at 280 meters above the sea level, it dominates the Dragonja valley, divided from it by the Poganja brook.
Momjan was first mentioned in 1035. The Patriarch of Aquileia was given a rule over it by the deed of gift in 1102. The erection of the fortress began in the first half of the 13th century, when it was given by the Patriarch to the Counts of Devin. The owners of Momjan, the family of Woscalc from Devin and sons, were known for their fickleness and expressed their affiliation depending on interests. Fitting nicely into this feature was their constant desire to gain political functions. They were known for their disputes and conflicts with neighbours, and often fought and changed sides between the Counts of Gorizia and Patriarchs of Aquileia. Almost a cursed town, it constantly changed owners, the property was mortgaged, returned, but always important and mentioned. Thus, it was ruled by the regents appointed by Pietrapelosa and the Counts of Gorizia.
In 1548, the castle was bought by Simone Rota, of the Rota family from Bergamo, who moved to Piran just before purchasing it. Rota gave the castle the trapezoid shape with a square tower, which was renovated as residential quarters. It erected the chapel of St. Stephen and built a new stone bridge. Until it was abandoned in 1835, the castle had a residential function, after which it fell into decay as the Counts of Rota moved to a more comfortable palace in the village. As the castle was long owned by the Rota family, it is known today as the Rota Castle. Only the ruins of the castle remained as reminder of the Momjan's glorious past.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.