The Breno castle rises on a hill overlooking the town: the building was erected in the 12th century, then turned into a military stronghold at the time of the Venetian Republic (1400-1500) and finally, after being abandoned in 1598, it was reused as a stone quarry.
The castle however rises on a much more ancient site: probably the place where in the 10th-9th century BCE a prehistoric community settled.
You can reach the castle with a short walk (about 15 minutes) from the centre of Breno: the perimeter is closed by a battlemented boundary wall and by two towers. Inside you can admire the remains of the St. Michele church, of Longobard origin, then enlarged in the Romanesque period. The other buildings, the only remains of which are mostly the outside walls and the cellars with barrel vaults, were added during the Venetian reign.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.