Bermersbach’s Giersteine: A Blend of Nature and Mystery

The Giersteine located high above the Murg valley in the northern Back Forest

Bermersbach, a district of the municipality of Forbach in the Black Forest, Germany, is situated atop the Murg River and boasts a remarkable natural landmark called the Giersteine. On the outskirts of the village, located atop a hill, lie several granite blocks of varying sizes, giving the impression of deliberate placement.

From the vantage point of the stones, one can enjoy a sweeping panorama of the valley.

The Giersteine high above the valley of the river Murg

Natural or man-made ensemble?

Officially, these blocks have acquired their unique shapes and distinct features through the combined forces of natural erosion caused by weather, heat, and ice.

However, there are various speculations and legends surrounding the previous utilization of the setup. Some accounts suggest its function as an ancient sacrificial site for pagan priests. The Nazis were notorious for their fascination with the occult. Interestingly, they also held a particular reverence for these stones, considering them to be an ancient Germanic cult site.

The largest block, with a circumference of 13 meters, is covered with long grooves and bowl-shaped depressions, giving rise to a plethora of legends.

The evocative names like “blood grooves,” “sacrificial cauldrons,” “devil stones,” “witch stones,” and “druid’s seat” have been passed down through generations, testifying to the enduring mystical perception of this place. For centuries, people have been captivated by its enigmatic allure.

The origins of the staircase are believed to date back to approximately 1905. The accuracy of this claim and the possibility of it being much older, I am unable to verify.

The same applies to whether the blocks were placed here by a glacier, or whether all this was the work of people long back in history. In any case, it is the only such accumulation of stones on that hilltop, which may speak of an artificial formation.

The large block is 13 meters in diameter. At the top there are bowl-like depressions with several deep grooves leading away from them

Alignment with the sun?

There are a few clues available on the Internet suggesting that the ensemble might have had an astronomical alignment. It is believed that in the past, it was utilized to ascertain, among others, the winter solstice by observing the positions of the main stones and a hilltop located directly opposite.

Due to my limited knowledge of astronomy, I’m only providing a brief mention of this topic without delving into further detail and speculation.

The individual stones of the ensemble

As depicted below, the site is situated a mere few hundred meters away from the village. At the starting point of the path leading to the stones, there stands a wayside cross, a clear indication that this place holds significance beyond being just a natural collection of rocks.

The Church undoubtedly maintains holds ancient texts in their secure archives, which make references to such locations, and subliminally marks these places with their Christian symbolism.

The site is located not far from the village


The Giersteine are located not far from the village of Bermersbach, a district of the municipality of Forbach in the northern Black Forest.

The Giersteine near Bermersbach

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