Kentheim’s Forgotten Prehistoric Cairn and Other Surprising Discoveries

Behind the stone is a cavity. How deep this goes into the foundation of the structure is uncertain

It is truly astonishing to discover what lies hidden on a lush hillside near the village of Kentheim in the mysterious northern Black Forest of Germany.

There appears to be a structure resembling a cairn that was once constructed in that location, perched upon a remarkably steep and inaccessible mountainside.

A cairn, derived from the Scottish Gaelic language, is a man-made mound constructed with stones ( These structures were primarily utilized for religious intentions, as commonly believed. Scotland and Ireland are home to the oldest cairns, which bear witness to the rich prehistoric culture that once thrived in these lands. According to the official opinion, in Germany, specifically in the Black Forest, they are said to not exist.

Despite its current state of disrepair, the remnants of its once grand scale are still quite visible. The question arises: who was responsible for the construction of this awe-inspiring structure, and when was its inception?

There is no evidence to suggest that it was a medieval castle or any similar building, and historical records pertaining to it are nonexistent. One possible reason for this could be that until recently, everything remained concealed beneath a thick canopy of dense forest.

Just a short while ago, a team of diligent forestry workers cleared this particular part of the hillside, spanning approximately 50 meters in width. Once again, the reason remains unknown. It is possible that someone wanted to inspect the stability of the slope to ensure that it does not pose any risks to the road below in the valley.

The remains of the former cairn

When observing the partially large stone blocks, some weighing several hundred kilograms, one can’t help but wonder how the builders managed to transport them to this incline and skillfully stack them upon one another. The slope is so steep that even without a load, maintaining one’s balance becomes a challenge.

Heavy stones were stacked on the extremely steep slope

Beneath the structure, a glimpse of a rock foundation emerges from the hillside. It appears almost intentional, as if strategically positioned to bear the weight of the construction above and prevent any untoward slippage.

The foundation of the structure

Nestled at the foundation’s base lies an extraordinary marvel – a towering triangular stone block, approximately 3 meters in height. The flawless integration into the rock face is stunning.

Upon closer inspection of the cracks, one can discern the presence of a hidden cavity behind it. The extent of its depth within the structure remains uncertain.

I lack the geological expertise to determine whether natural circumstances are accountable for the emergence of this curiosity.

The triangular “entrance door” to the cavern behind it

At the edge of the structure sits a large standing stone that appears to have been placed there intentionally.

Standing stone on the slope

Here’s a short video of the site.

Video of the structure

This remarkable cairn structure is not all. Along the mountain ridge, there are more discoveries to be made. Scattered throughout the dense forest, on the slopes spanning 1.5-2 km, you will find large stone blocks with intriguingly symmetrical shapes.

And then there’s the Stubenfelsen, a striking rock formation that gives you a glimmer of an impression that someone worked on it in the distant past.

Also, check out the megalithic boulder, which looks like a giant had leaned it against the wall briefly for a break, only to pick it up again later.

Many stunning discoveries await along the ridge

Located at the base of the mountain stands the historic St. Candidus Church of Kentheim. Considered one of the oldest churches in southern Germany, it is believed to have been established in the 9th century upon the request of Reichenau Monastery, initially serving as a hermitage.

It is evident that the early Catholic Church frequently established hermitages in close proximity to ancient pagan sacred sites, or rather, places of power. Presumably, the monks functioned as explorers of these locations, diligently preparing them for eventual ecclesiastical takeover.

St. Candidus of Kentheim

Kentheim is located near the city of Calw in the northern Black Forest.

Map of the mountain ridge near Kentheim

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