Megalith Ruins or Natural Formations on the Hornisgrinde?

Large stones on the Katzenkopf peak that look as if they have been worked and stacked

The Hornisgrinde, a mountain ridge extending about 2 km in a north-south direction, ascends to a height of 1164 meters, making it the highest peak in Germany’s Northern Black Forest region. A notable portion of the plateau is occupied by a high moor, believed to be at least 6,000 years old.

The southern flank cradles the enigmatic Lake Mummelsee within a glacial hollow, a lake steeped in local folklore and legend. Although this place boasts a distinctive atmosphere, it’s not the primary destination of our journey. Our interest lies in the surrounding peaks, which hold some quite remarkable discoveries.

Hornisgrinde and Lake Mummelsee

For a long time, the ridge was completely inaccessible because it was designated as a military-restricted area in 1938. After the end of World War II in 1945, the French used it as a listening post. Subsequently, the facility was occupied by both the German Armed Forces and NATO until it was finally reopened to the public in 1997.

A Bismarck Tower is Pointing the Way to a Special Place

Bismarck Tower on the Hornisgrinde
Bismarck Tower

At the highest point of the Hornisgrinde stands a so-called Bismarck Tower, constructed in 1871. These towers, erected in Germany and other countries, honor Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and were built between his death in 1898 and his 100th birthday in 1915. Originally totaling 240, today 173 of these monuments remain.

On my excursions to special sites, I’ve already encountered quite some of these towers. It appears they are not randomly placed. I always found traces of ancient Roman and Celtic presence in their vicinity.

Furthermore, certain circles within the Nazi party, known for their fondness for “occultism” and ancient mythology, seem to have occasionally used these towers as cult sites in addition to military parade grounds. Whether that was also the case here is not known though.

It’s worth noting that in various locations elsewhere, there are also “Bismarck Stones” – stones marked with inscriptions or plaques refering to the former Chancellor of the German Empire. Their size and shape sometimes evoke associations with megalithic remnants. As we will see later, there is an isolated remarkable rock slab up here too, which served as a boundary marker from the beginning of the 18th century. However, this one bears no relation to Bismarck.

The “Stone Run” on the Katzenkopf

When examining aerial photographs of the landscape, the attention is immediately drawn to the Katzenkopf peak located at the southwestern end of the Hornisgrinde. Here, a large, deforested area strewn with numerous rock fragments stands out.

Officially referred to as stone runs (stone seas, stone rivers), these phenomena result from physical weathering, particularly frost shattering of very hard rock, which then over time results in such dumps of stones through downhill soil movements.

This explanation sounds plausible at first and is likely the cause of many such phenomena, perhaps even here to some extent. However, we will come across stones and structures that cast doubt on the theory of a completely naturally formed rock pile. Additionally, the manifestation here being restricted to a relatively specific area is peculiar, at least to a non-geologist. Why is there such a concentration on one hillside, and nothing just 100 meters away?

Stone run on the Katzenkopf

The Legend of the Destroyed Sacred Dwelling

Before we start our ascent to the Katzenkopf summit via the stony southwestern slope, let’s briefly call to mind one of the legends surrounding the Hornisgrinde and the Mummelsee.

That legend tells of a time when a sacred dwelling dedicated to God stood up here. In this remote sanctuary, childlike, pious souls lived in devotion, detached from the world, until for some unknown reason the wrath of heaven suddenly extinguished the whole place.

When the valley’s inhabitants climbed the mountain one morning to pray and make their devout offerings, they found the place gone. Instead of the monastery (as the legend names the building), there was only a dark lake whose black waters had swallowed everything.

The legend continues, but that was the most intriguing part. And although it uses this phrase, it doesn’t actually refer to a monastery, as there has never been one documented here since the rise of Christianity.

Doesn’t that sound a bit like the countless stories around the world about a cataclysm that swept an ancient civilization and its achievements from the earth? We will explore the spark of truth behind this legend and see if we can perhaps discover some traces. Legends rarely emerge from nothing. Upon closer examination, there’s often a significant opportunity to delve deeper into the core of the story.

Climbing Over a Field of Ruins

Instead of taking the usual hiking trail, we opt for a more challenging ascent and climb directly up the steep mountainside. The route is difficult at first, but it’s not long to learn how to navigate over and around the countless rocks of all sizes that cover the slope.

After the first few minutes, it becomes apparent that there are many blocks with regular shapes, straight edges, and right angles in this expansive boulder field, as if they had been shaped on purpose. Nature often produces incredible formations, but in this case, it is not easy to accept the explanation of a natural stone run as the whole truth. The sheer number of these exceptionally shaped, sometimes massive, blocks makes the notion of their creation being merely coincidental difficult to accept..

As usual and as I am not a geologist, I won’t make a definitive conclusion, but take a look for yourself in the galleries below.

Symmetrical rock pieces

The higher we climb, the more colossal the debris becomes.

It is fascinating to see these huge boulders lying on the slope against the backdrop of a wide mountain landscape, and some of them look like they have been purposely stacked on top of each other.

Massive megalithic-looking rock formations and fragments

As we reach the summit, it becomes increasingly evident that human activity has once sculpted the rocky terrain. A closer inspection reveals chisel marks on the edges of some stones. Also, an object reminding of an oversized stone sled seems to have been left there intentionally. Whether this site was used for stone quarrying in the past remains unknown. Logically, one would expect such activities to occur lower down, not at the peak, for practical reasons.

The diamond-shaped surfaces of various stone slabs might be a natural occurrence. We will encounter them again later at the boundary stone previously mentioned, located approximately 900 meters away in a northeast direction.

Boulders with signs of tooling

The Stone Sword

An extraordinary discovery, easily overlooked on the ground, consists of several large stone slabs as if deliberately arranged on the slope. Viewed from above, this formation resembles the shape of an oversized sword or dagger. Whatever it may ultimately represent, certainly, it did not occur naturally.

The sword

The Dreifürstenstein (Three Princes’ Stone)

Approximately 900 meters away from the Katzenkopf on the southeastern edge of the high plateau lies the Dreifürstenstein. This site features a large rock slab that was designated in 1722 to mark the boundaries between the territories of the Margraviate of Baden, the Duchy of Württemberg, and the Prince-Bishopric of Strasbourg. According to official reports, it is a natural formation. This assessment, from a mainstream perspective, is understandable, as it begs the question: who else but a giant could have placed it there?

In addition to many old inscriptions and those added in more recent times, it also features this diamond or pillow-shaped surface, similar to what we have observed on some slabs at the Katzenkopf.

Here a coincidence, which I’ve observed frequently on my excursions, emerges once again. That means national borders of the past centuries seem to invariably align with confirmed and supposed ancient (sacred, megalithic or whatever you want to call them) sites.

I’m not sure why this is the case, but to me, the presence of such a border serves as another indicator that we are truely dealing with something special here around the Hornisgrinde, a secret hidden in plain sight.

The Dreifürstenstein

Video & Map

Impressions from the area
The Hornisgrinde in the Northern Black Forest

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