Strange Discoveries Around Waldeck Castle Ruins

An altar-like structure near the castle

Today, we’re embarking on a short trip near the town of Calw, nestled in the northern reaches of the Black Forest. Our adventure leads us to the remnants of an old castle perched on a mountain spur, towering over the Nagold River valley. This site, in my view, holds some secrets waiting to be uncovered, prompting questions about its history. Was this area settled well before the Middle Ages, and did it perhaps serve as a sacred religious ground? The possibilities spark the imagination.

Waldeck Castle Ruins

The construction date of the castle remains unknown. Once, it belonged to the noble family of the Lords of Waldeck, who first made their mark in history in the 12th century. It seems to have been an influential family in the region, likely amassing significant wealth through the exploitation of nearby silver mines. Power struggles among aristocratic families led to the repeated besiegement and destruction of several of their castles in the 13th century before the trace of this lineage vanished completely by the 16th century.

The remains of Waldeck Castle as we see them today are therefore certainly not original, and the castle’s layout has probably changed over the centuries as a result of reconstruction and other rebuilding phases.

Waldeck Castle ruins
360 degree panoramic views of the castle ruins. Click on the small arrow at the bottom to select further scenes

Built on an Ancient Foundation?

The central structure of the castle, which is surrounded by the outer wall and integrated into a large freestanding rock in the middle of this mountain spur, is remarkable. I could find no record of any ancient pagan religious significance of this prominent rock. What makes me think of the latter is that there are some curious things likely from ancient times to be discovered around Waldeck.

It starts right at the castle itself. A large block of stone flattened on several sides, stuck in a castle wall like a giant projectile looks quite out of place here. I don’t know whether it is firmly attached to the rest of the rock, or whether it was positioned here artificially by whomever. Regardless of how this came about, it can be assumed that the lords of the castle simply surrounded it with bricks, just as they found it at the start of construction.

One is tempted to draw parallels with sacred sites from times long past, where occasionally large rocks and megalithic artifacts can be found and where castles or churches have been built directly on top of them.

The castle was integrated into that rock
360 degree panoramic views of the castle been built around a rock. Click on the small arrow at the bottom to select further scenes

Beyond the castle’s outer walls, a solitary, large and nearly perfect cubic stone stands out. Its origin and purpose remain enigmatic once again. Given its size, it seems unlikely that the medieval lords of the castle manufactured it as a building block for their fortification. I suspect that its shape is not of natural origin and that this one too already existed in this form well before the castle was built.

We will later discover a few more of these symmetrical, megalithic-looking boulders up here.

A large, lonely square block outside the castle walls

The “Altar” on the Mountain Ridge

If you leave the castle to the west and walk up the steps of a stone staircase, you pass what I think are the remains of the former moat and reach a narrow ridge about 500 meters long.

Ascent to the ridge west of the castle, passing the moat

After perhaps 150 meters along this ridge, the next curiosity awaits. What at first and even second glance looks like an artificially erected altar platform, is generally considered a medieval lookout post. I’ll leave both theories as they are. Just look at the pictures and draw your conclusions.

The Altar
360 degree panoramic views of the altar structure and surroundings. Click the arrow at the bottom to select more scenes

Standing Stones and Megaliths

Despite its modest length of just a few hundred meters, the ridge and its slopes offer some further interesting features. Features that you wouldn’t typically associate with the Middle Ages, such as the standing stones at its western end and a few massive rock fragments scattered in between, resembling oversized symmetric toy building blocks. I know that the crystalline structure of rock can cause fractures to form in relatively straight lines. However, the near-perfect appearance of these specimens raises doubts about their natural origins.

Once more, speculation drifts toward theories of an ancient civilization responsible for constructing vast megalithic structures across the globe many thousands of years ago, before a global cataclysm erased them from existence.

In specific areas, such as parts of South America, the devastation may not have been as intense, enabling remnants of colossal stone structures there to be readily identifiable as megalithic today. Imagine if Germany once harbored colossal structures too, nearly obliterated by a force more devastating than in other regions of the world, leaving behind only a few scattered remnants, barely discernible today.

As mentioned earlier, traces of prehistoric or Celtic origins, such as standing stones or altars, are frequently discovered in these locations. Moreover, the Romans, medieval aristocracy, and the Catholic Church have also made their contributions, leaving behind temples, castles, and ecclesiastical buildings. Although not always present together, a concentration of these historical elements can occasionally be observed and may act as a marker of a site’s significance. What insights into the history of these locations did they have that we lack?

Standing stones, megaliths and other worked stones
360 degree panoramic views of the megalithic-looking boulders and standing stones. Click the arrow at the bottom to select more scenes

More Castle Ruins and Old Quarries

The area surrounding Waldeck Castle remains largely a mystery. Historical records suggest that the relatively short ridge once housed as many as five castles, indicating the significant importance of this site, if you ask me.

Indeed, a short distance from the hiking path, you can find several large moss-covered stone piles, likely the remnants of these fortifications. To date, four castles have been officially recognized, with the fifth still eluding discovery.

A few old quarries are found up there too. It remains unclear whether they were established to procure building materials for the castles or if they predated these structures.

Castle ruins, worked rocks and old quarries
360 degree panoramic views of the remnants of the five castles. Click the arrow at the bottom to select more scenes

Map & Video

Location of Waldeck Castle
Short tour of the site

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A gigantic stone slab near the town of Bad Teinach in the Black Forest, Germany.
It sits there all alone in the woods, almost 6 meters high.
People say that it must have once fallen down the steep slope and rammed itself exactly upright into the ground at this spot.
One might be tempted though to think that it was placed there deliberately by someone.
Further up the mountain there is another gloomy rock formation, as well as a mysterious walled hole in the ground, which is supposed to have served as a wolf`s pit in the Middle Ages.

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