Reutersbrunn is a small, at first glance insignificant village community in Lower Franconia. The authors of the book "Black Madonna" (Xavier Maria Gwaltinger and Josef Rausch) state that the place is literally "infested with pictures of the Virgin Mary". In fact, crucifixes can be found everywhere at the entrances to towns and at courtyards in a "exhibition density" that I did not notice so much when passing through the surrounding towns. If I had looked there a little longer and more intensively, I might have noticed the portraits of Mary mentioned above.
Behind one of the five town exits you reach the forest via a dirt road. This dirt road is marked with a discreetly untouristic sign "Hohler Stein", which you can follow the first few metres by car. After about 1.5 km you are already in the forest and have the last possibility to put your car to the left to continue on foot. A forest path winds steeply uphill until (not every junction gives you the certainty of still being right) you can already see a huge rock through the rows of trees.
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Whether it is a monolith that was burst into several parts or simply a rock that had been pushed there by moraines remains the big question. However, after closer examination one should come to the conclusion that here at all corners and ends "reworked" with human or supernatural forces or techniques. Certainly there were several millennia (or even tens of millennia?) available for the numerous processing traces. In any case, the first impression is impressive right from the start.
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The rock has been impressively hollowed out - the walled entrance, on the other hand, looks a bit shabby in a grotesque way. In the cave itself, one gets the impression that "layer in the shaft" hadn't been so fast yet. The rear part appears "buried. It cannot be excluded that in an earlier time the passage went as far as the mountain behind it. Of course, I can't prove it.
According to tradition, the cave inside the rock was in fact once "much" larger.
To the right of the dominant cave rock is another monolith, which certainly was not always as strange on the side as it presents itself to us. Photo: One sees the right bevelled surface, which in my opinion is not a "natural" fracture.
The regional author, mystic and local connoisseur Oswald Tränkenschuh is of the opinion that the other rock to the right of the cave is the vertical extension of the cave rock. The suspicion is justified, since the lateral surface of the presumed demolition site is completely flat, giving the impression that the rock was the former top of the cave rock. If you climb onto the cave roof, you can see clearly what he means. Final clarity should be provided by a CAD recording of both surfaces in order to determine the fit. A topic in which science does not seem to be interested. If one looks at the presumably broken off rock (the crest, so to speak), there is also much to be said for a clean cut. At least I had no idea how such a rupture was supposed to have occurred in a natural way.
Or is it? Geologists would possibly provide the explanation that the layers of sandstone could well start to slip due to overstrained slopes. Of course, the main rock stands before a slope, one can basically exclude nothing at all. But what forces should have had an effect on the "gable" here? In any case, this flat side surface of the solitary rock is very conspicuous.
Further conspicuous features are increasing around the "cult site" described as formerly "pagan". petroglyphs as well as technical device tracks. The soft sandstone invites you to various workings. As always, an age dating should turn out to be extremely difficult to impossible. In the course of time, numerous cults have certainly left their individual traces here.
Some traces of processing on surrounding rocks first have to be cleared or uncovered by hand.
If you continued your efforts, you could pitch a tent there. There would certainly be many more traces to be found here that are still in the dark.
Here engravings in the cave, which according to Tränkenschuh is said to have served exclusively meditation purposes.
Interesting is also the "flat roof part" of the cave, which in my opinion was constructed with stone slabs similar to those of the ancient dolmens. The wobbly feeling when I was on it left no doubt in my mind. From above, everything looked like a man-made construction. If all adhesions were removed, further surprises would certainly come to light here. Here you can see what I mean in the profile view of the "ceiling". This does not work for me like a natural blast off (by frost or similar).
Artificially appearing "incisions" in the area of the rocks of the roof structure as well as the flat surface suggest more than an accidental mood of nature.
Further interesting machining traces can also be found on the roof surface. One can safely assume that technical preparations were once made here for processes that are no longer reproducible at present.
Back on the "ground of facts" one notices that here the ravages of time have worked on the sandstone in different ways. Smooth or at least straight rock terminations are in stark contrast to depressions, which have apparently reacted very differently to external influences.
The following picture shows the side of the cave entrance
What do geologists say? I quote from the Bavarian geotope register: "The "Hohle Stein" consists of a larger group of boulders of Rhätsandstein up to 10 m in size, measuring 70 * 25 m in total. A massive, 7 m thick sandstone slab dissolved into numerous individual parts and migrated down the slope. "This shows different stages of detachment from the primary dressing." (>> Source) The geoscientific value of this facility is classified as "valuable". In a few dry lines, the topic has been dealt with there, a justification for the appreciation is not provided. I personally appreciate, however, that we are dealing with much more than a geological "rarity" in the region.
My personal conclusion: from my point of view, formerly impressive structures have been created here that go far beyond what is conveyed to us in the context of pagan customs and arbitrary "rock scraping". For geomantics at least a place for numerous speculations. Meanwhile, the tourist board provides us with void-sounding legends about this place, from where, for example, a hermit sent his dog with a shopping list to Ebern (a small town in the environment). Everything may contain a little truth, but no one from science seems to be seriously interested in what the original "monument" looked like long before and who really "brought it into shape". I was able to see for myself that a lot is buried under the earth's layers. Probably it should stay that way