© Spurensucher - 25. Juli 2018

Rotenhan monolith installations: a rock castle or a pagan place of worship?


Near Ebern in the district of Haßberge there are interesting rocks which formed the architectural "pillars" of a castle ruin of the noble family "those of Rotenhan". Proof of the castle's ancestral seat from 1229 is available. At that time the effort was made to "prepare" the five large blocks of Rhätsandstein that still exist today as a foundation for the rock castle. The existing large sandstone blocks were connected by large blocks of walls. However, there was noise in paradise, since the castle was besieged and destroyed by the diocese in the 14th century. The reason for this was the alleged accommodation of a forger by the lords of the castle. Certainly it was about "greater", since no one would have bothered with a siege for such a thing.




We learn from the archives of the historical association of Lower Franconia and Aschaffenburg:
"The ruins of Rotenhan..., the parent house of one of the richest and wealthiest families of Franconia, to whom the fatherland owes not only great deeds of bravery, but also a rare cultivation of religion, science and art and an uninterrupted care for prosperity. In a feud of 1324 on June 7, 1324, the building of Rotenhan Castle's hero destroyed Bishop Wolfram zu Würzburg - after fierce resistance and a year of siege. The existing walls, chambers, doors and stairs of the ground floor are carved into rocks. The superstructure was high and thick. To the north was the entrance to the courtyard, and a collapsed tower marks the site of the former gate of the rock castle. Deep trenches and a high wall went around it. In the cellar, which was buried later, one could enter with a car. - But it is not possible in history to name the first knight of Rotenhan, who once built, inhabited and called himself of these rock vestiges. Since the first historically proven appearance with Heinrich von Rotenhan in 900 only single names of knights and single knightly deeds have been preserved, except for Wernher 1190, without the history of them being able to be presented in context... "

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

(>> Source).



Here the rock arrangement from above (Licence Wikimedia Commons; Dark Avenger~commonswiki; >> Quelle)





The Northwest Rock is one of the most impressive blocks. It is characterised by a staircase, numerous "intermediate floors", and interesting hollows. It sometimes gives the impression of a ship's hull.






Rotenhan42The back of the rock apparently has a machined projection that looks more like a pulpit than a fortification post.






The large hollow on the inside of the rock or the castle complex makes only limited sense for a defensive purpose in my view.


Here the highest point of the Northwest rock or the rise.







Further steps and walking zones along the northeast rock. The last steps to the high plateau and the immediately underneath edge of the step suggest that one rather sat down at this upper point and rested one's legs on it. If you were standing on this surrounding edge of the highest point, your upper body would protrude far too high and unprotected above the upper platform. At least that's how I interpret this surrounding narrow heel.


Further details on the Northwest Rock: The machined strip and holes on both sides of the upper irregular platform surface could of course be indications for the placement of crossbars/rails. Personally, however, I lack the architectural reference to a defence system, especially since the holes were set arbitrarily rather than symmetrically.

















Destroyed and moved

The castle could not be rebuilt after its demolition. The noble family was obliged to look for another job (which already existed at that time). The "polished" castle on the site has been allowed to go to seed until today. Strangely enough, the masonry was even taken along to be used for Eyrichshof Castle, which was later converted into a moated castle. Personally, I find it strange that at that time the nobility was allowed to continue to build (to be exact: to fortify) in other places in the immediate vicinity and even to use the demolition of the castle ruin for this purpose. So the resentment remained so small that the location of the old ruin remained taboo? From a purely logical derivation the place seems to have already played a special role at that time. At least in the eyes of the church.

The information situation from this age is as always sparse. Moreover, it is still not possible to agree on where the main and secondary gates were (if they were supposed to have existed). The fact is that no archaeological effort is made here to work up or uncover the buried cellar area, the well and the legend of the alleged cave. The latter is said to have been a refuge for the wife of the castle nobility during the siege (together with a hen who is said to have laid an egg for her every day - admittedly: a legend).







Gothic ogival gate with staircase. What was upstairs then?





View from above after the staircase ascent.


View from above left to the opposite wall. The whole thing is said to have been part of a gate system. At the same time, it is claimed that the Gothic round arch with a staircase had something to do with a chapel that could have been on the first floor. Are chapels built over gates?







In the background another "ship's hull" (northeastern rock) at the back of the staircase (view from above). The north-east rock has no stairs and offers hardly any protected areas. How did you get up there and where's the protection?




Projections and hollows in the area of the alleged outer gate and in front of the staircase indicate a complex construction of a gate.









Geotope without maintenance effort

The Bavarian State Office for the Environment (Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt) has simply designated the site as a geotope of particular geoscientific value 674G001[1] and awarded it the official "Bavaria's most beautiful geotopes" seal of quality in 2006. Geotopes are either by definition placed in the corner of minerals or fossils (geomorphology) or - if human influences are accepted in this context - at best bring with them the character of quarries. Archaeologically there seems to be nothing to be gained here, otherwise the label of the "natural setting" would have been exchanged for an emblem for a more meaningful cultural-historical setting. Geotopes can also be left to run wild much more easily, which neither causes costs nor brings attention to the location to the fore. The remains of the ruins are currently being completely overgrown. The plant is still or apparently RETURN property of the Barons of Rotenhan, to whose account the lack of conservation can also be attributed. Perhaps there were no state subsidies for this... While everything is neglected on the ground, people like to talk publicly about "esoteric vandalism, castle woodpeckers, voles, wall runners, cult site fanatics, rock pilgrims and Satan worshippers" when alternative researchers try to enlighten people outside the mainstream.


Interesting but fortification-technically incomprehensible processing traces on the eastern rock (rock with position to the slope).






Rotenhan16In my opinion, the holes are not deep enough for beam supports (at least not all).











Anything but "usual" steps (zoomed in).



Beside the upper passage area (one argues about whether it was about 2 gate entrances next to each other or something completely different), one finds directly beside it another "alleged" passage area. One of the two walls is equipped with a row of corbels. First of all, one would assume that these are support and insertion possibilities for beams in favour of an intermediate ceiling. And indeed, on the opposite wall there are also rock carvings which, according to a superficial assessment, confirm this theory. However, this design option does not work after closer examination. Even Wikipedia admits: "However, the opposite rock workings do not allow horizontal support of wooden beams or beams". Nobody would have worked so sloppily in the past to make a ceiling construction possible. If one had wanted real symmetry, the vertical "fans" would not only have become the same size or high, but it would also have fit with the opposite side.






Here now the opposite side, which does not correspond in any way with that of the row of corbels on the opposite wall.



Here the view into the alley (picture license Wikimedia Commons; Dark Avenger~commonswiki; >> Source)



Here another view of the alley with the "rows of teeth" opposite, which do not fit together (picture licence Wikimedia Commons; Dark Avenger~commonswiki; >> Source)



Geomantics see everything differently

Castles hewn from rocks are not very common. In this region in particular, they are even considered "atypical". Oswald Tränkenschuh, a geomantic acknowledged by mystics, considers the ruin a "geomantic miracle". No one can put a secure reproduction of the castle complex on paper, but for every human intervention one finds a melodious statement as usual. Tränkenschuh sees here in the original rock arrangement and its processing traces a healing and cult place primarily for women (http://heilfelsen.de/), who still knew how to use the earth forces. Each of the five central rocks should therefore also have corresponding healing niches. On closer inspection, one can indeed wonder whether all traces of processing here are of military architectural origin. Tränkenschuh personally doubts that the castle stood at this place at all (on a slope that is untypical for castles). He calls these rocks Rocks of the Earth, Male Rocks, Androgyn Rocks, Cosmic Rocks, Lady Rocks, Rocks of the Earth, Vision Seat for Men. He even lists cases of spontaneous healing from the 1950s that are said to have taken place at this site. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5hCrGUI4d4&t=3114s). Tränkenschuh is said to have been banned by the Rotenhans and may no longer enter the ruin. What could an elderly gentleman like him damage there...?


Many interesting forms of engravings on the platforms of the main rocks raise doubts about their causal use for defence or fortification purposes.



Older machining marks or simply erosion?









Change of use in the course of the past

It is certainly due to both parties - the traditional fixed historians as well as the mystics - that there are only few verifiable facts available here, that there is a lack of definitive and comprehensible evidence, and so on. My view is that political traditions and spiritual levels of feeling do not yet provide final clarity. It would be the task of serious research to investigate both sides openly. It is possible that this place was first used by spiritualists, later in the Middle Ages also as a fortification. The role of the church and its intention to permanently taboo this place, speaks in my personal view originally for a place of power. Usually the church places its own buildings on such energy sites. Perhaps this was architecturally unacceptable at that time. Maybe they wanted to make it easy and decided to banish the place to oblivion. The sources here are simply too scarce. But it's always exciting there. Presumably there are really numerous experiences of people out there who have had positive experiences of salvation in this rocky landscape. It would make sense to report on this (please contact me here)


Despite available CAD technologies, only sketches of the possible construction of a castle on paper are available to this day.


 Here at the end a nice drone flight over the plant: