© spurensucher - 19.09.2018

Good stamina: Teufelstisch in the Palatinate Forest


Traces and legacies of the natural erosion force in the soft sandstone of the Bund are stumbling across all corners and ends in the hiking area of the Palatinate Forest. The lush green landscape is repeatedly interrupted by rock formations whose bizarre shapes remind one of imposing western backdrops. Especially unusual is the 14 meter high Teufelstisch in Hinterweidenthal, which from my point of view makes an outstanding figure.




If one approaches it from the parking lot that is about 5-10 minutes away, one gets an impression of what true size really is. An oversized wide and high rock slab with an area of 50 square meters and a thickness of 3.5 meters lies at the thickest point on a seemingly wobbly sandstone frame. It is estimated at 300 tons.




The geologists are not taking any new approaches here, because from their point of view everything is clear: The continuing erosion over millions of years has exposed the comparatively harder rock core (the table top) and eliminated everything except for the softer rock support (the three table legs). In fact, the whole thing sounds plausible to me at first glance - the voluminous tabletop provides the necessary roofing to protect the base frame from further erosion - at least to a limited extent. The different rock consistency of top and frame is obvious on closer inspection.


That just happens to happen?

It must be said that the exposed position of the "construction" on a rocky ridge alone causes frowning. Was this natural viewing platform, which only advanced rock climbers can reach, once a much higher downhill section, the remains of which we can see here? Have the other rock slabs, which are located here in a line at the foot of the frame, been robbed of their own support? One is inclined, after the first awesome breath, to ask oneself unlawful questions. But one after the other ...




The up to 11 meter high frame shows strong traces of washout, but the support seems to hit exactly the right point to keep the tabletop in balance.



On the long side of the hill, a rudder or keel forms the most prominent supporting pillar. One believes - without looking at the rest - that one is standing in front of the rudder of a large ocean liner.

Exactly at a 90° angle, this main support stands to the other two side supports of the table. The erosion has done mathematical and static precision work.




Seitenstütze_Stützstein_Teufelstisch_webThe support on the right from the "rudder" looks most fragile to me. The additional rock in the upper area, integrated as if by magic, should provide the necessary stability.

The left column also doesn't look as if it is a big help in the long run. The whole thing works, however, as far as people can think back. I don't know anything about other eroded areas in the meantime.




One can safely assume that the plate will tip over as soon as one of the fragile side supports fails.




What else do we have? Along the ridge we find more stones that look like former dolmen ceiling slabs. I've seen such things before when I came across dismantled or "riotous" remnants of dolmens. Would it be conceivable that, in ancient times, we had to deal here with a contiguous installation? As I said, the extension of these large plates, pulled like on the clothesline, forms the Teufelstisch.




Plates in the earth, which in places form the plateau of the scenario, partly appear precisely trimmed by the straight edges.





On the sides we come across higher rocks, which are decorated with petroglyphs until today. I took a closer look at the supposedly earlier worked areas and picked them out. If it should be an artificial origin, numerous engravings surely reach far back.




Close-up view of the rock with older washed-out petroglyphs.




Lateral rock parts with "lizard" face. At least the imagination doesn't let you down ...








Amorphous shapes are certainly not uncommon in freestone. Nevertheless, one gets the impression that one is dealing here with surprisingly different types of sandstone. The shapes, consistencies and textures of the surfaces are manifold.




Detail magnification of an amorphous structure that looks fused.






If you look for very old petroglyphs, you will also find them at the Teufelstisch. Whether a derivation for the origin of the plant can draw from it is questionable ... ? For the time being nobody should know exactly.







As already mentioned above, in the immediate atmosphere of the Teufelstisch there are numerous massive and almost flat "floor plates". Geologists will attribute this like everything else to chance, but this circumstance is quite striking.




The columned slopes of the table appear in part strongly swollen. A phenomenon that does not occur in this form with the other rocks. This is an indication that we are dealing here with quite different types of sandstone. And in fact one admits on the part of the science that the weathering process nevertheless turns out very differently.




Everything already on the table? Only my opinion about it ... …


It was not for nothing that the impressive complex decorated the stamps of the French occupation zone in 1947. A few years ago, the stamp motif was warmed up again - the whole thing is so impressive and known beyond national borders. The mushroom stone monument has even made it into the Top 30 list of the most beautiful natural wonders. Obviously organizations like the Heinz-Sielmann-Foundation want to nip in the bud by honouring such "geotopes" further ideas of artificial theories of origin. What is said to have been 245 million years ago may be admired venerably, but must obviously also be of natural origin by force.

Which surprises me a little: As far as I know, nobody asks himself the question about the statics of this monument. Three comparatively thin stone columns provide for this incredible balancing act and at the same time for a sparse supporting surface that does not shake the table. So the whole thing has been working for millions of years. The weathering process even runs so harmoniously and evenly in µ-intervals that nobody is in danger when he enters the high plateau?

I was quite queasy under the table top and I suspect that those responsible there know more about the construction of this monument than they let the hosts of visitors know. Why else would one not fence off a merely eroded wobble construction of this size? Don't misunderstand - I'm anything but a security fanatic and don't believe in a collapse either. Because I intuitively assume an artificial construction - maybe others who know more about it will suspect that, because otherwise you might take security measures. The Germans are otherwise so fanatical about security ... Extremely strange.

I still noticed one detail: At the rear of the Teufelstisch there is literally a counterweight that reminds me of supports or crane plates of a crane. As chance would have it, nature has also provided the right balance at the lower end.