© spurensucher - 19.09.2018

Merzbacher Point: More than just a castle ruin



What is officially sold to us as an antique quarry in the Rhätsandstein can be seen in more detail in the Franconian Hassbergkreis. The small community of Buch is situated in a wooded area, only a few kilometres from Lichtenstein Castle and Gereuth Castle. A stone's throw for hikers. A closer look at an explanatory plaque will explain to the visitor that this monument in the middle of the forest was later used as a castle stable after a period of profane quarrying activity. One refers to herringbone patterns that appear in the walls of the monuments there.



You come down from the edge of the forest 5-6 metres to come across this "castle complex". Who is building a castle on a slope that can be easily reached from the rear?




Somehow one probably tried to explain in this way how rock cellars, staircases, stepped plateaus and numerous traces of processing got there. In my opinion, it is perhaps to be assumed that this site - whether castle or other monument - was "sanded" at a later date. It cannot be ruled out that damage was caused and that the broken rocks were used for commercial purposes.





Slightly offset plateaus, which I cannot assign to any military meaningfulness or function.







The ascent to the high plateau gives a hint that this must have been a remarkable monument in the past.






To me it looks as if we are dealing here with a rock complex similar to that of Rotenhan. The official name of the place is Burgstall Gutenfels, which a Hermann von Arnstein sold to the monastery Banz in 1225 together with other properties. At this time, however, the complex is also said to have been in ruins. On Wikipedia one also finds the hint that the "Burgstall" later had to serve as a quarry there (18th/19th century). As I suspected at the beginning (and not the other way around).




Science believes that this is a case of so-called wolf holes on the high plateau. So-called wolves are said to have been load-carrying devices for stone blocks - a device for transporting stone. This can by no means have been the case with all holes or recesses (if at all). I uncovered cut-outs there that were not 5 cm deep and were additionally equipped with a "support". Probably not a continuous reference point for a stable stone transport device... (see next but one illustration).











It is true that at first sight a former use as a castle cannot be excluded - but the fact that there is a surrounding moat is not sufficient from my point of view. Behind the complex there is further ascending terrain, the monument literally lies in a depression. Why hasn't a castle been set at the highest point (several hundred metres further on)? As there were no remains of a main castle to be found at the most exposed place, the role of the outer castle at this place should also be reconsidered. At least, as it was intended at the very beginning after the first working of the rocks. Was that really the intention of the very first builders to build a castle here?
















True to the motto "Everyone may have an opinion" (and also express it), the geomantic and local historian Oswald Tränkenschuh refers in his opinion to the representation that it must have been primarily a healing place or healing rock that provided his patients with comprehensive energy. Thus shamanic rites were held there, which included above all both caves at the place with. At least this plant could have been intended for a much higher purpose before a later defensive establishment. If you take a closer look at the caves, it is hard to imagine that they were originally a retreat for soldiers.






The slipstone is probably the optically most outstanding characteristic of the plant. According to pre-Christian assumptions, crawling through or hatching through a slipstone is supposed to heal diseases and complaints or eradicate evil.







The grooves of a former device can be found on all corners and ends of this plant.






There are two caves in the "Souterain" of the complex. Neither of them provides accommodation for soldiers. The carved out interior devices alone invite neither to sit nor to lie down.











In der Nähe der Anlage findet man weitere bearbeitete Felsen, deren Spuren unübersehbar sind:














Sometimes conspicuous - sometimes inconspicuous - Every now and then you come across petroglyphs there:








Get your own impression and drive there. Maybe you will find more tracks …









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