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The legendary Kyffhäuser caves

Shrouded in myth and legend, the entire Kyffhäuser hill range in eastern Germany is pervaded by an extensive complex of caves. The best-known of these is Barbarossa's Cave, which has been opened as a visitor attraction. Stalactites and colourful effects leave some of the most memorable impressions as does the sheer size of the individual caverns.
The Kyffhäuser range owes its fame to the ruins of Kyffhausen imperial castle, the Kaiser Wilhelm monument and the legend of Emperor Barbarossa, who is said to be asleep inside. But the fabled Kyffhäuser caves are also of interest from both a pagan and symbolic perspective. They were first used as a venue for ancient rituals, before becoming the subject of the Barbarossa legend and other myths, and then establishing themselves as a tourist attraction.
A lesser known fact about the hills is that there are numerous caverns and cavities - aside from Barbarossa's Cave - where ritual human sacrifices and religious cannibalism took place around 3,000 years ago. At the time, these naturally occurring caverns were specifically set up for the worship of deities. There is a recognisable pattern to the way the individual caves were used, which suggests the hills were an important sacred site presided over by spiritual leaders.
Sacrificial offerings have been discovered in more than 20 of the caves and caverns. These include spindles, needles, jewellery, torches, salt, cut straw, roasted grain, human hair and carved wooden items. It has been proven that people were sacrificed here for religious reasons around 3,000 years ago. Furthermore, those who were sacrificed were then ritually eaten by members of the cult. The numerous human bones showing knife incisions and burns belonged mostly to children. Remains of more than 100 human sacrifices have been found. In an ancient form of communion, these people were killed and carved up with bronze knifes to unite the cult with the cannibal deity. The sacrifices took place at the entrances areas to the caverns, while the most sacred location was the cave deep inside the hills.

Internet: http://www.kyffhä


A4, A9. A38, A71, B4, B80, B85, B86, train station