Parkstein, Germany Part 1

Sunday was such a beautiful day in our little corner of Bavaria, so we decided to explore a local treasure, Parkstein (literal translation is Stone Park).

Geology: The Volcano and the Basalt Formation

Millions of years ago, a volcano sat at the center of what is now called Parkstein.

Parkstein 016
Basalt Formation
Basalt Wall
Basalt Wall

The mountain, peaking at about 595 meters above sea level, was formed about 24 million years ago.  The basalt wall itself is about 38 meters (124.6 feet) high.  The hexagonal basalt columns were formed by large eruptions of basalt lava.  It is considered one of the best basalt formations in Europe and is a sight of interest for geologists and those who are fascinated by geology.

Medieval History: The Castle (or Fortress)
Parkstein 023(1)
Stairway up to the summit.

On the way to the summit, the ruins of an early medieval castle tell the story of time. The castle was first mentioned in documents in 1053 and tells a rich history of its occupants from 1052 until its dismantling in 1759.

The legend of the emergence of the Stone Park castle says that a young count was hunting boar in the woods around the basalt formation.  He saw a magnificent boar and he pursued him up to the summit and killed the animal. Attracted by beauty of the place, he decided to build a castle on the summit.

View of Parkstein from the Castle Wall.
View of Parkstein from the Castle Wall.

However, the first record of the castle from 1053 states that the original keep was owned by King Conrad II and burned to the ground by his half-brother, Duke Konrad of Bavaria, during the Christmas of 1052.

The fortress was rebuilt at the turn of the century by Emperor Henry IV and became an imperial seat.  Though the castle changed ownership of the course of several hundred years, it reached its glory years in 1278 and 1435. A 30-year war ravaged the fortress and was eventually abandoned and left to the hands of nature and time.

Castle Interior: The Courtyard
Castle Interior: The Courtyard

By 1798, all that remained were ruins.  However, the town of Parkstein blossomed with the new country courthouse and became a judicial district.  On October 1, 1808 Parkstein became magistracy to Neustadt. The basalt formation, rich in granite, sandstone, and quartzite became a mining zone.

Remains of Exterior Wall

 

 

Turret
Turret

 

Parkstein 045
Arrow Loop in the Turret
Recent History: The Church

 

Mosaic Station of the Cross
Mosaic Station of the Cross

 Dispersed around the park are these beautiful mosaic Stations of the Cross.  I could not find any information as to when these were installed, but they look fairly recent–perhaps sometime in the mid-late 20th century, but I am no historian so cannot be sure. Regardless of when they were placed here, they truly are beautifully made.

 

Parkstein 073
Throne of the Fey King

This “throne” is a very recent addition. The wood is not overly weathered and you can see swirls from a chainsaw on the seat.

Just think, in 300 years, people will visit this park and think “no what on earth? I thought Germany had no ‘kings’ in the 21st century?”

I call it the Throne of the Fey–yeah I am aware that the Fey are from Irish mythology.

This is the King of the Fey–and he IS Irish!

King of the Fey
King of the Fey

 

And this log is the home of the little faeries…

Faerie Home
Faerie Home

 

Christ, Mother Mary, and Mary Magdeleine
Christ, Mother Mary, and Mary Magdalene

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on these beautiful statues and was only able to glean a little bit of information about the church.  There is, however, a museum at the foot of the formation–which I found out about while doing my research for this post.  I am hoping to have more information for you in the follow-up post: Parkstein, Germany Part Two.

Right Side of the Church
Right Side of the Church

 

Front of the Church
Front of the Church

 

Looks like the door is open…Let’s go in shall we?

Church Door
Church Door

Don’t you just love old doors? I was fascinated by this one in particular.

I would love to show you the beauty hidden by these unassuming simple wooden doors.  I would love for you to see the Priests “throne” and the gold gilded ceiling. I want you to see the golden Illuminati symbol on the ceiling above the Priest’s “throne”, but alas, I cannot.

This was the very last picture I took before my camera shut down.  I really MUST remember to bring extra batteries with me.

At least Parkstein is just a 30 minute drive through beautiful countryside.  I will be headed back very soon and will share the beauty within the simple exterior of the church with you.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed this short tour of Parkstein.

Tschüß!

 
Sources:

Basalt Formation

Castle legend

Castle History

 

 

4 thoughts on “Parkstein, Germany Part 1”

    1. I’m so sorry I did not get back to you sooner! From Graf turn left onto B 299 from Gate 1, 3, or 6. Turn Right onto NEW 16 (toward Weiden/Pressath) then turn Left onto NEW 22. Turn Right onto 470. You will see signs that say Parkstein. You will take the NEW 2 Exit toward Parkstein (there will be a sign). Just follow the road to Parkstein. Upon approaching the town, you will see the Church up on the hill. I don’t remember if it is on the left or right, but there are brown signs that will lead you to the castle ruins and the church. It is a narrow road that looks like it can’t possibly be the right one–but it is! Just take the little road up and around the hill. There is a parking lot. When you are done exploring, I recommend a meal or a drink at the restaurant just near the entrance to the park.

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