Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Unicorn Cave and Harz Mountain witches

There is one mini mystery that I was looking into. I know someone who originates from the place in Germany called the Harz Mountains, in a town located roughly at Lower Saxony.

It's riddled with stories and superstitions about witches. The location of the Harz Mountains is called "The Land of Witches". It's got deep dark forests and small villages with log cabins, and traditional stories of witches, goblins, ghosts and unicorns. In English, "Harz" means "Heart". It's rich with trees and wild flowers, animals, birds and insects.

There is an old Harz legend that tells the story of a witch who was persecuted against, and chased by a "black monk". She was protected by a unicorn and the monk disappeared down a tunnel. That was where the entrance to the "Unicorn Cave" was discovered, although there is evidence that people knew of this cave long before.

For centuries, people believed that this cave was full of "unicorn" bones and that there were magical properties associated with the bones. These bones were grinded down and used for medicines, Unicornu Fossile. In recent times it's been revealed that the bones in Unicorn Cave are a selection of prehistoric beasts such as mammoths and cave bears.  Apparantly this cave was also the dwelling place of neanderthals who might've been reponsible for putting the animal bones in there.   

Brief facts about the Harz mountains:

In the year 2000, the wild lynx was reintroduced to the area.
The Harz contains silver.
There was a Celtic presence after the discovery of an ancient bronze weapon.
In 1705 the last native bear of the Harz was gone.
In 1798 the last native Harz wolf was gone.
The "Harz Fortress" was used in the Second World War.
As it happened, the Harz is filled with stories of witches. Walpurgisnacht is a festival on 30th April, eve of May, celebrated in different parts of north Europe, France and Germany. It's considered the ultimate Spring Festival.

Links on the subject covered here:

The above image comes from Anne Stokes. Click on this link to visit her beautiful site.

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