>Weekend Mountain Blogging: Hexenbödele

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10 minutes’ drive west of town is a wooded hill called the Hohe Birga, at which excavations have uncovered a Raetian settlement and objects dating from the Iron Age. Like the stone terraces at Himmelreich and the sacrifical altar site at Goldbichl, this settlement ended shortly after the Romans pushed through and burned it all down.  

The paths were narrow and windy, and sometimes rather steep. I began to feel like a hobbit on the road to Mirkwood.

 The excavation of a Raetian house, part stone and part log (reconstructed here.) There are plans to display the objects found here in a new Rätisches Museum in nearby Birgitz, although I don’t know when it will open. (It wasn’t today.)

My hiking map was not completely clear on this, but I took this very flat area on the hill to be the Hexenbödele, the place where the witches dance. It is said that many flat-topped hills in Europe are known as “witches’ meeting places” or Hexentanzplätze  — often these places have turned out to have significance to pre-Christian societies. (There is a large, high plateau in northern Italy with this legend, and sacrificial objects from pre-Roman and Roman times have been found at the site.)

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