Weekend Mountain Blogging/Pagans In Bavaria: Der Petersberg

In the center of the image, a mountain called the “Kleiner Madron”, just over the border in Bavaria. According to the official trail sign (which saves me from making unsupported hypotheses), it is recognized that this name suggests a Celtic ritual site (presumably with a connection to the word matrone, and possibly the viewing of these three mountains as the tres matrones.) Bronze-Age and Roman artifacts have been found at the bottom of the sheer cliffs below.

And the icing on the cake, so to speak: the church that sits atop this mountain is named for St. Peter, and the mountain is now oft referred to as the Petersberg. Which might have something linguistically to do with the Beten — which in turn has much to do with the matrones. But I’m just riffing…

The church probably built in or around the 12th century. Monks lived next to the church, and pilgrims arrived from the Inn Valley. Today the church belongs to the nearby village of Flintsbach, and the main destination for pilgrims is the restaurant with a pretty view. If you go, proceed to the sunny terrace around the back to escape the pop music.

On the lower slopes, the ruins of the “new” Falkenstein Castle. The old (12th century) Falkenstein Castle also lies in ruin, but is deeper in the forest. Only a wall remains, and so it is referred to on Wikipedia as the Troja des Inntales — Troy of the Inn valley (and while this is what drew me there in the first place, I never found that wall.) The Falkensteins ruled over much of this corner of Bavaria and the surrounding regions during the 11th and 12 centuries.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Mountain Blogging/Pagans In Bavaria: Der Petersberg

  1. Oh – is this the church you can see when passing by train Flintsbach?
    A place on my to-do-list 😉 Till now I only visited (long ago) Wendelstein rack railway, one station further.

    Petersberg – 3 Beten. Despite the Madron, I doubt. As it is a rocky hill also Peter in the greek meaning for rock could be meant. Or maybe everything ist connected somehow, so you cannot escape overlaid meanings.


  2. You are probably right; “Upon this rock I will build my church” and all that. I believe that may be more the case for holy springs (Petersbrunn et al) than for rocky hills.
    There had been an old Kreuzweg, which had been dismantled when the church was (for a time) deconsecrated (säkularisiert), now there is a new kind of Kreuzweg with pillars representing the apostles — so it’s -men- all the way up, except for the Maria Schnee chapel near the bottom 😉
    The church interior is beautiful and unusual, btw. The altars are black and gold, the flat ceiling is intricately carved wood, like a castle’s great hall.


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