The Gollenstein near Blieskastel in the Saarpfalz district of Saarland is an approximately 4,000-year-old menhir and, with its height of 6.58 meters, is considered the largest menhir in Central Europe. It stands on the Blieskasteler mountain northwest of the city center and is considered a landmark of the baroque town of Blieskastel.


History

The stone is made of a light sandstone and was probably built at the end of the Neolithic period (about 2000 BC). He is associated with a prehistoric ancestor cult.

For almost 4,000 years the Gollenstein remained intact, but after the beginning of the Second World War officers of the Wehrmacht feared that he could serve as "point of reference for the French artillery" because of its exposed position in the landscape. As a result, pioneers laid down the Gollenstein in 1939. The soldiers made a pit filled with straw, which was too short. When flipping the rope tore, causing the stone to fall, hitting the edge of the too short pit and breaking into four large and some small pieces. At the instigation of the mayor Alfonso Dawo in November 1951, the parts with concrete - because of the wide joints not quite expertly - reassembled and the Gollenstein erected again.

Experts estimate that the niche with the cross was probably not chiselled until 1809, and that Christian cult objects (crosses, small saints, candles) were placed there. The pagan stone got a Christian meaning. Under the niche fragments of a human figure are carved in relief. Two legs with feet, parts of the trunk, the head and an arm with hand are to represent a prehistoric god figure, which reminds of the Celtic weather God Taranis.

In 2002 the Gollenstein was completely scaffolded and completely refurbished.


Origin of the name

The origin of the name is puzzling; the most common is the derivation of the Latin term "colus", the rod around which the fibers are wound by hand while spinning. According to a tradition of 1553, the Menhir was called "Guldenstein". On a map of the office Zweibrücken of 1564 he was marked as "Güldenstein" and "Pirmanstein". According to the literature of Hans Cappel mentioned below, the name could be derived from the earlier growth of the mountain with yellow / golden broom. The place name researcher Hermann Albert Prietze leads the name back to "Goldenstein". He equates "gold" with sacrifices because in the Bronze Age gold objects were sacrificed and the "money" created from the word "gold" in Heliand written around 800 AD is the victim. Accordingly, the Gollenstein his name, since he was part of a sacrificial site.