It is sometimes seen as Germany’s ‘other Hallowe’en’. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device. The Würzburg witch trial is among the largest Witch trials in the Early Modern period: it was one of the four largest witch trials in Germany alongside the Trier witch trials, the Fulda witch trials, and the Bamberg witch trials. The Hexentanzplatz (see above) and the Roßtrappe are separated by a big gorge. Merga Bien, a rich German heiress, confessed to murdering her 2nd husband and his children by means of witchcraft and to attending a Witches’ Sabbath. Hunting for witches in Germany’s Harz mountains. Here there are plenty of hiking trails that can take you to enchanting places with some very interesting stories and legends attached to them, such as: By Unknown – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.00496. It is the perfect location for hiking, climbing, birdwatching or skiing, depending on the season. Read on if you’d like to know what she confessed… and know that this next part is not for the faint of heart! So with Germany having such a huge history of, to kill babies, animals and harvests with. Walpurga Hausmännin was alive during the 1500s. Many traditionalist Christian groups still believe in the reality of witches and witchcraft. Thank you! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email. Balthasar von Dernbach, the prince and abbot of the mystical town of Fulda in … According to folklore, the place known as Hexentanzplatz was the original location where witches gathered on April 30th to celebrate the arrival of spring. The Hexentanzplatz (‘Witches’ Dance Floor’) is in a place called Thale, high up in the Harz mountains. The legend of Walpurga Hausmannin is one of the scariest witch stories in the world. Vocabulary from the text, with genders (where applicable): die Hexenprozesse in Würzburg – Würzburg witch trials. I haven’t been to the Hartz mountain region of Germany but it looks like a place we’ll worth a visit. In pre-Christian times, this was where many pagan ceremonies were held. I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. You can get a gondola up to the Hexentanzplatz, which gives you incredible views of the mountains and valleys below. Tamara Hinson embraces her spooky side in time for Halloween on a hike through Harz National Park. Servus! This left the unusual formation that is the Teufelsmauer, and is the legend of how the Teufelsmauer came to be. Before she was executed, her right hand was cut off – this was the hand she had made her Eid (oath) with as a midwife. Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Next time we’ll continue on the witch theme by looking at a specific region in Germany that is associated with witchcraft. It is a big tourist attraction now. Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of 30 April (May Day’s eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods…” The Bamberg trials was one of the most brutal trials in Germany. Himmler was convinced witches had once been rife … For instance, the popular, modern-day kids’ cartoon called Bibi Blocksberg, which tells the stories of a young German witch. Her case was significant because she confessed a lot more than she was expected to while being gefoltert (tortured), which gave people at the time a great insight into witchcraft. 37 miles) of Berlin. In fact, during the period of 1450 – 1750, somewhere between 17,000 and 26,000 people were executed in Germany as part of these witch trials. Walpurga also confessed other things of a. Walpurga was tortured continuously while she was in prison, Before she was executed, her right hand was cut off – this was the hand she had made her, t is unclear how much of Walpurga’s story is. Walpurgisnacht costume. But as the Catholic Church grew swollen and corrupt, pagans were seen as a threat. Check out the names of the German and Swiss witch bloodlines below. Along with celebrating Saint Walpurga, people would make loud noises and light bonfires as ways of keeping the witches away. She was accused of Hexerei (witchcraft), Vampirismus (vampirism) and Kindermord (child murder). Walpurga also confessed other things of a schrecklich (frightful) and gottlos (unholy) nature, such as how she was instructed to kill the babies she delivered, and then use their hair and bones for Zauberei (sorcery). Available anytime, anywhere, on any device. According to folklore, the place known as Hexentanzplatz was the original location where witches gathered on April 30th to celebrate the arrival of spring. Servus! Witchcraft - Witchcraft - The witch hunts: Although accusations of witchcraft in contemporary cultures provide a means to express or resolve social tensions, these accusations had different consequences in premodern Western society where the mixture of irrational fear and a persecuting mentality led to the emergence of the witch hunts. Walpurga was very poor, so she agreed. Glad you enjoyed the post! GERMANY The Harz Mountains are known for their scenic beauty and a varied landscape of soft, sloping hillsides enriched with steeper ascents and sporadic rock formations. Walpurgisnacht is a modern-day celebration of spring, celebrated in Germany on April 30th. However, the story seems to be half-truth and half legend. While most historians use the range of 40,000 to 100,000 based on public records, up to three times that many people were formally accused of practicing witchcraft. Move over Halloween, it’s nearly time for Walpurgisnacht, Germany’s super-spooky night of the witches! Bis dann (until then)! As competition for religious market share heated up, … However, if one really wants to see where hatred and fear of witchcraft begins, one need only look at German history. The word Roßtrappe literally means ‘steed clip-clop’, using the words der Ross (steed) and trappen (clip-clop – the sound a horse’s hooves make). Recently I gave you the creepy story of Walpurga Hausmannin, one of Germany’s most famous witches from the 16th Century. The pagan origins of Walpurgis Night Three days later, Germany officially surrendered. Die Wolfshäger Hexenbrut tanzt "Schüttle deinen Speck" zu Walpurgis 2016 The Devil was given a limited amount of time to build a wall that would separate the Earth into two pieces, one for him and one for God, but he ran out of time, so in his anger he smashed up what part of the wall he had made. A church in Germany is finally apologizing for the indiscriminate killings of 400 suspected “witches” who were tortured and burned at the stake hundreds of years ago. It is unclear how much of Walpurga’s story is Wahrheit (truth) and how much of it is Legende (legend). In Germany, an estimated 40,000 "witches" were burned alive. Perhaps you had a German or Swiss ancestor who was accused and/or executed for witchcraft. German Witchcraft and Witches. Walpurga was a widow. It is told as a tale of one of the most horrible killers in German history. Image via Pixabay. Witch hunter Balthasar von Dernbach , the prince and abbot of the spire-topped town of Fulda, had embarked on a series of witch trials upon his return from exile in 1602. A FEW centuries ago in Europe, the fear of witchcraft led to witch hunts and executions. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like this one: What is Hallowe’en like in Germany? “Tens of thousands of people in Europe and European colonies died,” and “millions of others suffered torture, arrest, interrogation, hate, … By Jed – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Link, By Axel Hindemith – Own work, Public Domain, Link. Guten Tag and Happy Hallowe’en! In the 11th century attitudes toward witchcraft … Witchcraft is now something of a joke, except to traditionalist Christians. Witchcraft & Pagan News - A Catholic dioceses in Germany acknowledges its role in deaths of the 400 people who were tortured and executed for "witchcraft" from 1613-1723. The cruelty of Europe's witch trials Archaic trial methods: the 'swimming test' Witch trials were seen as formal "legal" processes. He promised to rid her from Armut (poverty) if she agreed to sell her soul to the Teufel (devil) and do whatever he asked of her. Thank you! Walpurga was given a Salbe (ointment), which she was instructed to kill babies, animals and harvests with. But Germany was actually home to one of the biggest witch trials in all of Europe – the Hexenprozesse in Würzburg (Würzburg witch trials), which took place between 1626 and 1631. A sculpture of a witch at the Hexentanzplatz. The Roßtrappe is a 403 metre-high cliff in the Harz mountains. The persecution of witches first began under Bishop Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen or the Witch-bishop as he was known who was responsible for sending some 300 witches to death in the … In today’s post we’ll continue on the witch theme by talking about a place in Germany that is famous for its association with witchcraft. She and her horse made it successfully to the other side, while the giant, Bodo, fell to his death. They … Witch hunts spread like wildfire across Europe, the worst of which occurred in France and Germany. This trail is 100km long. Very informative and interesting. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. But Germany was actually home to one of the biggest witch trials in all of Europe – the Hexenprozesse in Würzburg (Würzburg witch trials), which took place between 1626 and 1631. But one thing’s for sure- it does make a good German Hallowe’en story! There was an attempted murder of a poor elderly spinster suspected of witchcraft in Germany as late as 1976. Bibi’s surname was inspired by the mountain range Blocksberg, more commonly known as Brocken – the highest peak of the Harz mountains, where all of the above takes place! A rock formation in the Harz mountains near the Hexentanzplatz, the Teufelsmauer (‘Devil’s Wall’) is known for its unusual formation. The legend behind this wall is that God and the Devil were fighting for ownership of the Earth. Many people dress up as witches and dance on Walpurgisnacht. Würzburg, Germany was home to the worst instance of witch hunting: the magistrates of the time determined that most of the town was possessed by the Devil, and condemned hundreds of innocent women to death. One of the walking trails here is called the Harzer Hexenstieg (‘Harz Witches’ Trail’), which runs through the Harz mountains, and over their highest peak, known as the Brocken. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer. These occurred largely in France, Germany, northern Italy, Switzerland, and the Low Countries —Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Guten Tag! I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. Another story about this celebration came from Germany. According to the story, during the last night of April, witches gather in a place called Hexentazplatz where they dance. To German witches—hexen—the Harz highlands of northern Germany is home, a mountain range steeped in pagan lore. It also holds an unsolved mystery related to one of the darkest human practices. Merga Bien. © 2021 Transparent Language, Inc. All Rights Reserved. There is an imprint in the rocks that people believe to be the horse’s footprint from when he jumped across: By Dolos at German Wikipedia – Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, Link, “There is a mountain very high and bare…whereon it is given out that witches hold their dance on Walpurgis night.” So with Germany having such a huge history of Hexerei (witchcraft), what makes Walpurga Hausmännin so special? Protestantism emerged as the Catholic church’s hold on the population by a big.... 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