Standard design of road signs
One of the Megalithic sites near Steinkimmen, this chambered grave is known locally as 'Hünensteine', a not uncommon name for megalithic sites, although usually Menhirs.
Station 32 on the route[1]
Map of the route

The Route of Megalithic Culture[2][3][4][5] (German: Straße der Megalithkultur) was first created as a tourist route that meanders from Osnabrück to Oldenburg in North-West Germany. Signposted with brown road signs it links many places of archaeological interest from the Megalithic era.[6]

Signs for the route started going up in 2008 and 2009. The whole 310-kilometre-long route was officially opened on 14 May 2009.[7]

The route links many sites of archaeological investigation and 33 stations where the public can visit archaeological sites, for example, with standing stones.[6][8]

On the 27th of August 2013, the route became part of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe initiative, with sections in a growing number of countries, including Denmark, England, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.[9]

RouteEdit

The founding section of the Route of Megalithic Culture runs through the territories of Osnabrück, Ostercappeln, Belm-Vehrte, Wallenhorst, Bramsche, Ankum, Berge, Bippen, Fürstenau, Freren, Thuine, Lingen (Ems), Meppen, Sögel, Werlte, Lastrup, Cloppenburg, Visbek, Großenkneten, Wildeshausen, Dötlingen, Ganderkesee and Oldenburg.[10]

It is planned to extend the route, on the one side towards North Rhine-Westphalia, and on the other towards northeast Lower Saxony as far as Schleswig-Holstein.[11] The original route in Lower Saxony now forms part of a greater EU initiative with similar routes in Denmark, England, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.[9] In the Netherlands, for instance, there are another 53  megalithic sites.[12]

PurposeEdit

The Route of Megalithic Culture is intended to give a better understanding of the lives of people who lived over 5,000 years ago in all its member countries. The founding part of the route in northwest Germany has 33 stations, with insights into the function and design of their graves, their conception of the afterlife, understanding of nature and everyday lives. In some cases, the holiday road also leads to groups of Bronze Age and Iron Age tumuli of more recent times.[13]

The flyer for the Route of Megalithic Culture not only shows the numerous stone age stations of megalithic culture, but also other sights and points of interest along the way.[14] These include sights especially around the town of Osnabrück with its Cultural History Museum, the castles and palaces in Osnabrück Land, the Venne Iron Age House, the Old St Alexander's Church, the Kalkriese Museum and Park, the Cloth Maker's Museum, Bramsche, Malgarten Abbey, Börstel Abbey, the town of Meppen, the Hüven Mill, Clemenswerth Palace, the Cloppenburg Museum Village, St. Alexander's Church, the village of Dötlingen, Hude Abbey and the city of Oldenburg with its State Museum of Nature and People.[15]

StationsEdit

The 33 stations as numbered on the official web site.[16]

Station Name Picture Location Sprockhoff No. Comments
1 a Teufelssteine  
Teufelssteine
Voxtrup (Osnabrück) 914
1 b Gretescher Steine  
Gretescher Steine
Gretesch (Osnabrück) 920
2 Großsteingrab Jeggen  
Großsteingrab Jeggen
Jeggen (Bissendorf) 922
3 a Driehauser Steine  
Driehauser Steine
Darpvenne (Ostercappeln) 903
3 b-d Darpvenner Steine I-III  
Darpvenner Steine I
 
Darpvenner Steine II
 
Darpvenner Steine III
Darpvenne (Ostercappeln) 900–902
4 a–c Süntelstein
Großsteingräber bei Vehrte
 
Süntelstein
 
Teufels Teigtrog
 
Teufels Backofen
Vehrte (Belm) 915–916 Devil's Oven
(Teufels Backofen)
5 Helmichsteine  
Helmichsteine
Rulle (Wallenhorst) 908 also known as Gevasteine
6 a–b Östringer Steine  
Oestringer Steine I
 
Oestringer Steine II
Nettetal (Osnabrück) 912–913 In Östringen is another grave site (Östringer Steine III), which is not part of the Route's inventory
7 a–b Karlsteine  
Große Karlsteine
 
Kleine Karlsteine
Haste (Osnabrück) 909–910
8 Wiemelsberger Steine  
Wiemelsberger Steine
Ueffeln (Bramsche) 897
9 a–f Großsteingräberweg Giersfeld  
Reinecke
 
Meyer
 
Grumfeld West
 
Rickelmann I
Westerholte (Ankum) 891–896
10 a Großsteingrab Restrup und Näpfchenstein „Teufelsstein“  
Näpfchenstein
Restrup (Bippen) 886
10 b Hekeser Steine  
Hekese, Grab B
Hekese (Berge) 883–884 In Hekese are two megalithic tombs, which are associated with a stone row.
11 Großsteingrab im Alt-Frerener Forst  
Großsteingrab
im Alt-Frerener Forst
Freren 875
12 a Großsteingrab in der Kunkenvenne  
Großsteingrab in der
Kunkenvenne
Thuine 874
12 b Großsteingrab auf dem Radberg   873
13 Der Steinerne Schlüssel  
Der steinerne Schlüssel
Apeldorn (Meppen) 852 The Exhibition Centre for the Archaeology of the Emsland is in Meppen.
14 a–d Großsteingräber Deymanns Mühle I-IV  
Großsteingrab Deymanns Mühle I
 
Großsteingrab Deymanns Mühle II
 
Großsteingrab Deymanns Mühle III
 
Großsteingrab Deymanns Mühle IV
Stavern (Sögel) 848–851
14 e Großsteingrab am Osteresch  
Großsteingrab am Osteresch
Stavern (Sögel) 847
14 f Großsteingrab Groß-Stavern 1  
Bruneforths Esch in Stavern
Stavern (Sögel) 846 The grave Groß-Stavern 1 is also known as Bruneforths Esch.
15 a Großsteingrab bei den Düvelskuhlen  
Großsteingrab bei den Düvelskuhlen
Sögel 831
15 b Hünenbett bei den Düvelskuhlen Sögel 832
15 c Großsteingrab Püttkesberge [de]  
Großsteingrab Püttkesberge
Sögel 833
16 a–e Hünengräberstraße des Hümmling  
Großsteingrab Im Ipeken
 
Großsteingrab Groß Berßen IV
 
Großsteingrab Groß Berßen VI (Wappengrab)
 
Großsteingrab Groß Berßen VIII (Königsgrab)
 
Großsteingrab Groß Berßen VII reconstructed
Groß Berßen 856–861

17 a Volbers Hünensteine  
Volberts Hünensteine
Hüven 842
17 b Großsteingrab Hüven-Süd  
Großsteingrab Hüven-Süd
Hüven 843
17 c Großsteingrab Lähden I  
Großsteingrab Lähden I
Lähden 866
18 a Steenhus in den Klöbertannen Werpeloh 822 Originally, station no. 18 a had been the Großsteingrab am Kölkesberg (Spr.-No. 838).[17]
18 b Großsteingrab in den Klöbertannen  
Großsteingrab Werpeloh II
Werpeloh 823 Originally, station no. 18 b had been the Großsteingrab an der Kölkesdose (Spr.-No. 837).[18]
18 c Großsteingräber auf der Buschhöhe  
Großsteingrab Werpeloh IV
Werpeloh 825-826
18 d Steenhus von Börger  
Steenhus von Börger
Börger 819
19 Ganggrab von Ostenwalde  
Ganggrab von Ostenwalde
Ostenwalde 835 70 Meter from the original location. In Ostenwalde are two more Megalithic tombs which are not part of the Route's inventory.
20 a De hoogen Stener  
De hoogen Steener in Werlte
Werlte 830
20 b Poldenhünensteine  
Poldenhünensteine in Harrenstätte
Spahnharrenstätte 829
21 Teufelssteine (Molbergen)  
Teufelssteine
Peheim (Molbergen) 959
22 a Schlingsteine  
Schlingsteine
Lindern-Neuenkämpen 961
22 b Großsteingrab Hünensteine  
Hünensteine
Lindern-Herrensand 962
22 c Großsteingrab am hohen Stein und der hohe Stein  
Garen, am hohen Stein
 
Garen, der hohe Stein
Lindern-Garen 963–964 The Giant's Tomb and High Stone are also known as Garen megalithic tomb.
23 Oldendorfer Hünensteine  
Oldendorfer Hünensteine
Oldendorf (Lastrup) 968
24 a Visbeker Bräutigam  
Visbeker Bräutigam 934
 
Visbeker Bräutigam 935
 
Visbeker Bräutigam 936

 
Visbeker Bräutigam 937
 
Visbeker Bräutigam 938
(Brautwagen)

Großenkneten 934–938, 939–940
24 b Heidenopfertisch  
Heidenopfertisch
Engelmannsbäke (Visbek) 974
24 c–d Ahlhorner Kellersteine  
Ahlhorner Kellersteine I
 
Ahlhorner Kellersteine II
Ahlhorn (Großenkneten) 939–940
25 a–c Kleinenknetener Steine  
Kleinenkneten I
 
Kleinenkneten II

 
Kleinenkneten III
Kleinenkneten (Wildeshausen) 957–958, 947 The third grave (station 25 c) was originally in Dotlingen and was moved in the 1930s to Kleinenkneten.
26 Pestruper Gräberfeld  
Pestruper Gräberfeld
Pestrup (Wildeshausen) Also known as Grabhügelfeld (Grave mound field).
27 a Hohe Steine  
Hohe Steine
Wildeshausen 956
27 b Bargloyer Steinkiste  
Bargloyer Steinkste
Bargloy (Wildeshausen) This monument has no Sprockhoff No.
28 a Visbeker Braut  
Visbeker Braut
Aumühle (Wildeshausen) 952
28 b Große Steine bei Thölstedt  
Große Steine bei Thölstedt
Thölstedt 953
29 a–b Reckumer Steine  
Großsteingrab Reckum I
 
Großsteingrab Reckum II
Winkelsett (Harpstedt) 811–812
30 a Gerichtsstätte  
Großsteingrab Gerichtsstätte
Dötlingen 945
30 b–d Glaner Braut  
Glaner Braut I
 
Glaner Braut II
 
Glaner Braut III
 
Glaner Braut IV
Glane (Wildeshausen) 948–951
30 e Großsteingrab am Schießstand (Dötlinger Steingrab)  
Großsteingrab am Schießstand
(Dötlinger Steingrab)
Dötlingen 944
31 Großsteingrab Steenberg  
Großsteingrab Steenberg
Kirchhatten 926 Also called „Hatten 2“; more than 30% of stones seem to be in the original position.
32 a–b Hünensteine von Steinkimmen  
Hünensteine I
 
Hünensteine II
Steinkimmen (Gemeinde Ganderkesee) 927–928 Nearby there is a third grave (Steinkimmen Hünensteine III, Sprockhoff no. 929) that is not part of the route inventory.
33 Große Steine von Stenum  
Große Steine von Stenum
Stenum (Ganderkesee) 930

Organisation and financingEdit

The Straße der Megalithkultur is a community project resulting from collaboration between:

Authorised by the Behörde für Geoinformation, Landentwicklung und Liegenschaften (Department of Geoinformation, Land Usage and Property), financing for the Route of Megalithic Culture is provided from EU funds, distributed to local tourism and district authorities.

In May 2011, at the request of the tourism office for Osnabrück county (Landkreis) the tourism promotion department of the Ministry for Economic Affairs provided a subsidy of €180,600 for the route.[22]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Station 32 description" (PDF). Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  2. ^ The European Route of Megalithic Culture at culture-routes.net. Retrieved on 9 April 2017.
  3. ^ Molbergen — Devil’s Stones On The Route of Megalithic Culture at www.mygermancity.com. Retrieved on 27 Jul 2013
  4. ^ The Route of Megalithic Culture: prehistoric times captured in stone at www.germany.travel. Retrieved on 27 Jul 2013
  5. ^ The Project Archived 2013-11-04 at the Wayback Machine at www.megalithicroutes.eu. Retrieved on 27 Jul 2013
  6. ^ a b "Willkommen auf der Straße der Megalithkultur" (in German). Tourismusverband Osnabrücker Land e.V. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Straße der Megalithkultur wird am 14. Mai 2009 offiziell eröffnet". Landkreis-Kurier (in German). Archived from the original on August 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "Straße der Megalithkultur" (in German). Zweckverband Naturpark Wildeshauser Geest.
  9. ^ a b "News about the Megalithic Routes initiative under the Council of Europe". Megalithic Routes e.V.
  10. ^ http://www.strassedermegalithkultur.de/
  11. ^ Emsland Touristik/Recreatieschap Drenthe: Mystisches SteinReich ohne Grenzen Seite 7 Archived 2013-11-01 at the Wayback Machine (pdf; 561 kB)
  12. ^ Gerret von Northeim: Route zu den Großsteingräbern. Nordwest-Zeitung of 24 March 2009.
  13. ^ Brief information by the parish of Ostercappeln about the Route of Megalithic Culture
  14. ^ Leaflet on the Route of Megalithic Culture
  15. ^ Sites in the Local Area, (in German). Retrieved on 28 Jul 2013
  16. ^ "33 Stationen der Megalithkultur in Nordwestdeutschland". Tourismusverband Osnabrücker Land e.V. 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  17. ^ Annette Bußmann: Steinzeitzeugen. S. 71–72.
  18. ^ Annette Bußmann: Steinzeitzeugen. S. 72.
  19. ^ Homepage der Emsland Touristik
  20. ^ Homepage des Museums am Schölerberg
  21. ^ Stadt- und Kreisarchäologie in Osnabrück
  22. ^ DÜRR, CHRISTIAN (1 May 2011). "180.600 Euro für "Megalith-Straße"". Nordwest Zeitung. Retrieved 5 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  • Ernst Sprockhoff: Atlas der Megalithgräber Deutschland. Teil 3: Niedersachsen – Westfalen. Rudolf Habelt Verlag, Bonn, 1975, ISBN 3-7749-1326-9, S. 129–130.
  • Annette Bussmann: Steinzeitzeugen. Reisen zur Urgeschichte Nordwestdeutschlands. Straße der Megalithkultur. Herausgegeben von Arbeitsgemeinschaft Straße der Megalithkultur, Isensee, Oldenburg, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89995-619-1.