Where are Anchi crystals found in caves

Soul chambers, escape tunnels, passages What's up with the earth stables?

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They are called Schrazellöcher, Mandraunenhöhlen, Erdweibschlupf or soul passages and belong to the great secrets of archeology. Erdststall are underground cave and passage systems, created by humans. Why - nobody knows.

Status: 07/19/2018

There are mysterious, underground corridor systems that can be found in southern Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France and Spain. They run through church mountains, cemeteries or the underground of old settlement areas like small labyrinths. These so-called "earth stalls" can be up to six meters deep.

The earth stables were photographed for the first time in the 19th century - by a Benedictine priest. Today, it is mainly volunteers from the Erdstallforschung interest group who research the labyrinths of the underworld.

The exciting thing about the earth stables is that to this day we hardly know anything about them. Dieter Ahlborn has already crawled through numerous of these narrow corridors.

"The earth stables are always empty and therefore very difficult to date. There is a single archaeologically investigated earth stables in Bavaria in which a piece of charcoal has been found. It was dated to the time around 950 to 1050 AD using the C14 method . "

Dieter Ahlborn, Interest Group for Stable Research (IGEF)

Archaeologists have long been left out

Science has long held back when it comes to exploring the earth stalls. This is mainly due to the fact that the sources with which historians and archaeologists normally work are not or no longer preserved here.

"There is no source from the Middle Ages that tells us what the Erdstall were. Erdstall research comes from the field of local research. Here there is the world of legends, there are reports of Schrazelllöcher and it took a while for the official archaeological research to be carried out has adopted these archaeological monuments. "

Professor Bernd Paeffgen, Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archeology, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich

Escape tunnels or hiding places

Often the entrances are nothing more than a hole in the floor.

But why were earth stalls actually created? One theory: there are escape tunnels in which people or belongings were brought to safety in times of crisis. Sounds plausible, as the Middle Ages were anything but a peaceful time. Farmers may have dug the tunnels to hide from a raid.

Dieter Ahlborn from the Erdstallforschung (IGEF) interest group is not so sure:

"The earth stables have only one entrance and no separate exit. It is narrow, there is no oxygen. Experiments show that in the event of a fire the oxygen would be withdrawn from an earth stable in no time and there are also these slips through which no pregnant women and older people could get through. I would exclude the earth stables as hiding places. "

Dieter Ahlborn, Interest Group for Stable Research (IGEF)

In addition, the earth stables were hardly built by laypeople: The ceilings are specially vaulted to absorb the enormous pressure of the earth. The corridors are laid out in an S-shape - experts now assume that mining knowledge is necessary for this construction work.

Ritual and cultic interpretation

Sophisticated pointed arches indicate that mining knowledge was involved in the construction.

The narrow passages that connect different levels give an indication of a different interpretation of the earth stables. Some of them are so narrow that you have to push yourself into them on all fours or with your head first. Often you have to twist to get your shoulders through the bottleneck. Only then can you get to the higher level. In the Middle Ages, this maneuver was probably done in the dark.

"The irrational architecture of the facilities speaks in favor of a cultic interpretation of the earth stables. One could imagine that the earth stables were built as lounges for souls, as it were as lounges until the Last Judgment Sense that one has shed ailments on mother earth or sins on mother earth. "

Dieter Ahlborn, Stable Research Interest Group, IGEF

Experts can imagine that the corridors perhaps served pre-Christian rituals and that the solution to the riddle of why the chroniclers of the High Middle Ages might have kept secret the earth stables is found in them. After all, they then represented a spiritual parallel world and competition with the church. Interestingly, the church Christianized many earth stables that were found later. The Erdstall in Reichersdorf, for example, was rediscovered after the 30-year war - and the church had a chapel built over the entrance there. In one of the chambers she had figures of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners, set up.

The riddle remains unsolved

Why people actually constructed earth stalls between 950 and 1050 - nobody knows to this day. But with every cow that gets stuck in a mysterious hole in the pasture and with every excavator that hits a new earth barn while excavating the cellar, experts like Dieter Ahlborn hope to finally discover the one earth barn that sheds light on one of the great secrets of the Middle Ages .

  • "Erdstall and Schratzllöcher": BR Heimat - Have the honor !, December 16, 2016, 10:05 am
  • "Mysterious underworld: earth stables in Viechtach": Schwaben & Altbayern, November 20, 2016, 5.45 p.m., BR television
  • "Underground secret - Schratzllöcher and Erdststall in Bavaria": Time for Bavaria, December 15, 2013, 12:05 p.m., Bavaria 2
  • "Erdststall - Where do the mysterious tunnels come from?"IQ - Science and Research, July 23, 2018, 6:05 p.m., Bavaria 2