Legend or history? There are many mystical tales involving the Witches' Dance Floor in the Harz Mountains, situated high above the Bode Gorge in Saxony-Anhalt. Legend has it that it's also an Old Saxon and Germanic cult site.
Some say they can still sense the magic of the old Pagan rituals on the plateau. This magic is accompanied by an exhilarating feeling of freedom up on the 451 metre high plateau with views overlooking the Bode Gorge stage of the Harz Witches' Trail and across to Thale. The mystical place only became known as the Witches' Dance Floor once Christian Franks banned cult rituals there. Soldiers were stationed there to ensure that the ban was observed. But they failed in their mission. The chroniclers reckon that the Saxons dressed as witches with blackened faces and armed themselves with broomsticks and pitchforks to see off the watchmen. They scared them so much that there have been reports of gruesome activities going on here between the witches and the Devil ever since.
The remains of the Saxon Dyke, a granite stone wall spanning 150 metres built between 750 and 450 BC, tell a true story from the Witches' Dance Floor, which travellers can reach on foot or by cable car from Thale. The wall protected the area and likely transformed it into a refuge fort – a castle-like fortification.
The zoo on the Witches' Dance Floor, which showcases the diverse wildlife found in the Harz region, brings visitors back to the here and now.
Opening hours: freely accessible
Nearest train station: Göttingen
The Witches' Dance Floor is elevated and can be reached by cable car.
For the schedule, visit:
www.seilbahnen-thale.de; zoo open all year round