Examine the sky in the Nebra Ark visitor centre in Saale-Unstrut-Triasland Nature Park, where the Nebra sky disc was discovered, and go on a fascinating journey back in time to the universe of the Bronze Age.
The story behind the sky disc is as mysterious as the universe itself. It was discovered in 1999, somewhat accidentally, during an illicit excavation to search for prehistoric artefacts using a metal detector. The disc, which, as it turns out, is one of the most important artefacts from the Bronze Age, was found on the Mittelberg plateau near Nebra in Saxony-Anhalt. Some of the mysteries surrounding the sky disc are yet to be resolved. But its surprisingly abstract depictions seem to make reference to a precise observation of the sky that ultimately gave rise to the Bronze-Age belief that the sky curved around the Earth like a dome.
Nowadays, with flights to the moon, Mars and outer space, our perception of the sky above us has changed. But we are just as fascinated with it now as we were back then. Those wanting to explore the universe and let their dreams run wild in the Nebra Ark visitor centre in Saale-Unstrut-Triasland Nature Park can do so at the "Himmelsauge" (sky's eye), where the sky disc was found. Take a look at the ground here, as the reflective surface enables visitors to simultaneously look up to the universe. The Himmelsauge site forms a connection between the sky and Earth, at the spot where an image of the starry sky lay hidden in the ground for 3,600 years.
Opening hours: April to October: every day from 10am to 6pm; November to March: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, Saturday/Sunday/bank holidays, 10am to 5pm, closed on Mondays
Nearest train station: Leipzig
Accessible; for a list of special events (in German), visit:
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