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Visbeker Braut

Long Barrow

<b>Visbeker Braut</b>Posted by NucleusImage © Uwe Häberle 07/2018
Also known as:
  • Sprockhoff Nr. 952

Latitude:52° 53' 30.95" N
Longitude:   8° 19' 27.7" E

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Fieldnotes

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After the Visbeker Bräutigam 3, the Visbeker Braut is the second largest Hunebed in Germany. The rectangular enclosure is northeast/southwest oriented, about 80m long and 7m wide and contains at the southwestern end a rather small burial chamber of 5.5 x 1.5m. The mound that originally filled the site has largely disappeared. Four huge up to 2.50 meters high boulders form the southwest small side of the Hunebed. It is not entirely clear whether they are original stones of the enclosure or relocated capstones of the burial chamber.

To get to the site, drive the B312 from Wildeshausen to Ahlhorn. Immediately west of the autobahn exit "Wildehausen-West" lies the guest-house "Visbeker Braut". Directly opposite is a small road under the autobahn. Turn right at the first junction and continue for about 180m to a small car park directly at the site. Or walk from the Ahlhorner Kellersteine for about 4km on the so called Brides walk as the bride procession did 5000 year ago before the were petrified ;-).

Visited July 2018
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2018ce
Edited 1st November 2018ce

taken from the "Faszination Archäologie" information board:

"Visbek Bride"
Neolithic megalithic tomb

The "Visbek Bride" is considered the second largest Hunebed in the Wildeshauser Geest. It is in a relatively good state of preservation. On the other hand, the magnificent south-western narrow side, which is made up of almost 3m high boulders, is probably not the original situation. Probably at this point in the 19th century, the original capstones of the chamber were erected. The curious name "bride" presumably results from the pre-Christian custom to celebrate central events such as weddings on megalithic tombs.

The legend of "Bride and Bridegroom"
Since the 18th century at the latest, people have told each other that the "Visbek Bride" and her 4km "Visbek Bridegroom" were in fact a petrified wedding party. According to the legend, she had to turn to stone, because the bride believed that she can only escape in this way the marriage established by the father with the unloved bridegroom.

Testimony of sedentary life
Megalithic tombs like the "Visbek Bride" are considered the oldest surviving structures of northern Central Europe. Until the fourth millennium BC only hunters and gatherers lived in the Wildeshauser Geest. Only the "funnel beaker culture" (about 3500 - 2700 BC) settled down permanently.

They bred cattle, planted grain and lived in post constructions. Presumably, they believed in an otherworldly life and therefore built their deceased sometimes monumental graves of boulders. Those megalithic graves or megalithic tombs (Greek: mega = large, lithos = stone) were erected not for individuals, but for groups and used over many generations.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2018ce
Edited 1st November 2018ce

Folklore

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In the middle of the Ahlhorner Heide was in the old days a large farm. The owner was proud and greedy and would have liked to have his only daughter married to a wealthy farmer's son from the area. But the girl loved a poor shepherd who had been her teenage plays. The hard-hearted father did not care about the requests of his child, but set against the will of the girl's wedding day.

On wedding mornings, a procession of festively dressed people moved across the heath to Visbek. The bride and groom embarked on a walk with their parents, followed by the retinue of relatives and neighbors. The bride was deathly pale with tears in her eyes. Closer and closer she came to the village church; the bells of Visbek were already ringing. Then, in desperation, the girl turned her eyes to heaven and called imploringly: "Help, O God! I would rather turn to stone on the spot than belong to a man whom I can not love". As soon as she uttered these words, the bridal process froze. Where men of flesh and blood had just moved on their way, mighty stones rose in two rows next to each other. The myrtle wreath, the flowers and ribbons turned into gray lichen and mosses. The bridegroom's procession also suffered the same fate and turned to stone. The mighty boulders there give witness to it.

(taken from: Etta Bengen, O Wunner, o Wunner. Wat ligg hier woll unner? Großsteingräber zwischen Weser und Ems im Volksglauben. Oldenburg 2000)
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2018ce

Links

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Route of Megalithic Culture - Site 28: Visbek Bride (28a)


330 kilometres of scenic route lead you to 33 exciting archaeological sites through Northwest Germany. On your way you will find more than 70 Neolithic (3.500 to 2.800 B.C.) megalithic tombs.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
20th October 2018ce