|Location:||Goslar. Parking at the Osterfeld, short walk towards Petersberg. (51° 54' 43" N, 10° 26' 43" O)|
|Classification:||Cave Church Cave House|
|Light:||not necessary/bring torch|
|Address:||Rotary Club Goslar, Gina Kirchner, Karsten-Balder-Stieg 11 b, 38640 Goslar, Fax: +49-5321-706-2008. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.|
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|Last update:||$Date: 2015/08/30 21:53:28 $|
|1169||"Marienkapelle im Klus" first mentioned.|
|02-SEP-1784||visited by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on his third Harz journey.|
The Klusfelsen is a huge rock, a cliff or better a rock ridge, which is 20m high and some 50m long. It consists of soft sandstone from the lower Cretaceous (110Ma) and is located east of the historic center of Goslar, at the edge of a small forest. It was created by the uplift of the Harz, which caused the horizontal mesozoic sedimentary rocks to be bent up. Here at Goslar the layers are almost vertical, so this ledge is formed by a vertical pack of sandstone layers. The yellow, porous, and coarse grained sandstone is locally called Hilssandstein, after its type locale, the Hils near Einbeck. It was an important ashlar for sacral buildings in southern Lower Saxony and of course Goslar. On location there was once a sand pit, where the soft rock was hammered to sand with minimal effort.
The Klusfelsen and its forecourt are used as a cultic site sinc pre Christian times. But there is no archaeologic evidence so far. The intensive use of the rocks starts in the Middle Ages. At this time numerous caves were cut ino the rock as cave houses. Thea are accessible on staircases also cut into the rock. The reason for this is simple: the soft rock is very easily and cheaply cut, the resulting living space is comfortable, especially in winter when the insulation by the porous rock made them much warmer than normal houses. There is also a legend about an hermit who lived here, a devotional monk who built a small chamber into the rock. Such an hermitage is called Klause in German, which is thought to be the origin of the name Klusfelsen. This must have been before the houses were constructed, and there are no remains which proof the truth of the legends.
Today it is possible to visit the rock freely, and many of the caves are open. A few of the bigger caves are closed by iron gates, but it is possible to see the cave through the bars.
The Kluskapelle (Klus Chapel) is the best preserved and maintained cave in the rock, but it is not open to the public. The key is kept by the Rotary Club Goslar. The cave was prepared as a chapel in the 19th century and a statue of the Virgin Mary erected. But it seems it was much older, it was first mentioned in 1169 as Marienkapelle im Klus. Legend tells it was a place of pilgrimage for gypsies, which met at this place for a very long time every year at a certain time in summer. This was a ritual meeting, but also a chace for weddings and baptisms. The legend also tells, that every gypsie should make this pilgrimage at leats once in his life to do penance, thats why the chapel is also called Sühnekapelle (penance chapel).
Another extraordinary cave is the socalled Felskeller (rock cellar). It is also closed to avoid vandalizm and littering.
The rock is well known among esoteric circles and is often used for modern ritual. Witches and Wizards meet here or collect power at this place. You may belive in magic or not, but still this is an exceptional and forceful location.
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