The Harz Mountains is northern Germany’s largest mountain range.
Though not a part of the famous Fairy Tale Route (a 600 km route through Germany that includes many towns and sites made popular by the Brothers Grimm), the Harz region parallels it. The area is known for their witch and devil legends. Chances are some of the stories that the Grimm Brothers wrote about originated in these mountains. And it was this thought that sat in the back of my mind as we drove around town.
The Teufelsmauer – Devil’s Wall
Between the towns of Quedlinburg and Thale, we saw rocks jutting out of the earth. It’s called the Teufelsmaur, or Devil’s Wall.
There is a nice path leading around and to the top. We passed the time by counting the steps with our son. First in English, then German, Japanese, Spanish, and French. Our three-year old was able to walk on his own all the way up, which was a nice surprise.
The views from the top, along with viewing the wall up close, was one of my favorite experiences during our weekend trip in the Harz Mountains. Once there, all I could think of was Snow White’s famous witch. I could imagine her sitting on these stones, holding that poisoned apple, plotting her revenge.
When I got home I eagerly looked up the actual legends associated with this wall. Unfortunately, Snow White’s witch isn’t part of that legend. (Or, at least, I like to think it’s not part of the known legends.) Instead, the story goes that God gave the devil one night to claim the area he wanted by building a wall around it. The devil was almost done when something happened and morning came earlier than expected. He was so upset, he tore down pieces of the wall. So today, that’s what we get. A devil’s wall broken into three section in Germany’s Harz Mountains. (The full story, as well as the scientific explanation for the wall, can be found here.)
Should you visit the Devil’s Wall?
If your travels are taking you to the Harz Mountains anyway, take the time to stop and explore this area. You’ll get beautiful views and a memorable experience. If you’re traveling with small children, be prepared to carry them if they can not walk too much. This site is not stroller friendly.
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