Public Art: Witch sculpture
Sculptor: © Jochen Müller Quedlinburg
Sculptor's Website: www.jo-mueller-figurenkunst.de
Description: The naked bronze witch, with a rat
on her shoulder, attempting to bush an enormous boulder is one in a group of four sculptures at the
Hexentanzplatz (Witches' Dance Floor).
Date Unveiled: The sculptures were unveiled on the
21st of April, 1996.
Location: The witch, Thalix, Homunculus and the devil
sculptures can be discovered at Hexentanzplatz (Witches’ Dance Floor) in the Harz Mountains, situated high above
the Bode Gorge opposite the Rosstrappe in Saxony-Anhalt, Thale, Germany.
The Legend of the Witches' Dance Floor : As one legend goes, on Walpurgisnacht (the 1st of May) witches on broomsticks rode through the air with
animals in tow to the Hexentanzplatz(the witches' dance floor). Waiting patiently in the castle on the cliff was
the Devil. When they all arrived, the witches flew down to the bottom of the valley where the Devil's basin was
located. There the newly recruited witches were sprinkled with Devil's water as part of their initiation into
the evil congregation. They would then fly back up on their broomsticks to the Hexentanzplatz where they wildly
danced and screame until the end of the midnight hour.
Another legend is that the The Hexentanzplatz is reputedly an Old Saxon cult site where
celebrations on the 1st of May were held in honour of the so-called Hagedisen (forest and mountain goddesses).
Eventually the cult was banned by invading Christian Franks who placed soldiers in the area to stop their pagan
ways. Undeterred the Saxons scared away the soldiers by dressing up as witches and riding on broomsticks at
Trivia: For many years, the Hexentanzplatz was
in a militarily restricted area of East Germany and off-limits to visitors.
During pre-Christian times, Hexentanzplatz was believed to be an important site
for secret pagan ceremonies. This was where the witches gathered before their flight to the Brocken on
Walpurgisnacht, immortalized by Goethe in Faust.
On the plateau is the Thale Mountain Theatre (Bergtheater Thale) one of the
oldest open-air theatres in Germany with 1,350 seats, which was founded in 1903 by Ernst Wachler.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Public Domain Photos for kindly allowing permission for the use of the