Curiosities: The Blockenberg Witches

Perspectivische Vorstellung Des… Blocken Oder Bloks-Bergs… Nürnberg, 1749-51.

A view of Brocken in the Harz mountains of Germany. Local legend described how every Walpurgisnacht (a form of Halloween, on the eve of May Day) witches would gather on the summit, the “Hexen Platz” or “place of Witches”, to conduct their rituals. To make the view more interesting the engraver added dancing witches on the summit with other circlings on broomsticks.

For those with better German we are adding the key for the Summit

Obviously the plate attracted criticism: in 1751 (two years aftrer the first issue) this second state appeared, with an added panel of text, explaining that the witches were not supposed to be taken seriously. The date on the panel is “Walpurgis-tag, 1751”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like