When hiking through the Thümmlitz forest reserve near Grimma you will find numerous natural monuments. The trails are tidy and the many information boards prompt hikers to follow the trails of the stones. The most impressive of these are probably the “Devil’s Stone” and the “Great Monolith” right next to it.
When approaching it, the “Great Monolith” with its size of almost five metres can be seen from a distance. It is thus the highest single block of stone standing alone (menhir) in Saxony, and one of the highest in Germany. Menhirs (maen = “stone”, hir = “long”) are stones that were set upright by people in prehistoric times. They usually served as boundary stones or signposts, as with the “Great Monolith”. At the beginning of settlement history Thümmlitz forest was not the forest we know today, but rather a mixture of woodland and heath. The “Great Monolith” could be seen from miles away, and it served as a landmark between settlements. In the 1950s the stone fell over and broke into two pieces. It wasn’t until 1981 that both parts were put together again with cement and that the menhir was re-erected.
In comparison, the “Devil’s Stone” is somewhat less conspicuous than its upright neighbour. This is a natural slab of rock measuring about 3.3 x 3.6 metres. The middle of the slab contains a roundish hollow. Legend has it that the devil left his hoof print here, giving the stone its name.