Out of nowhere, the Devil’s Wall in the Harz Mountains is a stretch of bizarre rock formations. It consists of hard sandstones in the centre of Germany’s Harz Mountains. Rising In the middle of green plains, meadows, and fields, this wall of rock runs from Blankenburg in the Harz via Timmenrode, Weddersleben, and Rieder to Ballenstedt. The entire stretch includes several sections, such as Hamburger Wappen or Königsstein.
The wall of rocks, several metres in height, are unusual sites to visit without particular difficulties. Hiking trails along the rock formations link the villages in the area. Therefore, it is easy to make a day trip from those villages. We have visited three sections during our Harz Mountains trip, each of them has a unique feature.
Devil’s Wall in the Harz Mountains
The three sections of the Devil’s Wall in the Harz Mountains are:
- Königstein at Weddersleben
- Hamburger Wappen (“Hamburger Coat of Arms”) at Timmenrode
- Gegensteine (“Counter Stones”) near Ballenstedt
Königstein at Weddersleben
The Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer in German) near Weddersleben has several sections, Königstein, Mittelsstein, and Papenstein near Warnstedt. The striking feature of Königstein (on below Google Map it is the Teufelsmauer) is the Eagle’s Rock (Adlerfelsen), a rock185 metres above sea level and the highest point of the Königstein. There is also a small platform where the visitors can have a rest and enjoy the view.
Most visitors only walk to the Königstein section. But it is possible to hike further to the other segments and make a loop walk via the south side.
The public parking is at the Teufelsmauer parking area in Thale. Next to the parking lot, visitors will see a simple wooden gate “TEUFELS MAUER STIEG” marking the beginning of the trail. We followed a small comfortable sandy path, climbed a few wooden stairs, passed a small public garden (Teufelsmauergarten), and arrived at Königstein.
Hamburger Wappen (“Hamburger Coat of Arms”) at Timmenrode
The three steep and soaring pinnacles of rock resemble the coat of arms of Hamburg with its three towers. The rock itself is up to 40 metres high. At the back of the rocks, on the north side of the rocks, visitors can climb the 15-step crenellated staircase (Zinnentreppe) carved into the rock.
On the south side of the rock is the sandstone cave. Behind the cave is the Knight’s Staircase (Rittertreppe). We went to the edge and decided not to walk the staircase since it looks challenging.
We reached Hamburger Wappen from Timmenrode. There is a public parking place in the village, the Parkplatz Teufelsmauer Timmenrode. Hamburger Wappen is about 10 minutes of walking via Linderstraße.
Gegensteine (“Counter Stones”) near Ballenstedt
The remarkable formation counter stones are the easternmost branch of the Teufelsmauer located north of the city of Ballenstedt, which is easily accessible via the B185 and L242. Even from a distance, these impressive sandstone rocks appear mystical to the observer, as if thrown by the “devil’s hand” into the middle of the flat landscape.
The Gegensteine consists of two sandstone formations, the small and the large counter stones (Kleiner Gegenstein and Großer Gegenstein).
Visitors can access the large counter stone through a staircase carved into the rock. A summit cross was erected in honor of Duke Alexander Carl von Anhalt-Bernburg.
Walking along the ridge, we marveled at the uniqueness of nature and the vegetation. At the eastern foot of the counter stones, there is an extensive cave system. When by whom and for what purpose these caves were built is unknown.
The public parking place is near the small counter stone (Kleiner Gegenstein). To reach the large counter stone, first, we crossed a small hill and then passed a large field full of wildflowers. The short walk was also pleasant.
Which one is the best
Among the three sections of the Devil’s Wall in the Harz Mountains, I like the Gegensteine (“Counter Stones”) near Ballenstedt the most. It is not difficult to climb up the rock. The view on the top is superb!
The Hamburger Wappen (“Hamburger Coat of Arms”) at Timmenrode is challenging to climb around. It is perfect for adventure lovers. Nevertheless, it is easy to visit the rocks and caves without any climbing.
Königstein at Weddersleben is less complicate and is suitable for family travelers.
Do you find one that is the best for your or your family?
Where to stay
Since this is the major tourist destination and holiday area, the nearby villages offer many reasonable accommodations:
- Ferienwohnungen Ziesing (Weddersleben, Thale)
- Bagger’s Ferienhaus (Timmenrode)
- Appartements Residenz Jacobs (Ballenstedt)