Already for our ancestors the rocks were of strategic and cultural-historical importance. Early traces of settlement from prehistoric times show that the four mighty rocks were corner bastions of a large rampart complex, perhaps even enclosing a meeting place at a rock sanctuary, and were used until the early Middle Ages.
Geology:The four to 92 m thick Bruchhauser Steine (Bornstein, Goldstein, Ravenstein and Feldstein) are among the most impressive geological phenomena of the Hochsauerland region and the entire Rhenish Slate Mountains. They are witnesses of a huge volcanic eruption on the bottom of the Devonian sea about 390 million years ago. They consist of the very hard volcanic effusive rock quartz porphyry (rhyolite) with inclusions of the minerals quartz and feldspar and mark the remains of a volcanic vent that penetrated the marine deposits of that time. In the following millions of years, the deposits were folded into a mountain range and slowly modeled out of their softer shell of Devonian clay shales by weathering processes. In the process, the weathering-resistant volcanic rocks were largely preserved as "hardened rocks". Witnesses of the erosion are also the extensive block debris fields with boulders of quartz porphyry below the rock complexes on the L 743 south of the village of Olsberg-Elleringhausen.
The Bruchhauser Steine are not only geologically a worthwhile excursion destination. As a retreat area of arctic-alpine plants they belong to the rare locations of plants (so-called "relict species") from the ice age which are no longer native to us. Only here - under extreme climatic conditions - they could survive until today and were not displaced by warm-age plants. The "Bruchhauser Steine" are home to important plant occurrences (alpine goosecress, plumbago) as well as a peregrine falcon breeding ground.
Age of the rocks: quartz porphyry (rhyolite): middle Devonian, Eifel stage (about 390 million years before today)
In April 2017, the Bruchhauser Steine were designated as a National Natural Monument - the first in NRW.
The Bruchhauser Steine were awarded the title "National Geotope" by the Academy of Geosciences of Hannover e.V. in 2006.
Vacation opening hours: During the Christmas vacations, the Bruchhauser Steine are open daily from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. During the Easter vacations, the Bruchhauser Steine are open daily from 10:00 - 16:00.
As soon as holidays fall on a Monday, the Bruchhauser Steine are also open then.
(Texts: Tourism Brilon Olsberg)