Horst bei Gunzenau Geotop

36399 Freiensteinau, Deutschland

Green olivine in volcanic rock. A fascinating view under our landscape allows the former basalt quarry "Am Horst" in Gunzenau. The Bonifatius pulpit at 540m above sea level was built in summer 2007 - not to be confused with the natural monument and geotope of the same name on the Herchenhainer Höhe. The name "Horst" is probably derived from the Old and Middle High German word "hurst", which means "shrubbery". However, the "Horst" in front of Freiensteinau-Gunzenau is not so much shrubbery as a former quarry that was not backfilled with overburden after it was used as a raw material and thus today provides an insight into the geology beneath our feet. If you want to take a short walk to the natural monument, you can hike up from Nieder-Mooser See or park directly at the top of the Gunzenau cemetery. Between the Gunzenau cemetery and the highest point at 455m above sea level, you can enjoy a beautiful view over the landscape with the Vogelsberg lakes to the west and into the Rhön Mountains to the east from the Bonifatiuskanzel. A gravel path leads downhill in a westerly direction to the former quarry. On the left hand side you turn into a small field copse. Behind the barrier, the view opens up into the circular quarry. The high rock walls with their platy appearance and the different fissures consist of a basanite. Basanites are the most primitive volcanic rocks, but also one of the youngest volcanic products of the Vogelsberg. Primitive means in the language of geologists that the melts still had their original composition and were not changed on the way to the surface. In the black and fine-grained rock one can find peridotite inclusions with its main component olivine. This rock was torn up from a depth of about 60 kilometers during strong eruptions more than 15 million years ago - and at great speed: in a few days at most, the magma was at the surface. In the otherwise dark rock, the sometimes fist-sized olivine nodules with their different shades of green are very easy to spot. The weathered basalt soil allows an amazing variety of plants to thrive, even orchids can be found. And the bird world has also discovered this structurally rich habitat for itself. Enough reasons to protect the quarry as a natural monument and geotope worth seeing. The eyrie can be reached via a paved road coming from Gunzenau (on the L 3178).

36399 Freiensteinau, Deutschland

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