The "Burnt Cross" near Schöndorf

Approximately one kilometre north-west of Schöndorf, on the road between that village and Lonzenburg, stands a wooden cross, overgrown with birches and junipers. In front of it, a small patch of lawn has been laid, at the centre of which is a commemorative plaque bearing the following inscription:

"The Burnt Cross in memory of the plague of 1690 and the great fire of 1855 in Schöndorf"

This wooden cross was erected in 1888.

According to the Schöndorf School Chronicle, it appears other crosses have also stood on this site in the past: "Travelling up to Lonzenburg from Schöndorf, one finds a rotten wooden cross hidden in a blackthorn hedge. It is 2 m high, and has the Corpus (Body of Christ) made of cheap sheet steel hanging off it. The cross must have been standing here for a long time. Another cross is said to have stood in front of it. The current one bears the year 1870."

Where could the name "Burnt Cross" have come from? Perhaps it was erected in memory of a major fire, which raged through Schöndorf in 1855, destroying 24 homes, together with their barns and stables. It may also have been named "Burnt Cross" because the crossbars have become dark and black; the wood looks as if it has been burnt.

It may, like its predecessor, also have been erected in memory of a year of famine in 1816/17.

Perhaps the cross was placed here in memory of the Black Death, - the Plague. The chronicle reports that, in 1690, almost half of Schöndorf’s population fell victim to the Plague.

Öffnungszeiten: freely accessible

Karte des Ruwertals

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