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Hannibals Grab in Lüneburg Heath. Elephants, Paintings, and Turkey

Eine Steinformation im Naturschutzgebiet erlangt Berühmtheit

©Dennis Karjetta
©Dennis Karjetta
©Dennis Karjetta
©Dennis Karjetta
©Dennis Karjetta
©Dennis Karjetta
In the car-free Lüneburg Heath nature reserve, close to Wilsede and the crossroads to Volkwardingen, there lies a picturesque group of erratic boulders on a small hill with gnarled juniper bushes.


This place has become famous and is known as Hannibal´s Grave.


But how can this boulder formation bear the name of one of the most famous generals in antiquity, despite the fact that the latter was never on Lüneburg Heath? He managed to get his elephants over the Alps but he was definitively not buried in Lüneburg Heath.


In 1893, whilst on a trip to Turkey, the famous German painter Eugen Bracht painted a picture of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Visitors to an art exhibition in the 1920s, at which this picture too was on display, had the feeling they recognised the location.


The subject was compared and it was ascertained that the similarity with the rock formation from Lüneburg Heath at Wilsede was uncanny. The suspicion now grew that Eugen Bracht had never been to Turkey but had painted the picture on Lüneburg Heath.


Since then this rock formation has borne the name of Hannibal´s Grave and today still remains a favourite destination for trips in Lüneburg Heath nature reserve.


Eugen Bracht has, by the way, painted many subjects in Lüneburg Heath.



How can I get to this location?

Leave Wilsede in the direction of Döhle / Volkwardingen over the cobbles. At the crossroads, where the road to Volkwardingen and Döhle divides, keep straight on in the direction of Döhle. Not far after the crossroads Hannibal´s Grave is to be found on the left. You will recognise it by the boulders and walk a few metres along the path into the Heath.


Hannibal’s Grave is also installed on Google Maps, so you can navigate using it.