Katzenstein, Spiez

I went out last Friday evening and shot some long exposure landscape photographs in the almost utter silence of the vineyards near my home. One of the most prominent features within the vineyard, and one which I continually return to both in summer and in winter, is the massive “Katzenstein”. The erratic rock (so named in geological terms for its unusual position, far from any cliffs from which it could have fallen) was probably deposited at some point during the last Ice Age – originating from some 50 kilometres to the east at Innertkirchen – and now sits surrounded by the rolling hillside of the Spiezberg, above a panoramic view of the adjacent lake. The name of the stone, which means “cat rock” in German, was given as it allegedly looks like a reclining cat from one particular angle. It was first mentioned in documentation from the 13th century and legend tells that it was once a collection point where local children were collected by nuns. Which nuns, which children and for which purpose are details which have been sadly lost to the mists of time…