Ben­theim Sand­stone

In the sunlight it glows yellow, occasionally with red streaks. Little wonder that this stone was also known as Bentheim Gold, mainly on account of its colour, but also because the people of Bentheim earned a lot of money with their sandstone. Geologists differentiate between the lighter-coloured Gildehaus sandstone and the reddish-brown Bentheim sandstone (the colour variations are caused by the iron content of the stone).

Since the middle ages, master builders have used Bentheim sandstone to build churches and other important structures, including the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, the theatre and the cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, the catholic church in Århus, the city hall in Münster and – last but not least – Bentheim Castle. The latter is the largest building made of Bentheim sandstone.

One of the oldest sandstone sculptures is the “Herrgott of Bentheim”, a 2.45m high, free-standing statue depicting Jesus on the cross. It was carved in the 11th century from a block of sandstone and today stands in the inner courtyard of Bentheim Castle. In Bad Bentheim visitors can discover a wealth of fascinating facts about Bentheim Gold in the Sandstone Museum.