A lost treasure, a dangerous dragon, and a fabled sword? This week’s Geocache of the Week, Siegfrieds Schwert (GC70YWG), brings a medieval epic back to life and lets you be the legend of this quest.
The famous “Nibelungenlied” tells the tale of Siegfried, who slew the dragon Fafnir with his trusty sword “Balmung,” and bathed in the beast’s blood which rendered him invincible – except for a single spot on his back where a leaf from a linden tree had fallen on him. Tragically, Siegfried dies in the course of the story and his sword “Balmung” is lost. Centuries later, in 2017 to be exact, a group of knightly cache owners created a geocache that challenges other cachers to find the fabled sword in a lush forest in southern Hesse, Germany.
Finding Siegfried’s lost sword is only the first part of this heroic quest: a locked treasure chest also awaits cachers eager to sign the logbook. To prove themselves worthy of logging this cache, they must find out how to crack the codes that will open the locks. But luckily, “Balmung” will help to solve this puzzle. The reward is not just the sought-after logbook or the treasure of the Nibelungen…another riddle awaits clever geocachers and grants access to the bonus cache, Nibelungen Bonus (GC6ZA7E).
It is not just the compelling theme and gadgety nature of this geocache that makes it deserving of the title “Geocache of the Week.” It has also racked up over 2,400 Favorite points in three years and is part of a series of high-quality caches in the area, among them Geist des Hagen (GC11JM6) and Alberich der Zwergenkönig (GC2586K). Most of the caches in this forest revolve around different aspects of the “Nibelungensage” and are extremely popular among geocachers worldwide.
This popularity and the many eager geocachers that came with it led to some discontent among local land management and hunters. At times up to 30 cars have been seen at the edge of the forest. And since our guidelines require cache owners to obtain permission from landowners for their geocache listings, the local cacher community had some convincing to do. About 20 geocachers met with representatives of the forest administration and initially skeptical hunters to discuss a compromise that would allow the placement of geocaches in a specific area while keeping the rest of the forest off-limits (“Pilotprojekt Geocaching”). This collaboration between cache owners and local authorities is a wonderful example of responsible cache placement and teamwork within the geocaching community. Because of this, the caches of the Nibelungensage can live on for many years to come.
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Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.