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Go Straight to Hell With These 12 Satanic Spots in Europe

From a Lucifer fountain to Satan’s footprint, these 12 European attractions are dedicated to the Devil.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Christianity spread across Europe and introduced the idea of the Devil to millions of people. Since then, Satan has loomed large in the lives of Europeans, inspiring many to create dark art and legends in his infernal name.

In the Middle Ages, Christians usually depicted the Devil as a monstrous or goat-like figure. Later, the 19th-century Romantic writers hailed Satan as a metaphor for reason, courage, and defiance, which inspired contemporary artists to portray him as a beautiful fallen angel. Today, the Devil has become a pop culture icon: travelers can take selfies with a smiling Satan statue or sip on “the devil’s cup” at a bar christened in his honor.

In my upcoming book, The Little Book of Satanism: A Guide to Satanic History, Culture and Wisdom, I chronicle the “mark of the beast” over the centuries, from his debut in the Bible to the birth of modern Satanism, including The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple. While Satan’s influence is felt worldwide, here are twelve of the most intriguing places in Europe where the horned one has left his hoofprint.

1 OF 12

The Lucifer of Liège

WHERE: Liège, Belgium

In 1842, Joseph Geefs sculpted a Lucifer statue for St. Paul’s Cathedral in Liège. The church removed the work soon after it was unveiled because it was deemed too alluring: Geefs depicted Lucifer as an attractive young angel with bat wings, naked except for a small piece of fabric draped over his open thighs. The cathedral hired his older brother, Guillaume Geefs, to sculpt a replacement that was finished in 1848 and still stands in St. Paul’s today. Ironically, the second Lucifer of Liège is perhaps even more enticing: the muscular and nearly-nude Devil is chained by the ankle and runs a hand through his long hair with an anguished expression.

2 OF 12

The Selfie Devil Statue

WHERE: Segovia, Spain

When artist José Antonio Abella announced that he was creating a devilish sculpture for the city of Segovia, he was surprised by an online petition against the work. Some residents thought the horned beast looked too friendly or feared it might turn the city into a Satanic haven. In the end, the Devil prevailed, and his bronze likeness has been perched near the Aqueduct of Segovia since 2019. Abella’s statue depicts Mephistopheles as a smiling and paunchy horned creature, holding out a cell phone and snapping a selfie. It pays homage to a legend about a little girl who tricked the demon into building Segovia’s Roman-era aqueduct.

3 OF 12

Žmuidzinavičius Museum

WHERE: Kaunas, Lithuania

Lithuanian artist and poet Antanas Žmuidzinavičius enjoyed collecting Devil-themed art, and over the years, his personal collection grew to fill three floors of his home. After his death in 1966, Žmuidzinavičius’ house was transformed into an art museum for the Devil. Visitors can see over 3,000 works from around the globe with Satanic themes—from tree stumps and roots shaped like Lucifer to sculptures of Stalin and Hitler with horns protruding from their foreheads.

INSIDER TIPA ticket to the museum also lets you access Žmuidzinavičius’ preserved art studio, which displays some of his most exquisite nature paintings.

4 OF 12

Medmenham Abbey

WHERE: Wycombe, England

In the 1740s, Sir Francis Dashwood transformed Medmenham Abbey into what later became known as a Hellfire Club. Members of his gentleman’s club engaged in secretive hedonistic revelries within the walls of the Gothic abbey. Rumors spread that the “Monks of Medmenham” were holding Satanic Black Masses and coupling with women dressed as nuns. Although these stories of “rake-hell” debauchery were false or exaggerated, the Abbey’s historical association with Satanism has held strong.

Related: The Original Hellfire Club: Where British Elites Practiced Pagan Rites and Bacchanalian Orgies

5 OF 12

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

WHERE: Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna’s 6th-century basilica has a simple facade, but the interior makes a powerful impression with its high ceilings, rows of arches, and colorful mosaics all over. One of the mosaic walls contains the first known artistic depiction of Satan. The Byzantine-style design shows Satan as a blue angel sitting to the left of Jesus, with three goats in front of him. (The horned animals represent disobedience and are a metaphor for the sinners that will be sent to Hell on Judgment Day.) 

6 OF 12

Fountain of the Fallen Angel

WHERE: Madrid, Spain

Madrid’s stately Retiro Park is home to the Fountain of the Fallen Angel (1877), which is dedicated to the Prince of Darkness. Inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the bronze sculpture by Ricardo Bellver shows the beautiful winged Lucifer falling from Heaven. The octagonal pedestal is decorated on all sides with lizards, snakes, and demons with water spurting from their mouths. In a tribute to the number of the beast, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel stands 666 meters above sea level.

INSIDER TIPVisit the Fountain of the Fallen Angel as the sun is about to set to see rainbow refractions of light against Lucifer’s bare torso.

7 OF 12

Der Teufelstritt

WHERE: Munich, Germany

Legend has it that in 1468, an architect made a pact with the Devil to secure funding for Munich’s Frauenkirche Cathedral. Satan agreed to bankroll the project as long as the church had no windows and was, therefore, a place of darkness. When the building was finished, Satan inspected it from the foyer and gave it the thumbs up. However, he then realized he had been tricked: the cathedral had windows, but they weren’t visible from the foyer’s point of view. Satan stomped his foot in anger, allegedly leaving the small shoed footprint that visitors can still see on the floor today. 

8 OF 12

Devil Cafe and Bar

WHERE: Bled, Slovenia

Descend into what feels like Satan’s lair at Devil Cafe and Bar. The Slovenian drinking hole has high, vaulted ceilings and is illuminated with antique chandeliers and red lights—making it look like a Satanic church. Sit in one of the wooden pew-like booths, and order a glass of Casillero del Diablo red wine. If you’re feeling sinful, try a “brain tumor shot” of peach Baileys liqueur and cranberry syrup. 

INSIDER TIPEurope has other Hell-themed bars and cafes. Stop for “devil’s cup” at Satan’s Coffee in Barcelona, Spain, and drink from the world’s largest selection of whisky at Devil’s Place in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

9 OF 12

Houska Castle

WHERE: Blatce, Czech Republic

Located north of Prague, Houska Castle is a 13th-century Gothic masterpiece that purportedly sits on top of Hell’s Gate. According to local lore, the castle’s chapel was built to cover an enormous hole in the ground that served as a portal to Hell. These defensive walls prevented demons and other macabre creatures from crawling out of the hellhole. Houska Castle is still considered to be haunted, and visitors have reported seeing headless horses and demonic winged beasts lurking in the halls.

10 OF 12

Montpelier Hill

WHERE: Dublin, Ireland

One of Ireland’s first Freemason lodges sits at the apex of the 383-meter-high Montpelier Hill. Soon after the building was completed, around 1725, a storm blew off the slate roof. Locals whispered that this was the Devil’s act of revenge, as the lodge had been built over an ancient burial ground. Then, around 1737, Montpelier Hill became the headquarters of the Irish Hellfire Club. Satanic rumors swirled around their secret meetings: some believed members engaged in human sacrifices, Black Masses, and other demonic activity. The club president was allegedly named the “King of Hell,” and set out a chair for Satan to join their revelries. Today, Montpelier Hill is a burnt and cavernous ruin, which adds to the feeling that it was the Devil’s hangout.

11 OF 12

Pont Valentré

WHERE: Cahors, France

Construction began on Port Valentré, a Gothic stone bridge spanning the river Lot, in the 14th century. The foreman was fed up with the slow pace of construction, so he sold his soul to the Devil to complete the work. When the bridge was close to finished, the foreman gave the horned one a final impossible task—to fetch water using a sieve. Angered at being tricked out of a soul, the Devil sent a demon to loosen a stone in the central tower each evening so that Pont Valentré would never be finished. In 1879, builders commemorated the legend by adding a carving of a horned imp with his arms around a stone, at the base of what is now known as Devil’s Tower.

12 OF 12

The Devil's Stone

WHERE: Lübeck, Germany

Satan supposedly paid a visit to St. Mary’s in Lübeck as it was being built in the 13th century. To avoid arousing his wrath, the workers lied and said that they were erecting a wine bar instead of a Gothic church. Pleased, the Devil decided to pitch in and help them. However, he later realized that he had been tricked into building a house of God. Enraged, he picked up a slab and was ready to throw it at the church—but put it down when the builders promised they would build a tavern across from it. Today, you can still see the Devil’s alleged claw marks on the slab, and take a photo next to a smiling and bearded bronze statue of him.

INSIDER TIPVisitors can also travel four hours south to see the Brocken, which is the highest point of Germany’s Harz Mountains. Every year, on Walpurgisnacht (April 30), witches are said to fly to the peak to engage in hedonistic rituals with Satan.

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RM67 October 7, 2022

One of your best articles in ages - unusual, quirky, irreverant - miles better than scaremongering about pickpockets in Europe. More of this please!