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In mid January, the bell of the Grindelwald village church strikes twelve o'clock just before a single ray of sunshine will appear on the church square and then again in mid-November.
The sun star streams from behind the Eiger after passing through a hole in the rock about two by three meters in size to make the star. The rock window is called Martins Loch (hole) and is said to have been formed this way……
Once upon a time, a giant named Martin once lived at the foot of the Eiger.
In those days, there were no glaciers in the valley. The Eiger and Mettenberg stood next to each other, and there was no five-hundred-meter-wide canyon between Bäregg and Bonerren to let the ice flow in between. Only a small gap, a hole in the rock, let temporarily, the melt water pass through and it was mixed with ice blocks, that then dammed behind the rock barrier. Then the glacier creek roared in high waterfalls down into the rocky steps into the forest. But the pressure of the water and ice could get too powerful. Then the dam would break here and there, and a devastating flood would carry away and destroy all that was in the way; houses and barns, humans and animals.
Martin, was a man large in stature, some called him a giant as his strength was well known. He lived in a cave at the foot of the Eiger rock wall. The cave is still there today. Martin, seeing the oncoming devastation, risked his life in these times of glacial water outbreaks as he cared for the residents of the valley.
Rather than always taking these risks, Martin decided to remedy the problem. Martin climbed up into the narrow gap, leaned back against the Mettenberg side, and using his feet and walking stick, he pushed back and stemmed the waterflow against the Eiger. With a powerful pounding and pressing, a crash went through the mountains, that forced them apart. Finally, it was done. Martin had made the hole gape open so far now, that the water had sufficient space to rush on through without endangering the people living beneath. In his tremendous effort, Martin had bumped a hole with is stick into the Eiger. And it is still there.
.Source: Challigroosi and Muggestutz, Grindelwald Sagas, collected and rewritten by Rudolf Rubi (1981/2018)
Inspired by this natural phenomenas all his life, the Grindelwald photographer, Speedy Füllmann, knows the best places to photograph this stunning spectacle.
On certain days Speedy says that he sees the sun shining through the Martinsloch from his terrace. "The mood is different every time”, he says, “Sometimes there are clouds in the background, sometimes the sun casts a shadow on them, and sometimes you can see snowdrifts in the picture". Speedy does not use star filters or Photoshop effects.
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