A small monument is a fixed, independent small structure, made by human hands from durable material. Small memorials can be used for commemorative purposes, often with a sacred character, or they serve practical purposes.
Manual or even artistic processing is the rule. Small structures such as chapels or shelters are added if there is no space for more than around five people. In a further interpretation, small human-made landscape elements such as ravines, dry stone walls and small quarries are also included. Components of buildings that have a monumental significance in addition to their decorative function, such as figures of saints, memorial plaques or house brands, are also classified as small monuments in an extended version.
Small monuments are partially listed ; but this is not generally the case.
The small monuments include a variety of different objects. Without claiming to be exhaustive, they can be classified according to:
- Monuments related to traffic routes and roads. This includes old pavement and cart tracks, ravines , milestones and hour stones , old signposts , signpost pillars , brake stones , road monuments and resting stones .
- Monuments related to agriculture and viticulture, for example vineyard stairs and dry stone walls as well as vineyard and field guard shelters.
- Monuments related to hunting and forestry. In addition to historical forest boundary stones, these include memorial stones for forest workers, gamekeepers and poachers who have died, stone cooking stoves for hunting parties, memorial stones for particularly remarkable hunts or hunting prey, wolf pits and fixed stone stalking walks, such as those used in B. are still preserved in the Jagdanlage Rieseneck .
- Monuments by bodies of water, for example old stone or wooden wells, well houses, spring sockets, memorial plaques on springs, small bridges, historical high water marks and old water level houses.
- Monuments related to law, administration and borders, for example landmarks and boundary stones , trift stones , sovereign pillars , atonement crosses , pillory , gallows , troop panels, house signs and house brands.
- Monuments related to faith and religion, for example wayside shrines , crosses in the hallway , tombs , house figures and envious heads .
- Monuments related to historical events and people. These include memorial stones, pillars and crosses, busts and plague crosses .
There is a strong overlap with the concept of the land monument : many small monuments are also land monuments and vice versa. However, the terms are not congruent because, according to their definition, landmarks are located outside of residential areas, whereas this need not be the case for small monuments.
Because of their small size and ignorance of their significance, small monuments were often lost. The weathering of sandstone and limestone as well as theft also contributed to the decline. There has been an increased awareness of the value of these historical witnesses since the 1980s. Organized associations were formed to maintain it.
In various regions there were and are organized campaigns to record small monuments. Anyone who discovers a previously unknown small monument or who would like to help that a severely damaged, threatened small monument is preserved, can contact one of these local initiatives or the responsible monument authority , i.e. the respective State Office for Monument Preservation . In Baden-Württemberg, the Society for the Preservation and Research of Small Monuments ( GEEK ) and the Swabian Heritage Association endeavor to record and protect small monuments.
In Carinthia and the Koroška region in Slovenia, land and small monuments were recorded, described and documented as part of an EU project by the Carinthian Educational Institute in collaboration with the Urban Jarnik Institute, the Koroški pokrajinski muzej and the Maribor Monument Authority.
- Dieter Kapff , Reinhard Wolf : stone crosses, boundary stones, signposts. Small monuments in Baden-Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8062-1460-3 .
- Reinhard Wolf: From place to place. Small monuments in the Ludwigsburg district . Ludwigsburg district, Ludwigsburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-925733-04-8 .
- Karl Dill: Small monuments in the Bayreuth district . 3rd edition Bayreuth 1992
- Walpurga Oppeker, Hans Georg Mössner, Franz Stürmer: Guide to the small and field monument database for Lower Austria and Salzburg (Version 2/2012), pp. 1–85. Online version from October 23, 2018, published by the LEADER cooperation project "Signs of our cultural landscape" at www.kleindenkmal.at .
- Registration of small monuments by the Baden-Württemberg State Monument Preservation
- http://www.bayern-fichtelgebirge.de/kleindenkmal/index.html Small monuments in the Fichtelgebirge
- Walpurga Oppeker, Hans Georg Mössner, Franz Stürmer: Guide to the small and field monument database for Lower Austria and Salzburg (Version 2/2012), pp. 1–85. Online version of October 23, 2018, published by the LEADER cooperation project "Signs of our cultural landscape", in which:
- Explanation of the categories of small monuments (PDF)
- Saints and their attributes as well as religious symbolism - especially for small monuments (PDF)
- Technical terms in architecture - especially for small monuments (PDF)
- Identification key for the categories of small monuments (PDF)
- Further reading (PDF)
- See for example  (PDF; 11 kB), archived copy ( memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. and archived copy ( memento of the original dated December 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 540 kB), all visited on February 1, 2010
- monuments in Carinthia and Slovenia