Historic meteorite »Ensisheim«, Hadaikum
About the object
Literally out of the blue on 7 November 1492 at half-past eleven in the morning, a rock weighing around 127 kg fell to earth in a field on the outskirts of Ensisheim in Alsace, making a very loud noise indeed. The event was audible as far away as the Danube and well into Switzerland; the fall is still considered the oldest observed meteorite event in the western world, from which original material has been preserved to this day. Maximilian I, who would later become Holy Roman Emperor, arrived in the city days after this spectacular event, causing the mysterious emissary from the heavens to be thrown into chains in the local church for safe keeping, where it languished for several centuries. Described as early as 1492 by Sebastian Brant, »Ensisheim« has, from the early-19th century onward, contributed significantly to the scientific validation of the cosmic origin of meteorites.