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(256) Walpurga

Reference work entry

Discovered 1886 Apr. 3 by J. Palisa at Vienna.

Named after St. Walpurga {710?–777}, princess of Wessex, England who with her brothers went to Germany to convert the heathen. Her feast day is May 1 (hence Walpurgis Night) when the witches ride on broomsticks to the ancient places of sacrifice to revel with Satan. The best known of this places is the Brocken {see planet  (4724)}, highest peak in the Harz mountains, immortalized by the scene of the witches’ sabbath in Goethe’s {see planet  (3047)} Faust. (H 31, I. Heinrich)

Named by Baroness Bettina von Rothschild (BAJ Circ., No. 291 (1887)).

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

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