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Highest point in the Harz Mountains, central Germany. Its granite peak reaches 3,747 ft (1,142 m). When the sun is low, shadows from the peak become magnified, casting gigantic silhouettes on the upper surfaces of low-lying clouds or fog below the mountain. This effect, known as the Brocken bow or Brocken spectre, has mystical significance in the mountain's folklore. Traditional rites enacted there on Walpurgis Night became connected with the legend of Faust.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Brocken, visit Britannica.com.