The massive altar, as mentioned above, did not stand in the temple but before it.
Either it was built upon a high stone platform, and thus united architecturally with the temple, or it stood in front of the steps or in the portico.
Consequently, according to his theory, the temples were so placed that on the day settled on the calendar as the birthday and feast day of the god the rays of the rising sun fell along the axis of the temple and thus also on his statue.
This theory suffers, however, from the fatal uncertainty as to the date the day of dedication fell on.
Among the equipments of the temple was a massive altar, sacrificial tables, movable heaths for fire, sacrificial utensils and other objects, which were dedicated at the same time as the temple.
They formed a temple property that could not be sold.
In the earliest period it was made of wood or clay, later it was cast from bronze or made of marble.
Besides the statue of the god to whom the temple was dedicated, statues of other gods were at times placed in the temple, partly as ornaments, partly because of their connexion with the principal god.
Still the German peoples were hardly entirely without temples, any more than the Scandinavians, although these temples could only have been of wood.
The dedication adhered permanently to the soil which was released by it from all other religious obligations and was withdrawn from profane use.
The anniversary of the dedication was celebrated annually by a sacrifice.
It is certain that the Indo-Germanic peoples originally had no buildings for the worship of their gods, but worshiped the gods upon mountains, as Herodotus expressly says of the Persians, or believed the supernatural beings were present in groves or trees.
Consequently among the ancient Germans the conception of a grove was identified with that of a temple.
He claimed that the position of the front depended on the altitude of the sun of the feast day of the respective god.