List of show caves in Germany

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Show caves in Germany

This list of show caves in Germany contains all show caves in Germany which are hosted by the German Speleological Federation (German: Verband der Deutschen Höhlen- and Karstforscher).[1] A show cave is defined here as a natural, underground cavity, which has been equipped for visitors, is accessible on foot using walkways and steps and is fitted with lighting. Show caves have regular opening times, usually with regular guided tours of about 30 to 45 minutes duration. They are almost all electrically lighted. Only the Easter Cave and the Schellenberg Ice Cave still use carbide lamps. In 1884 the Olga Cave was the first German show cave to be equipped with electrical lighting and the second in the world to be thus fitted. Only the Kraus Cave in the Styria in Austria was equipped earlier, in 1883.

There are currently 51 show caves in Germany.[2] The earliest to have guided tours was Baumann's Cave in the Rübeland; visited by Goethe. Tours of this cave were being organised as early as 1646. The latest to be opened as a show cave was the Autumn Labyrinth in 2009. More than half the show caves are dripstone caves. The Wimsen Cave is the only show cave in Germany accessible by boat, for a distance of 70 metres. The Goetz Cave is the only fissure cave in the list and the largest publicly accessible cave in Europe. The Laichingen Vertical Cave is the only shaft cave that can be viewed in Germany, having a depth of 55 metres below the entrance and reaches the greatest depth of any German show cave. The Schellenberg Ice Cave is the only ice cave in Germany that can be visited. In the Barbarossa Cave, which is formed of anhydrite stone, loose layers of plaster hang like wallpaper from the ceilings and walls.

Introduction[edit]

The Atta Cave – Germany’s most-visited show cave
  • Name of the show cave : states the name of the show cave.
  • Location: gives the location of the show cave.
  • State: gives the state in which the show cave is found.

BR
BE
BW
BY
HE

Brandenburg
Berlin
Baden-Württemberg
Bayern
Hesse

MV
NI
NW
RP
SH

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Lower Saxony
North Rhine-Westphalia
Rhineland-Palatinate
Schleswig-Holstein

SL
SN
ST
TH

Saarland
Saxony
Saxony-Anhalt
Thuringia

  • Location: gives the coordinates of the show caves.
  • Geological classification: states the geological type of cave. It may be a limestone cave, rock cave, karst cave or other type.
  • Length (m): gives the total length of the show cave in metres including all branches.
  • GR (m): gives the total length of the guided route in metres, ignoring any doubling of walkways. It does include any artificial access walkways that are not part of the total length of the cave. So the guided route may be longer than the total length of the cave.
  • Height: gives the height of the entrance above sea level.
  • Discovery: is the date of discovery of the show cave. Most show caves were known by the local population much earlier, because they sometimes had a natural entrance accessible on foot. In these cases the year the cave is first mentioned in the records is shown in brackets.
  • Show caves : gives the start of its operation as a show cave. Subsequent problems with safety, the impact of war, financial issues or changes of owner may have led to long interruptions in its use as a show cave.
  • Electr. Light: states the year when electrical lighting was first installed.
  • Visitors (annual): gives the latest (2004 to 2008) average, annual visitor numbers. If the number is in brackets it indicates the recent, average number of visitors, over a different, unspecified period.

Show caves[edit]

Name of
show cave
Location State
Location
Geological classification Len-
gth
(m)
GR
(m)
Height
Dis-
cov-
ery
Show
Cave
Electr.
Light
Visi-
tors
(/yr)
Agger Valley Cave Engelskirchen NW 50°59′37.21″N 7°26′59.29″E / 50.9936694°N 7.4498028°E / 50.9936694; 7.4498028 (Aggertal Cave) Rock cave 1,071 270 200 1773 1930 1930 (5,000)
Altenstein Cave Schweina TH 50°49′43″N 10°20′47″E / 50.82861°N 10.34639°E / 50.82861; 10.34639 (Altenstein Cave) Rock and active stream cave 1960 280 360 1799 1802 1905 (6,000)
Atta Cave Attendorn NW 51°07′44″N 7°55′25″E / 51.12895°N 7.92348°E / 51.12895; 7.92348 (Atta Cave) Limestone cave 6,670 560 1907 1907 1907 (350.000)
Autumn Labyrinth Breitscheid HE 50°41′16″N 8°12′21″E / 50.68778°N 8.20583°E / 50.68778; 8.20583 (Herbstlabyrinth) Karst cave 5,800 120 417 1993 2009 2009
Barbarossa Cave Rottleben TH 51°22′54″N 11°02′13″E / 51.38167°N 11.03694°E / 51.38167; 11.03694 (Barbarossa Cave) Karst cave im anhydrite stone 1,100 600 154 1865 1866 1895 (70.000)
Bear's Cave Sonnenbühl BW 48°22′15″N 9°12′55″E / 48.37083°N 9.21528°E / 48.37083; 9.21528 (Bear's Cave) Limestone cave 292 271 800 1834 1834 1934 98,500
Baumann's Cave Rübeland SA 51°45′18″N 10°50′36″E / 51.75500°N 10.84333°E / 51.75500; 10.84333 (Baumanns Cave) Limestone cave 1,980 600 378 1536 1646 1892 89,000
Bilstein Cave Warstein NW 51°25′34″N 8°19′24″E / 51.42611°N 8.32333°E / 51.42611; 8.32333 (Bilstein Cave) Limestone cave 1,700 450 350 1887 1888 1925 (40.000)
Bing Cave Streitberg BY 49°48′44″N 11°13′01″E / 49.81222°N 11.21694°E / 49.81222; 11.21694 (Bing Cave) Limestone cave 300 300 375 1905 1906 1908 35,800
Charlotte's Cave Hürben BW 48°35′14″N 10°12′22″E / 48.58722°N 10.20611°E / 48.58722; 10.20611 (Charlotten Cave) Limestone cave 587 532 488 1893 1893 1893 41,900
Dechen Cave Iserlohn NW 51°21′56″N 7°38′41″E / 51.36556°N 7.64472°E / 51.36556; 7.64472 (Dechen Cave) Limestone cave 870 360 250 1868 1868 1926 (60.000)
Devil's Cave Pottenstein BY 49°45′17″N 11°25′12″E / 49.75472°N 11.42000°E / 49.75472; 11.42000 (Teufels Cave bei Pottenstein) Limestone cave 1,500 800 400 1922 1923 1923 161,500
Devil's Cave Steinau HE 50°20′17.23″N 09°27′17.96″E / 50.3381194°N 9.4549889°E / 50.3381194; 9.4549889 (Teufels Cave bei Steinau) Limestone cave 137 174 310 1584 1927 1927 (16,000)
Dienstedt Karst Cave Dienstedt TH 50°48′50″N 11°10′28″E / 50.81389°N 11.17444°E / 50.81389; 11.17444 (Dienstedter Karst Cave) Karst cave 350 155 340 1953 1994 1994 (1,200)
Easter Cave Trondorf BY 49°31′08″N 11°39′50″E / 49.51889°N 11.66389°E / 49.51889; 11.66389 (Oster Cave) Limestone cave 185 130 (1630) 1905 not yet (5,000)
Eberstadt Dripstone Cave Eberstadt BW 49°28′57″N 09°20′52″E / 49.48250°N 9.34778°E / 49.48250; 9.34778 (Eberstadter Limestone cave) Limestone cave 616 588 341 1971 1973 1973 62,700
Erdmann's Cave Hasel BW 47°38′57″N 7°53′45″E / 47.64916°N 7.89592°E / 47.64916; 7.89592 (Erdmanns Cave) Limestone cave 2,146 356 (1271) 1773 1899 31,100
Goetz Cave Meiningen TH 50°33′54.75″N 10°24′27.37″E / 50.5652083°N 10.4076028°E / 50.5652083; 10.4076028 (Goetz Cave) Fissure cave 242 485 328 1915 1934 1934 (15,000)
Gußmann's Cave Gutenberg BW 48°32′33.72″N 09°31′11.64″E / 48.5427000°N 9.5199000°E / 48.5427000; 9.5199000 (Gußmanns Cave) Limestone cave 91 55 680 1890 1891 1922 4,400
Gutenberg Cave Gutenberg BW 48°32′25.44″N 09°31′13.8″E / 48.5404000°N 9.520500°E / 48.5404000; 9.520500 (Gutenberg Cave) Limestone cave 180 110 690 1889 1890 1967 4,400
Heimkehle Uftrungen SA 51°29′50.78″N 10°57′17.86″E / 51.4974389°N 10.9549611°E / 51.4974389; 10.9549611 (Heimkehle) Large gypsum karst cave 2,000 750 200 (1357) 1920 1920 (20.000)
Heinrich's Cave Hemer NW 51°22′46″N 7°46′26″E / 51.37944°N 7.77389°E / 51.37944; 7.77389 (Heinrich's Cave) Limestone cave 2,984 300 250 (1771) 1905 1905 (15,000)
Hermann's Cave Rübeland SA 51°45′17″N 10°50′50″E / 51.75472°N 10.84722°E / 51.75472; 10.84722 (Hermanns Cave) Limestone cave 2,733 800 378 1866 1890 1890 89,000
Hohler Fels Schelklingen BW 48°22′45.3″N 09°45′19.9″E / 48.379250°N 9.755528°E / 48.379250; 9.755528 (Hohler Fels) Large rock dome 120 68 534 (1830) 1907 1955 (4,000)
Iberg Dripstone Cave Bad Grund NI 51°49′03″N 10°15′10″E / 51.81750°N 10.25278°E / 51.81750; 10.25278 (Iberger Limestone cave) Limestone cave 351 220 434 1723 1874 1912 60.500
Kittelsthal Dripstone Cave Kittelsthal TH 50°55′26″N 10°23′31″E / 50.92389°N 10.39194°E / 50.92389; 10.39194 (Kittelsthaler Limestone cave) Limestone cave 726 158 348 1888 1896 1918 (6,000)
Klutert Cave Ennepetal NW 51°17′57″N 7°21′17″E / 51.29917°N 7.35472°E / 51.29917; 7.35472 (Klutert Cave) Rock cave 5,497 1,080 193 (1586) 1884 1951 44,500
Kolbing Cave Kolbingen BW 48°2′25″N 8°55′5″E / 48.04028°N 8.91806°E / 48.04028; 8.91806 (Kolbing Cave) Limestone cave 330 88 790 (1879) 1913 1950 (7,500)
König-Otto Dripstone Cave Velburg BY 49°15′17″N 11°41′24″E / 49.25472°N 11.69000°E / 49.25472; 11.69000 (König-Otto-Limestone cave) Limestone cave 450 270 590 1895 1896 1954 20.700
Kubacher Kristall Cave Kubach HE 50°28′16″N 08°17′45″E / 50.47111°N 8.29583°E / 50.47111; 8.29583 (Kubacher Kristall Cave) Crystal filled crevice cave 200 350 231 1974 1981 1981 (40.000)
Laichingen Vertical Cave Laichingen BW 48°28′43″N 09°41′31″E / 48.47861°N 9.69194°E / 48.47861; 9.69194 (Laichinger Tiefen Cave) Shaft (vertical cave) 1,253 320 780 1892 1920 1936 (35,000)
Marienglas Cave [3] Friedrichroda TH 50°51′48.51″N 10°32′32.14″E / 50.8634750°N 10.5422611°E / 50.8634750; 10.5422611 (Marienglas Cave) Large gypsum crystal geode 300 122 450 1784 1903 1929 (75,000)
Maximilian's Grotto Krottensee BY 49°37′43″N 11°35′18″E / 49.6285°N 11.5884°E / 49.6285; 11.5884 (Maximiliansgrotte) Limestone cave 1,200 400 500 (1596) 1878 1994 (20.000)
Nebel Cave Sonnenbühl BW 48°25′1″N 9°13′15″E / 48.41694°N 9.22083°E / 48.41694; 9.22083 (Nebel Cave) Limestone cave 813 450 808 (1486) 1803 1922 49,900
Niedaltdorf Dripstone Cave Niedaltdorf SL 49°20′22.4″N 6°35′42.5″E / 49.339556°N 6.595139°E / 49.339556; 6.595139 (Niedaltdorfer Limestone cave) Primary cave in tufa 200 80 1880 1933 1933
Olga Cave Honau BW 48°24′36″N 9°15′35″E / 48.41000°N 9.25972°E / 48.41000; 9.25972 (Olga Cave) Primary cave in tufa [4] 170 90 557 1874 1884 1884
Recken Cave Balve NW 51°22′13″N 7°51′49″E / 51.37028°N 7.86361°E / 51.37028; 7.86361 (Recken Cave) Limestone cave 450 300 220 1888 1890 1890 (15,000)
Schellenberg Ice Cave Marktschellenberg BY 47°42′48″N 13°00′16″E / 47.71333°N 13.00444°E / 47.71333; 13.00444 (Schellenberg Ice Cave) Ice cave 3,621 500 1,570 (1826) 1925 not yet (9,000)
Schertel's Cave Westerheim BW 48°32′05″N 09°35′18″E / 48.53472°N 9.58833°E / 48.53472; 9.58833 (Schertels Cave) Limestone cave 212 160 775 (1470) 1902 1953 (15,000)
Schillat Cave Oldendorf NI 52°12′17″N 9°17′17″E / 52.20472°N 9.28806°E / 52.20472; 9.28806 (Schillat Cave) Limestone cave 340 305 1992 2004 2004 (32,000)
Schulerloch Essing BY 48°55′40″N 11°49′01″E / 48.92778°N 11.81694°E / 48.92778; 11.81694 (Schulerloch) Limestone cave 420 180 390 (1782) 1828 1953 (50.000)
Segeberg Kalkberg Cave Bad Segeberg SH 53°56′7.75″N 10°19′3.8″E / 53.9354861°N 10.317722°E / 53.9354861; 10.317722 (Segeberger Kalkberg Cave) Gypsum karst cave 2,260 400 1913 1919 1919 (35,000)
Sontheim Cave Sontheim BW 48°26′06″N 9°41′03″E / 48.43506°N 09.684101°E / 48.43506; 09.684101 (Sontheim Cave) Limestone cave 530 192 720 (1488) 1516 1957 (4,000)
Sophie's Cave Ahorntal BY 49°49′36.9″N 11°22′33.0″E / 49.826917°N 11.375833°E / 49.826917; 11.375833 (Sophie's Cave) Limestone cave 900 220 405 1833 1834 1971 (30.000)
Sturmann's Cave Obermaiselstein BY 47°26′12″N 10°14′8″E / 47.43667°N 10.23556°E / 47.43667; 10.23556 (Sturmanns Cave) Active stream cave 460 287 978 (1815) 1905 1905 (30.000)
Dragon's Cave Syrau SN 50°32′34.71″N 12°04′56.09″E / 50.5429750°N 12.0822472°E / 50.5429750; 12.0822472 (Dragon's Cave, Syrau) Limestone cave 550 350 460 1928 1928 1928 (45,000)
Tschamber Cave Karsau BW 47°35′18″N 07°49′07.5″E / 47.58833°N 7.818750°E / 47.58833; 7.818750 (Tschamber Cave) Active stream cave 1,550 600 1890 1890 1966
Unicorn Cave Scharzfeld NI 51°38′06.05″N 10°24′14.59″E / 51.6350139°N 10.4040528°E / 51.6350139; 10.4040528 (Unicorn Cave) Large rock cave 610 270 370 (1541) 1895 1928 (15,000)
Wendelstein Cave Brannenburg BY 47°42′12″N 12°0′47″E / 47.70333°N 12.01306°E / 47.70333; 12.01306 (Wendelstein Cave) Alpine rock cave 523 170 1,711 1864 1921 1962 (30.000)
Wiehle Dripstone Cave Wiehl NRW 50°56′18″N 07°32′53″E / 50.93833°N 7.54806°E / 50.93833; 7.54806 (Wiehler Limestone cave) Limestone cave 868 400 260 1860 1927 1927 (26,000)
Wimsen Cave Hayingen BW 48°15′23.4″N 09°26′53.52″E / 48.256500°N 9.4482000°E / 48.256500; 9.4482000 (Wimsen Cave) Water cave 723 70 557 (1447) 1803 1927 (35,000)

Disputed Show Caves[edit]

Several caves are sometimes described in the literature as show caves, although they are not strictly so. These include the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes and Schlossberg Caves which are not natural caverns, the Zwiefaltendorf Limestone Cave and the Balve Cave have no regular guided tours.

Name of
show cave
Location State
Geological classification Len-
gth
(m)
GR
(m)
Dis-
cov-
ery
Show-
Cave
Electr.
Light
Visi-
tors
(/yr)
Balve Cave Balve NRW Large rock cave 138 138 (1690)    
Morassina Schmiedefeld TH Dripstone filled show mine 2000 tbd. 1683 1993 1993 tbd.
Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes [5] Saale TH Dripstone filled show mine 1100 600 1913 1914 1914 175,000
Schlossberg Caves [6] Homburg SL Mine in Bunter sandstone 5000 800 (1708) 1930 1935 33,500
Zwiefaltendorf Limestone Cave [7] Zwiefaltendorf BW Primary cave in tufa 27 27 1892 1892  

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes and references[edit]

Stalagmite group in the Teufel's Cave near Pottenstein
  1. ^ "Schauhöhlen". Verband der Germann Höhlen- and Karstforscher e.V. Retrieved 12 August 2008. 
  2. ^ Not included are the Schlossberg Caves and the Saalfeld Fee Grottos, although these are listed of the German Speleological Federation. They are shown there because their operators are paying members. But both are artificially created caverns and are not therefore true show caves. Also not in the main list is Balve Cave, because it has no regular guided tours or visits. Included is the Dienstedt Karst Cave, that is not part of the German Speleological Federation, but fulfils all the conditions of a show cave.
  3. ^ Marienglas Cave – a former mine with a natural cavern, the so-called Gipskristalldruse or Crystal Grotto (Kristallgrotte). This crystal grotto is the main attraction of the mine, which is why it is viewed more as a show cave. – Although the literature overwhelmingly sees it as a show cave, it calls itself a show mine.
  4. ^ Tufa caves (tuff caves) are a special type of cave. Tufa forms wherever springs rise to the surface with calcium in the water. In the deposited limestone, overhangs and half-caves can occur, until further tufa deposits lead to entirely enclosed caverns.
  5. ^ Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes – A former mine, in the shafts of which wonderfully colourful dripstone has formed. – Sometimes described in the literature as show caves and sometimes as a show mine and is a paying member of the German Speleological Federation. Refers to itself as a show mine.
  6. ^ Schlossberg Caves – Galleries cut through Bunter sandstone by human effort, so that it is more like a mine. – Mainly described in the literature as show caves and a member of the German Speleological Federation. Refers to itself as a mine shaft.
  7. ^ The cave may only be visited in combination with a visit to the restaurant. It is shown in the literature occasionally as a show cave, but is not listed by the German Speleological Federation.

Sources[edit]

  • Ernst Waldemar Bauer: Wunderwelt der Höhlen. Hrsg. v. Bechtle Verlag, Esslingen 2001 ISBN 3-7628-0565-2
  • Stephan Kempe, Wilfried Rosendahl: Höhlen – Verborgene Welten. Primus Verlag, Stuttgart 2008 ISBN 978-3-89678-611-1
  • Hans Binder, Anke Lutz, Hans Martin Lutz: Schauhöhlen in Deutschland. Hrsg. v. Aegis Verlag, Ulm 1993 ISBN 3-87005-040-3
  • Stephan Kempe Welt voller Geheimnisse – Höhlen. Reihe: HB Bildatlas Sonderausgabe. Hrsg. v. HB Verlags- and Vertriebs-Gesellschaft, 1997 ISBN 3-616-06739-1
  • Hans Binder: Herbert Jantschke: Höhlenführer Schwäbische Alb. Hrsg. v. DRW-Verlag, Leinefelden-Echterdingen 2003 ISBN 3-87181-485-7
  • Hans Binder: Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb. Hrsg. v. DRW-Verlag, Leinefelden-Echterdingen 1995 ISBN 3-87181-366-4
  • Friedrich Herrmann: Höhlen der Fränkischen and Hersbrucker Schweiz. Hrsg. v. Verlag Hans Carl, Nürnberg 1991 ISBN 3-418-00356-7
  • Friedhart Knolle, Wilhelm Marbach: Bergwerke & Höhlen im Harz. Hrsg. v. Studio Volker Schadach, Goslar 1998 ISBN 3-928728-24-5
  • Stephan Lang: Höhlen in Franken. Wanderführer in die Unterwelt der Fränkischen Schweiz mit neuen Touren. Hrsg. v. Fachverlag Hans Carl, Nürnberg 2006 ISBN 978-3-418-00385-6
  • Stephan Lang: Höhlen in Franken. Ein Wanderführer in die Unterwelt der Hersbrucker Schweiz und des Oberpfälzer Jura. Hrsg. v. Verlag Hans Carl, Nürnberg 2002 ISBN 3-418-00390-7
  • Hardy Schabdach: Unterirdische Welten, Höhlen der Fränkischen- und Hersbrucker Schweiz. Hrsg. v. Verlag Reinhold Lippert, Ebermannstadt 2000 ISBN 3-930125-05-6
  • Helmut Seitz: Schaubergwerke, Höhlen und Kavernen in Bayern. Hrsg. Rosenheimer Verlagshaus, Rosenheim 1993 ISBN 3-475-52750-2
  • Volker Sklenar, K. R. Hoffmann, I. Pustal, G. Kuhn, M. Meissner, A. Nestler, R. Cebulla, R. Fohlert, J. Bodenstein, G. Holzhey: Thuringia Untertage. Hrsg. v. Thüringer Landesanstalt für Umwelt und Geologie, Jena 2006 ISBN 3-9806811-4-9

External links[edit]