Osterhöhle

Easter Cave


Useful Information

Location: Leave A9 at exit Lauf/Hersbruck, follow B14 East, right before Sulzbach-Rosenberg a small road at the left leads to Trondorf. Follow signposts through Trondorf to the Wanderparkplatz (parking lot). 5 min (200m) walk.
Open: Cave: Easter to OCT Sat, Sun, Hol 11-17.
Waldschänke (Biergarten): Easter to OCT, Sat 10-22, Sun, Hol 10-21.
[2019]
Fee: Adults EUR 4,50, Children EUR 3,50.
[2019]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave, Malm (Dolomite)
Light: electric torches provided
Dimension: L=185m.
Guided tours: L=130m, VR=30m, D=30min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Günter Schneider (1988): Allgemeine Beschreibung zur Lage, Geschichte und Geologie der Osterhöhle, Tagungsband, 33. Tagung des Verbandes der deutschen Höhlen- und Karstforscher, Neukirchen 1988. (Deutsch - German)
Address: Waldschänke Osterhöhle, Flurnummer 56, 92259 Trondorf-Neukirchen.
John Engelhard, Holnsteiner Straße 2, 92259 Neukirchen, Tel: +49-9663-2009747, Mobil: +49-172-5470166.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

800 B.C. people of the Hallstadt culture visited the cave, remains were found near the entrance.
1630 first writen mentioned.
1783 named in the book Die Beherrscher von Sulzbach by Leinberger.
1789 named in the Beiträgen zur Urgeschichte Sulzbachs by the princely medicus and historiographer Schleiß von Löwenfeld.
1905 artificial entrance constructed, natural entrance (pothole) closed by an iron gate, Waldschänke (restaurant) built.
1935 contruction of the Waldschänke restaurant as it is today.

Description

Image: entrance portal with Biergarten.

When you approach through forest to the rocks and ckiff faces, the first thing you will mention is the romantic Waldschänke. A small blockouse, built below the cliff with the cave entrance, surrounded by a huge beer garden. The cave entrance is a staircase going down an artificial tunnel, covered by a 9m wide and 12m high rock shelter. There is also a natural entrance, a narrow shaft above todays entrance. It was grilled after the artificial entrance tunnel was built and is now used only by bats.

This cave is pretty dark, which is mainly a result of the dark black walls. The fact that this cave is visited with handheld lamps, will not make this a well lit tour. But thats exactly what makes this cave so special: it is one of the last show caves in Germany without electric light. Until a few years ago it was still visited with carbide lamps.

The first assumption about the black cover of the walls and speleothems is grime. And really, this cave was visited over centuries with light sources like torches, carbide lamps, oil lamps, or candles. But a chemical analysis revealed that it consists mostly of natural manganese. Manganese is very common in this limestone, although its amout is quite low, but it is dissolved and relocated by the ground water and then forms thin covers on the rocks. Even layers of a fraction of a millimetre are already completely dark black. There are often single rocks found, which look black, but are completely white inside. But it is rather rare that complete caves are covered by manganese. However, this caves was almost black even before the first human visitor entered it.

In various locations in the cave broken shards from the Bronze Age were found.