|Location:||Eastern Slopes of the Mariazeller Bürgeralpe, near Mariazell. 45min walk from the cable car, 1.5h walk from Mariazell. ÖHV: 1831/1|
After appointment, certain days see homepage.
|Dimension:||L=375m, VR=17m, A=1,031m asl.|
|Address:||Hohlensteinhöhle, Höhlenverein Hohlenstein Mariazellerland (HVHM), Mario Kuss, Tel: +43-664-7605432. E-mail:|
|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.
|1832||first written mention.|
|1928||Höhlen Forscher Klub Mariazell (Caving Club Mariazell) founded.|
|1934||developed as a show cave by Wawritzka, Fritz Weißenbacher, and others.|
|18+19-05-1974||survey by J. Draxler, W. Mitterecker, A. Schmied, and M. Schmied.|
|24-SEP-2010||Höhlenverein Hohlenstein Mariazellerland (HVHM) founded.|
|2014||old wooden structures removed, new development, reopened as a show cave.|
The Hohlensteinhöhle (Hollow Rock Cave) is located at the eastern slopes of the Mariazeller Bürgeralpe. Here is a rocky outcrop in the middle of the cow pastures, which is known as Hohlenstein (Hollow Rock) for a long time. Obviously the people knew the numerous caves and abris of this place and used them for a long time. The entrance section is very wide, a huge portal with a wide passage behind. The cave behind this section - which was widened by frost - is much smaller but still a nice passage. The huge entrance was also called Rabenburg (Raven Castle).
The use of the Hohlensteinhöhle as a show cave was an idea of the newly founded Höhlen Forscher Klub Mariazell (Caving Club Mariazell). It was developed and opened to the public in 1934. But after some years the enthusiasm vanished, and we guess World War II was also responsible. The guided tours were discontinued.
The cave was open for self guided tours for many years. Many guests visited the cave, and unfortunately a lot of vandalism and pollution happened over the years. Additionally the wooden structures from the show cave, the wooden staircases, became unsafe. In general wooden structures are not a good idea in damp caves, because they rot and because they produce an unnatural source of food which changes the cave life. Another problem was fire in the form of torches and candles, and in the form of campfires in the huge entrance. This was extremely disturbing for all cave animals.
In 2010 the Höhlenverein Hohlenstein Mariazellerland (HVHM, Caving Club Hohlenstein Mariazellerland) was founded, and two of its members were certified cave guides. They started to clean up the cave, and they reopened the cave for regular guided tours in 2012, as a semi-wild show cave. The wooden structures were removed and replaced by more natural stone staircases, one after the other. Only very few artificial materials are used, and the cave still has no light. The trail is not yet completely restored, and the regular guided tours have not started yet  but it is possible to visit the cave after appointment and on special pre-scheduled Sundays. The length of the refurbished trail increases continually. This cave is equipped with trails and stone staircases, but there is no light, so the guides provide hard hats with headlamps.
To reach the cave you can just walk there from Mariazell, which is about 1.5 hours ascend. You can also take the cable car to the Mariazeller Bürgeralpe and walk downhill for 30 minutes. The guided tour take 45 minutes and the walk down into town another 45 minutes. The Heimatmuseum at Mariazell contains a lot of documents and exhibits from the first development of the cave, so it a good completion of the visit. All in all you should reserve half a day for the cave visit.