Lurgrotte Peggau


Useful Information

Location: Lurgrottenstrasse 1/2, 8120 Peggau.
25 km north of Graz. Near Peggau in the Steiermark (Styria) right beside the federal highway S35 between Bruck/Mur and Graz.
(47.215602, 15.343660)
Open: APR to OCT daily 10-16, Mon-Fri 11, 14, 15, Sat, Sun every hour on the full hour.
Abenteuerführungen (adventure tours): DEC to MAR Sat, Sun 9:45, only with reservation.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 9, Children (15-18) EUR 7, Children (0-14) EUR 6.50.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 8, Children (15-18) EUR 6, Children (0-14) EUR 5.50.
Long tour: Adults EUR 14, Children (15-18) EUR 9, Children (0-14) EUR 8.50.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 12, Children (15-18) EUR 8, Children (0-14) EUR 7.50.
Abenteuerführungen (adventure tours): Per Person EUR 70.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyriver cave.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=6,000 m, T=10 °C, A=420 m asl.
Guided tours: Regular tour: L=1,000 m, D=1 h.
Long tour: L=2,000 m, St=250, D=2 h.
Abenteuerführungen (adventure tours): L=8,000 m, D=5-6 h.
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography: Ralf Benischke (1994): Festschrift Lurgrotte 1894-1994, 332 pp 82 B&W & 14 colour photos 4 surveys.
In 1894 this cave became world famous when 7 cavers were trapped underground for a week by a flash flood. This book tells the story of the rescue with excerpts and photos from old news papers, diaries etc. The history of exploration, geology and hydrology, flora and fauna etc are all covered in this detailed monograph. Trevor Shaw describes some early cave "Stamps" sold to raise funds for exploration work. Nicely produced on art paper SB Deutsch - German
Address: Lurgrottengesellschaft Peggau, Lurgrottenstrasse 1/2, 8120 Peggau, Tel: +43-68023-24281. 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.

History

1601 first picture of the cave entrance.
1822 first mentioned.
01-APR-1894 Max Brunello, an Italian speleologist, explored the Semriach entrance of the cave.
1894 seven cavers trapped underground for a week by a flash flood.
29-APR-1896 six cave explorers were trapped inside the cave by a flood.
1912 Lurgrottengesellschaft, a company to develop the cave, founded.
1913 drainage adit provided access from Peggau.
1924 the link between the Peggau an Semriach part was discovered.
1935 first through-trip through both parts, Peggau and Semriach, by J. Gangl and 15 other cavers.
1937 start of development of Peggau part.
1957 Peggau part opened to the public.
1962 cave through tour with a length of 5 km developed and opened to the public.
1963 a flood destroyed the paths, which were soon repaired.
1975 once again, a flood damaged the paths, this time the paths were not restored.

Description

The Lurgrotte (Lur Cave, also Lurgrotte Cave) is Austria's largest and most beautiful stalactite cave. It is a through-cave and an active river cave. The water of the Lurbach (Lur Brook) enters the cave near Semriach at 640 m asl and leaves at a resurgence near Peggau at 400 m asl. The cave system in between is 6 km long, on both ends of the cave is a show cave. The show cave at Semriach is privately owned, the show cave at Peggau is maintained by a Grotto. The description on this page is for the Peggau show cave.

On this side originally only a spring was visible, the resurgence of the water which enters the cave at Semriach. In 1913 a drainage tunnel hit the cave behind the spring and thus made it accessible from Peggau. In 1924 the two cave systems were connected. Eleven years later, in 1935 the first through trip was made by the Steirischer Höhlenklub (Cave club of Styria), lead by J. Gangl. Explorers were now able to climb the cave from Peggau to Semriach.

The development of the cave as a show cave started at the end of World War II. At this time there was only one show cave, and it took almost 20 years to complete the trails through the cave. In the 1960s it was possible to cross the cave to the other end, a 5 km long tour, but the frequent floods destroyed parts of the trail. After some reconstructions the futility was finally realized and since the mid 1970s there is no regular tour anymore. A few decades ago through trips were still offered, most of the trip was on the trails and a few sections where the trail is destroyed, were easy canyoning. Unfortunately the current operators of the two show caves despise each other, so each one offers special tours into this passage, but not to the other show cave.

From this side its possible to visit 2 km of the trails, there is a normal tour showing 1 km with electric light The long tour shows the full 2 km, but there is no light on the second part, visitors are equipped with carbide lamps. From December until March there is also an adventure tour into the historic part, which is only partly developed and has no electric light.

In the 1960s it was possible to cross the cave to the other end, a 5 km long tour, but the frequent floods destroyed parts of the trail. After some reconstructions the futility was finally realized and since the mid 1970s there is no regular tour anymore. A few decades ago through trips were still offered, most of the trip was on the trails and a few sections where the trail is destroyed, were easy canyoning. Unfortunately the current operators of the two show caves despise each other, so each one offers special tours into this passage, but not to the other show cave.

The ticket to the cave also includes the visit of the Urgeschichtliches Museum Peggau (Museum of Prehistory Peggau). There is also an exhibition called Eiszeitliche Rentierjägerstation (Ice Age Hunter Station). And there is a Höhlenmuseum (Cave Museum) at the entrance. The cave is regularly used for rescue exercise by the Höhlenrettung (cave resue) of the VÖH, the Austrian caving society.