Pießling Ursprung

Useful Information

Location: At Roßleithen, near Spital am Pyhrn. Start at the parking lot at the restaurant Sengsschmied, Sensenwerk, in Roßleithen, 20 min walk. (N47°42,113' E014°16,429') (1636/3)
Open: no restrictions [2006]
Fee: free [2006]
Classification: KarstKarst spring SpeleologyKarst cave. Dachsteinkalk, Triassic limestone (200Ma).
Light: no light.
Dimension: Yield: av=2,000 l/s, max=38,000 l/s. Catchment area: AR=95 km². Cave: VR=80 m, L=1,500 m.
Guided tours:
Bibliography: W. Buchbauer (1978): Pießling Ursprung, Mitteilungen des Vereines für Höhlenkunde Sierning, (1): 5-8.
K. Trotzl, G. Teimer (1962): Erster Tauchereinsatz im Pießlingursprung (Oberösterreich), Die Höhle, 13 (4): 84-88.
Robert Seebacher (2002): Tauchgang im Endsiphon des Pießling-Ursprung,
Address: Gemeinde Roßleithen, Pichl 22, 4580 Windischgarsten, Tel: +43-7562-5230-0, Fax: +43-7562-5230-77. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1962 first dives by W. Fuchs and G. Teimer in the water cave reach a depth of 52 m.
1975 cave divers from Linz and from the Tauchklub Delphin revive research.
1977 water pumped out of a side passage and an 1,000 m long dry branch discovered.
1987 a female cave diver dies in an accident, another diver who tried to rescue her died too.
26-MAR-2002 exploration of the end siphon by Robert Seebacher.


The name Pießling Ursprung means spring of the river Pießling. It is one of the largest karst springs in Austria, with a Yield of up to 38,000 l/s during snow melt. It drains an area of some 95 km² which is called the Warscheneck, a part of the Totes Gebirge, a famous karst area with many huge caves. The main peak of this massive is also called Warscheneck and 2,388 m high. The Pießling-Bach (Pießling river) is only seven kilometers long. It is a tributary of the Teichl, then Steyr, Enns and finally the Danube, which flows into the Black Sea.

The spring is the end of a waterfilled cave system. This cave was explored since 1962, but it became famous, or better infamous, in 1987 when a female cave diver died in the cave. During the rescue operation another diver, a police officer, died too. A second rescue diver had a decompression accident. Finally, the famous German cave diver Jochen Hasenmayer was called. He reached a depth of 80 m but could not discover of the dead female diver. As a result the spring was closed for cave diving and was not explored anymore.

The spring cave is closed until today, but since 1977 another part of the cave system is known. Right above the spring is another cave entrance, which leads to a small siphon. The water was pumped out for the first time in 1977, and a cave passage of about 1,000 m was explored. This dry cave has a siphon at its end which is currently the center of exploration.