Useful Information

Location: Oetschwil 156, 9608 Bütschwil-Ganterschwil.
(47.3616736, 9.0919404)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyCaves Behind Waterfalls
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Anina Rütsche (2019): Die Höhle hinter dem Wasserfall, HBSG Donnerstag, 28. März 2019. pdf
Address: Oetschwil 156, 9608 Ganterschwil.
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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1369 hermitage of three hermits and a priest first mentioned, the land was donated to them by Graf von Toggenburg.
15th century now and then inhabited by a single hermit.
18th century once a year mass held at the hermitage.
1865 hermitage and chapel demolished in 1865.


The Bruedertöbeli (Brother's Pot) is a spectacular cave behind a waterfall. Created by the waterfall, which eroded a soft layer of rock, the huge cavern is developed with a trail, benches and a railing. A local non-profit association created this rest area for the hikers. There is also a side passage which can easily be explored. The cave is also called Bruedertöbeli-Höhle (Brother's Pot Cave). The waterfall is located more or less in the middle of cave, and it's quite hard to understand how this rather harmless brook formed this enormous cavern. We think it's a result of the melting water from the glaciers of the last ice age, which created the cave. The Alps were covered by a massive layer of ice which melted down in a few hundred years.

The name contains "brother", which is not meant as "sibling", it is meant as "monk". The place was the location of a hermitage, which was founded after the Graf von Toggenburg donated a piece of land to some hermits in 1369. Three hermits and a priest lived here. The site was never a big monastery, at some times it was inhabited only by a single hermit. But in the 18th century once a year on 22-JUL the people from the surrounding villages came for a mass. Then the hermitage was inhabited by poor people. The attempt by four men to reopen the hermitage in 1851/52 was seen as an attempt to revitalize an outdated institution and failed. The hermitage and the chapel were finally demolished in 1865. The hermitage is gone, but the chapel was rebuilt some time ago.

It is easily reached on a 1 km hike from the Bruedertöbeli chapel up the river gorge. From Ganterschwil follow road towards Bütschwil, turn left the first possibility after leaving the city Ganterschwil. After 1.6 km you reach the chapel, follow the trail behind the chapel into the valley uphill. If you are walk slowly, it's a half-hour pleasant walk to the waterfall.