A52/A53 cross near Hinwil, leave at roundabout towards Hinwil. Turn right on Zürichstraße, then turn left on Ringwilerstraße, leave Hinwil, after 2km in Ringwil turn right and again left on Nürbruchstraße. After 800m turn left on Höhenstraße, then after 800m right, and after 800m again right. It is tricky to find, as there are many farms which are not very good signposted.
|Open:||no restrictions |
|Classification:||Erosional cave in conglomerate|
|Light:||n/a, bring torch for small cave nearby|
|Address:||Winterthur Tourismus, 8400 Winterthur, Tel. +41-52267-6700.|
|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.
|1524||Zürcher Täufer split from the church.|
|31-MAR-2007||wooden path replaced by iron path.|
The Täuferhöhle (Baptist Cave) near Bäretswil is a small cave, a huge portal with a single cavern behind, with bare walls. It is located in the forest, and from the dry interior one has a nice view downhill into the forest. This cave, probably a good station since Stone Age, became famous and named in the 16th century, when Täufer (Anabaptists) used the cave as a hiding place. There is a small cave nearby, which is quite dark and requires a torch, but this huge cavern is well lit. It is a fine place for a picknick or a christian service, and there is a fireplace for barbecue.
The Zürcher Täufer were a certain group of reformed christs, which separated from the church in 1524 in Zürich and followed their own beliefs. The main principles of their religion were adult baptism, hence the name, religious freedom, and social rights. Because of their social ideas, they were very popular among farmers and craftsmen. But because the same ideas were feared by the government and the church, they were persecuted. So they had to hide and worship in secluded places like this cave.
The name is an etymologic connection with the Täufer movement. The archaeological connection are various tools, sherds and combs, which were found in the cave. According to local legend, the first martyr of the Anabaptists was hiding here. And subsequently many other people used the cave as a hideout. Other legends tell about secret passages at the far end of the cave, now covered by collapsed rocks, which once led to Schloss Girenbad, another to the castle ruin Greifenberg. Another story tells about the haunted, who shoed their hores in the wrong direction in order to confuse their chasers. Those legend are very popular and are told about hundreds of caves. Rather unique is the legend about a huge crack in the ceiling of the cave. The story goes, that it formed in the same second Jesus died.
The Anabaptists were sometimes tolerated, sometimes prosecuted. It depended mainly on the country. Many people left Europe during this time and later because they hoped they would not be prosecuted in America. Today there are numerous Mennonite communities in the eastern U.S.A. which are descendants of the Anabaptists from Zürich.