Southern entrance at Bözingen, near Biel.
Northern entrance near Friedliswart.
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Taubenlochschlucht, Taubenloch-Gesellschaft Biel, p.A. Paul Blösch, Präsident, Logengasse 8, 2502 Biel. 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.
|1532||first written mention.|
|1859||road through the Klus opened to the public.|
|1874||Jurabahn from Biel to Basel opened.|
|1969||start of new road.|
|1889||development of the gorge with a trail and opening to the public.|
|1998||a child killed by rockfall.|
|2009||trail partly destroyed by rockfall.|
The Taubenlochschlucht (gorge of the dove hole) is a Klus, a typical gorge of the Jura. The Jura is formed by folds with the axis running southwest to northeast. As a result there are valleys and mountains ridges running in the same direction. Rivers draining to the north or south have the problem to cross the mountain ridges or anticlinals. Some do this underground, as the area is karstified, others have cut deep gorges into the mountain ridges which cross the ridge to the next parallel valley. These are the gorges called Klus.
The name Taubenlochschlucht may have three different origins. The simplest explanation is the huge number of doves which nestle in holes in the cliff faces. As the name is rather old it may also originate from the old word Daube or Tobel, which means trench or gorge. But there is also a legend explaining the name.
Once a young man from the area loved a beautiful maiden, which was called La Colombe (dove) because of her beauty. The two wanted to marry, but the tyran of Rondchâtel also fell in love with the girl, and stalked her. So the girl tried to hide in the gorge and fell to death. To her honor the gorge was named Gorges de la petite colombe or Taubenloch.
This gorge was always of great importance as a connection between the valleys. In Roman times it was not possible to build a road through the gorge, so there was a detour through the Klus of Rondchâtel. This route was used until the mid 19th century, when the increasing amount of traffic made a better route necessary. The first road through the Klus was opened to the public in 1859. It had a huge rock bridge, called Tubelochbrügg, crossing the gorge without a single pillar, which was a technical wonder of the time. The railroad was built through the Klus in 1874, the Jurabahn from Biel to Basel. It actually avoids the gorge with two tunnels. The modern road system with motorways was started in 1969. The name of the project is Transjurane T16, and because of technical difficulties and high costs it will be completed probably in 2025 or 2030. It will then connect the motorway south of the Jura with the Motorway north of the Jura. The section across the Taubenloch is completed. The two line were splitted and built on different sides of the valley.
The touristic development of the groge started with the foundation of the non-profit société d'exploitation des gorges du Taubenloch. They built a trail through the gorge, opened it to the public, and maintain it since then. The trail between Bözingen and Frinvillier is two kilometers long.