Grotta dei Cristalli

Crystal Cave of Cioss Prato


Useful Information

Location: Cioss Prato, Nufenenpaß. Between Furka valley and Airolo, on top of the pass. In the restaurant.
Open: Winter season Sat, Sun 9-17:30.
School holidays: daily 9-17:30.
[2020]
Fee: Adults CHF 7, Children CHF 5, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) SFR 20, Family (1+2) SFR 15.
Groups (10+): Adults CHF 6, Children CHF 4.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Replica
Light: electric
Dimension:
Guided tours:
Photography:
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Grotta dei Cristalli, Cioss Prato, 6781 Bedretto, Tel: +41-91869-2188, Cell: +41-79-4027987 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

27-DEC-2015 opened to the public.

Description

The Grotta dei Cristalli is actually a mineral museum. But it is built like an artificial cave or cleft, with huge pockets in the rock where huge crystals are placed. The idea is that you actually venture into the mountain and discover the minerals yourself. The crystalls include rare smoky quartz crystals, famous iron roses from the St Gotthard area and typical elongated quartz crystals from the Bedretto Valley.

The museum is located in the Capanna Piansecco hut, which also contains a restaurant. The cave can be visited during the open hours of the restaurant. The crystalls are the personal collection of the famous Strahler or Cristallieri (crystal hunter) Gilberto Leonardi. Together with his son and numerous friends he created the artificial cave. The minerals which are on display here are unique and of international fame. And numerous clefts the famous Strahler found himself are reconstructed in the way he found them. The most impressive is probably the large needle quartz cleft from San Giacomo. It is approximately 2.5m x 3m in size and actually identical to its original state: the pieces were numbered during the recovery, carefully cleaned and reassembled correctly. Only the distance between the walls of the fissure was increased by 15cm to allow an optimal view of the crystals.