Useful Information

Location: 91346 Wiesenttal.
(49.8179807, 11.2446061)
Open: MAY to SEP no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=600 m, VR=19 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Helmuth Cramer, R. Oedl (1933): Das Schönstein-Höhlengebiet (Fränkische Schweiz), Speläologisches Jahrbuch, Band XIII/XIV (1932/33), S. 29ff. pdf
Josef Heller (1829): Muggendorf und seine Umgebungen oder die Fränkische Schweiz, Nachdruck der 1. Auflage aus dem Jahre 1829, Palm & Enke, Erlangen 1979. online
Address: Touristinformation Wiesenttal, Forchheimer Str. 8, 91346 Wiesenttal-Muggendorf, Tel: +49-9196-929931, Fax: +49-9196-929930. 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.


1774 explored by Johann Christian Rosenmüller, Johann Friedrich Esper and August Goldfuß.
1903 Major Adalbert Neischl, Josef Reger, Friedrich Schöndorf and Walter von Knebel discover further parts, survey and cave plan.
1922 Robert Oedl and other Salzburg speleologists explore the cave, survey and cave plan.
1923 plans by the Franconian Alb Association to open up the cave as a show cave fail.
1952 Herbert W. Franke and Willi Zaunik discover the connection to Brunnstein Cave.
1991 placed under protection as a natural monument.


Der Brunnenstein - Der Eingang (the double Entrance). Public Domain.

The Brunnsteinhöhle (Brunnstein Cave) is an entrance to the Schönsteinhöhle (Schönstein Cave). The Schwingbogen natural bridge also once belonged to this cave system, but unlike the Brunnstein Cave, it was separated by weathering. Originally, the connection was unknown and the two cave entrances had different names. Even with the introduction of the cave cadastre, they were given their own cadastral numbers, C9 and C10. The connection was unknown until 1952, when Herbert W. Franke and Willi Zaunik discovered it. The old reports speak of magnificent sinter formations. In 1904, the speleologist Neischl reports sinter pearls, huge stalactites, some of them already broken, and delicate stalagmites growing on them. Even though much is still there, everything that could be broken off has already been broken off by someone.

Since the Wirtschaftswunder in the 1950s, the number of visitors has increased dramatically, and at weekends the cave is virtually besieged. The Germans discovered holidays, weekend trips, and visiting caves. So the cave made a lot of headlines from the 1950s onwards due to accidents by inexperienced cave tourists. At the same time, however, research successes were achieved, such as the connection between the Brunnstein Cave and the Schönstein Cave. At some point, however, it became too much, and the caving association which looks after the caves blocked the connecting crawl, and a door was also attached to the Schönstein Cave. So it is possible that the Brunnstein Cave is accessible while the Schönstein Cave is blocked. Nevertheless, accidents occur every year, providing the cave rescue representative enough material for his humorous report at the annual general assembly of the VdHK.

The caves are located only a little below the plateau, so they are among the oldest caves in the Franconian Alb. They can be reached in two ways, once from the B470, just after leaving Streitberg towards Muggendorf. There is a hikers' car park on the left, from here a hiking trail leads up the Lange Tal, at the top you turn right to the caves. The path that branches off to the right halfway in the Lange Tal is more scenic. It offers views of the Wiesenttal valley, and you reach the caves from the other side. The caves can be reached in half an hour on both paths. The shortest approach is from the Schönsteinhöhle car park. This car park was opened in 2018, before it could only be accessed with a special permit. In Streitberg, turn left onto the St 2186 to Oberfellendorf and there turn right towards Neudorf. After the second left-hand bend, there is a turn-off to the car park on the right. From here it is only a 10-minute walk to the caves.

The narrow parts of all the caves are only accessible for cave trekking. For more information, please contact the tourist information office in Muggendorf. The Schwingbogen can of course be visited all year round. The Brunnstein Cave is accessible all year round, while the Schönstein Cave is closed in winter. According to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, both caves are off-limits to visitors due to bat protection from October to March, even without being gated. However, the door of the Schönstein Cave is locked including April. And if there has been another spectacular cave accident, it sometimes remains closed all year. The dangers of the cave are not new:

"Da sie sehr viele Seitengänge und Schluchten hat, so ist sie ohne bewanderte Führer oder andere Vorsichtsmaßnahmen nicht leicht zu besuchen."
"As it has many side passages and gorges, it is not easy to visit without a knowledgeable guide or other precautions."
Josef Heller (1829): Muggendorf und seine Umgebungen oder die Fränkische Schweiz

We have deliberately chosen Brunnstein Cave as the title for this page. If you want to visit a cave, visit this one. After the low entrance there is a larger hall, a low side passage is worthwhile because of beautiful dripstones, but because of clay and water you will definitely get dirty. Caving equipment is needed for all other parts of the caves, and climbing equipment is required for the many small and large shafts. We can only appeal to you not to visit the Schönsteinhöhle on your own, despite its high popularity. The Franconian Switzerland offers three beautiful show caves and about a dozen semi-wild caves which are completely safe to visit.