|Image: Rusenschloß and Große Grotte as seen from Blaubeuren.|
|Location:||Blaubeuren. East of the village, below the ruined castle Rusenschloß. Accessible by foot from Blaubeuren or from the Rusenschloß.|
JAN to JUL closed.
AUG to SEP open.
OCT to DEC closed.
|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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|1960||start of archaeological excavations by Prof G. Riek.|
|1964||end of excavations.|
|Image: view outside.|
The Große Grotte (Big Grotto) was named such because of the fact, that it is really big and a grotto. The term grotto was used in German for a very short cave, in general a cave which is higher than deep. Such a cave has no totally dark part. It is bright and dry, and has enough room for a large group of people. Facing towards southwest the sun shines in during the afternoon, and the place is a warm and dry place. Today it is surrounded by trees, but during the ice age, without the trees, it was a fine outlook.
|Image: results of the excavations.|
The Große Grotte was excavated between 1960 and 1964 by the archaeologist Prof. G. Riek. The results were impressive, but not as extraordinary as the artworks of the nearby caves of the Aach valley. This cave was visited by Neanderthals between 60,000 and 45,000 before present. This was the begin of the last cold period of the Ice Age, and so the cave was used only for short times, as climatic reasons made a continuous settlement impossible. The archaeologists believe the cave was visited the cave every 100 to 1,000 days, for a few days while on a hunting trip. It is possible the used the cave not only as a shelter, but also as a viewpoint to wait for families of prey crossing the valley.
Today the cave is a popular station for hikers. The path from the village Blaubeuren up to the castle has a short branch off to the cave. Several climbing routes in the rock make it a popular location for climbers, several routes start in the cave. Thhe cave is visible from far, at its location at the foot of the cliff. Together with the castle above it is a romantic motiv, drawn and painted for centuries. It is one of the highlights of Blaubeuren.
|Große Grotte Gallery|