Hohler Fels bei Schelklingen

Hollow Rock near Schelklingen

Useful Information

Image: the hollow rock (Hohler Fels) seen from some distance.
Location: From Ulm B28 Blaubeuren-Schelklingen. Turn left at the city limits of Schelklingen. 500m to parking. 5 min walk to the cave. (74,Kf58)
Open: 1.5.-31.10. after appointment. Once a year cave celebration, once a year cave concert. On the day of the open monument (Tag des offenen Denkmals), second Sunday in September. During excavations on Thursday afternoon.
Fee: Adults EUR 1, Children EUR -.50
Classification: ExplainKarst cave, Malm (Jurassic limestones)
Light: electric
Dimension: L=120m, GH=23.4m, 534m asl, AR=500m².
Guided tours: V=3.800/a [2005].
Bibliography: (o.J.): Der Hohlefels bei Schelklingen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Eine urgeschichtliche Fundstelle im Achtal,
Kulturdenkmale in Baden-Württemberg, Kleine Führer, Blatt 46, Hrsg: Landesdenkmalamt Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart (Deutsch - German)
Wagner, E. (1979): Eiszeitjäger im Blaubeurener Tal, Führer zu archäologischen Denkmälern in Baden-Württemberg, Bd. 6, Theiss, Stuttgart 1979. (Deutsch - German)
Bernhard Mangold, Andreas Pöhler (1966): Der Hohle Fels, Laichinger Höhlenfreund, 1. Jahrgang, 2. Halbjahr 1966, Heft 2
Address: Museumsgesellschaft Schelklingen, Verein für Heimatgeschichte e.V., Merowingerstr. 8, 89601 Schelklingen
Bürgermeisteramt Schelklingen, Marktstraße 15, 89601 Schelklingen, Tel. +49-7394-2480
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.


Image: the archaeological excavation in the entrance area.
1830 first find of cave bears' bones by the potter Rixinger who was digging for clay in the cave.
1844 The cave sediments were used as fertilizer.
1870-71 Excavation by Prof. Oskar Fraas and J. Hartmann.
1872 Excursion of the Anthropologischer Vereins (Anthropologic Society) to the cave. Mos famous participant was Professor R. Virchow. Cave closed by a door.
1905 Development of stairs and paths and first of the cave festival, which are held until today.
1936 Hohler Fels declater a Naturdenkmal (Natural Monument).
1944 Confiscated by the Luftgaukommando V for purposes of the air force, cave floor partially leveled.
1955 electric light installed and cave closed with massive iron gate.
1958-60 Excavation by the local historian G. Matschak and Prof. Gustav Riek.
1966 Survey and article in the WorldLaichinger Höhlenfreund.
1977-79 Excavation by Prof. Joachim Hahn from the Institut für Urgeschichte in Tübingen in cooperation with the Landesdenkmalamt.
1987-96 Yearly excavation of six weeks by Prof. Joachim Hahn.
1997- Excavations by Prof. N. J. Conard and Prof. H.-P. Uerpmann from the Institut für Urgeschichte der Universität Tübingen.


Image: the entrance area of the cave with a small exhibition.

The Hohle Fels is one of the biggest cave chambers of the Swabian Jura. But it is more or less only this single big chamber, which is entered by a short passage which is high enough to walk upright. The cave has no speleothems, but a little moonmilk. Its main feature are the archaeological remains found here.

A big excavation took place from 1977 to 1979 by Prof. Joachim Hahn from the Institut für Urgeschichte in Tübingen in cooperation with the Landesdenkmalamt Baden-Württemberg. Famous finds were chiselled petrified wood, a harpoon amde of an antler and needles from the Magdalénien. From the Gravetien some javelin heads and ivory jewelry items.

The highlight during the excavation seasons in 1997-99 made by the Institut für Urgeschichte, Tübingen, was the finding of a painted rock. This find was well published, not even in scientific papers but also in the yellow press. Its was called the first proof of cave paintings north of the Alps.

This spectacular publications made the cave Hohler Fels well known. But not alone the way it was published is a little strange, the finding itself is not as unique as the headlines told: already in 1988 Joachim Hahn discovered painted rocks in the nearby CaveGeißenklösterle bei Blaubeuern beschrieben.

Copies of the finds of the Hohler Fels and other nearby caves of the RegionBlau valley are on display in the MiscUrgeschichtlichen Museum in Blaubeuren, in the Heimatmuseum Schelklingen and in the cave itself.

And some last remarks on the name Hohler Fels. In literature often the name Hohle Fels is used, which is actually wrong. The cave is locally called the hollow rock (der hohle Fels), because of its strange impression of being a huge hollow limestone rock. The German form for a proper noun is Hohler Fels (Hollow Rock).

Hohler Fels Gallery