In Mühlheim an der Donau
A81 Stuttgart-Singen exit Geisingen, B311 to Tuttlingen, along the Donau to Mühlheim. 2 km NNE Mühlheim, from Mühlheim-Altstadt marked trail to the cave.
Ascension Day 9-17.
During Summer for groups after prior notice.
Ascension Day free.
Special tour free, donation welcome.
|Classification:||Karst cave horizontal cave, Kimmeridge 2|
electric light on Ascension Day.
For special tours bring torch.
|Dimension:||L=134 m, A=780 m asl., T=7 °C.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Schwäbischer Albverein e.V., Ortsgruppe Mühlheim, Peter Glatz, Lippachtalstraße 29, 78570 Mühlheim an der Donau, Tel: +49-173-6595713.
Verkehrsamt Mühlheim, Schlossstraße 1, 78570 Mühlheim an der Donau, Tel: +49-7463-8903. 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.
|1813||a cave visitor leaves an inscription in the final hall.|
|1912||developed by the Swabian Alb Association as a show cave.|
|1997||ladder renewed in the last room.|
The Mühlheimer Höhle is quite a small cave, but has some dripstones and sinter pools in its main hall at the end. A single passage leads in twists and turns to a somewhat more spacious passage called the Great Hall. A little further on, at the end of the passage is the End Hall, reached after a descent, down an 8 m high aluminium ladder.
The cave is also called Mühlheimer Felsenhöhle (Rock Cave of Mühlheim). The name is explained by the fact that its entrance lies open in the rock pile. This, of course, only explains one curious term by another curious term, so it is not an explanation at all. Felsenhöhle is simply a colloquial term that actually has no meaning at all.
The entrance is at the foot of a rock overlooking a loop of the picturesque upper Danube valley and the village of Mühlheim. To reach it, park at the cemetery of Mühlheim, at the end of the village in the direction of Kolbingen. From here, a comfortable hiking trail leads uphill, along the northern slope of the Danube valley towards the east. After an ascent of about 20 minutes, you reach the cave.
The rock cave is not regularly operated as a show cave. It is open and electrically lit once a year on Ascension Day, in Germany generally called Father's Day, as part of a festival. For this purpose, a cable several hundred metres long is laid to the cave, which is dismantled again after the event. If you want to visit the cave at any other time of the year, this is only possible by arrangement for groups. In this case, of course, there is no electricity and thus no electric lighting.
The cave was opened up as a show cave as early as 1912 by the Mühlheim local group of the Schwäbischer Ablberein (Swabian Jura Association), which still looks after it today. Despite a restoration in 1977, the paths are not in the condition one is used to in a show cave. Two ladders (2.5 m and 8 m high) and a bridge over a 25 m deep crevice have to be negotiated. The bridge and the second ladder were renewed in 1997, and the ladder even has a railing.
There are no real difficulties or dangers in exploring the cave. But you have to bend down several times under the low ceiling, climb or descend several metres over rock, or even stoop under a rock overhang to enter the longer ladder to the final hall. Here, even the rock has been padded to protect the visitor's head during the ascent. Good shoes, appropriate clothing that can get dirty and a torch are recommended. The cave is certainly not recommended for people with walking difficulties, but for children it is a unique experience.
A cave-biological speciality can be found at the end of the cave in the final hall. Some small sinter pools, which are rather rare in the Swabian Jura, provide a habitat for springtails. These primordial insects are so small that they are carried by the surface tension of the water. They are hardly visible to the naked eye, but you notice that they are not dust on the surface of the water as soon as they move. If you shine a torch on them, they try to escape from the brightness with great leaps. They have a spiky tail with strong muscles and can jump several decimetres by pushing off with this tail, which also explains their name.