Sinterterrassen von Weißenbrunn

Rimstone Pools of Weißenbrunn

Useful Information

Location: Emstadter Straße, 96472 Rödental.
(50.3558629, 11.0061841)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstSinter Terraces
Light: n/a
Dimension: A=390 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Rathaus Weißenbrunn, Bergstr. 21, 96369 Weißenbrunn, Tel: +49-9261-6021-0. E-mail:
Fremdenverkehrsverein Weißenbrunn, Rothmühlweg 2, 96369 Weißenbrunn, Cell: +49-176-70037193. 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.



The Sinterterrassen von Weißenbrunn (Rimstone Pools of Weißenbrunn) are calcareous tuff deposits which were formed by the precipitation of limestone in the bed of the Birketsbach. To the west of the village, in a small side valley of the Itz, there are two karst springs with limestone rich water. The water springs from the Lower Muschenkalk at the border to the Röt. The name Weißenbrunn means white well and refers to the high amount of limestone in the Birkertsbach. The limestone tufa was deposited during the most recent interglacial periods, at times with somewhat higher temperatures and probably also greater precipitation. The water from these springs poured over the meadows of the entire valley and deposited a tufa deposit which was 1000 m long, 150-200 m wide and 8-13 m thick.

But even today, tufa is still being deposited; due to the escape of carbon dioxide from the water, it is no longer able to hold the lime in solution. This is also due to the mosses in the stream bed, which consume the carbon dioxide from the water through photosynthesis, but in the process are encrusted by limestone and are responsible for the deposited lime being porous. The rock also contains the shells of snails and the imprints of leaves and higher plants that were encrusted and then decayed. In earlier times, the rock was quarried for building purposes, especially for chimneys and vaults, but it was also used in glass production. Due to its high porosity, it insulates very well.

The sinter terraces are very young deposits which form dams in the streambed, thereby damming up the water in a series of basins or steps. They can be observed in many places, the most beautiful being in the village on Ernstadter Straße, in a small park. Here the stream overcomes fifteen metres in height in a four-step waterfall. There is also a board with explanations. The sinter terraces are protected as a geotope by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU).

Weißenbrunn lies in the southern foothills of the Thuringian Forest, though not in Thuringia but in Upper Franconia, not far from the border. Geologically, it belongs to the Obermain-Bruchschollenland.