Dechen Cave

Useful Information

Location: A46 exit Letmathe, 1 km E Letmathe, at the B7. At the train station Dechenhöhle of the line Letmathe-Iserlohn. (40,Hd40)
Open: JAN to MAR daily 10:30, 12, 14, 15:30.
APR to OCT daily 10:30, 12, 14, 15:30, 16:30.
NOV to DEC daily 10:30, 12, 14, 15:30.
Winter School Holidays: daily 10-16.
Fee: Cave with Museum: Adults EUR 6, Children (3-14) EUR 4.
Groups (25+): Adults EUR 5, Children (3-14) EUR 3.50.
Museum: Adults EUR 3.50, Children (3-14) EUR 2.50.
Groups (25+): Adults EUR 3, Children (3-14) EUR 2.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave horizontal cave, Middle Devon (reef limestone) SubterraneaCave and Karst Museum
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=17,000 m, T=10 °C.
Guided tours: L=360 m, D=30 min. V=200,000/a [2000] V=57,200/a [2004]
Bibliography: Elmar Hammerschmidt, Stefan Niggemann (1998): Führer zur Dechenhöhle, Schriften zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde in Westfalen, 2: 20 S.; Iserlohn.
Address: Betriebsführung Dechenhöhle, Dechenhöhle 5, 58644 Iserlohn-Letmathe, Tel: +49-2374-71421, Fax: +49-2374-750100, E-mail: contact
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.


1868 discovered during the construction of the railroad tracks Letmathe-Iserlohn.
1868 development of 280 m and inauguration, lighted with candles.
1872 light rebuilt using 200 gas lamps.
1890 electric light.
1912 discovery of another part of the cave, called Wolfsschlucht (gorge of wolfes), which was included into the tour.
1979 inauguration of the cave museum.
1985 sold by the Deutsche Bahn.


The Dechenhöhle was discovered during the construction of the railroad tracks Letmathe-Iserlohn by some railroad workers. The story goes, a worker lost his hammer, and after a long search he found the hammer and the cave entrance. The cave was owned by the railroad company for more then 100 years and has its own station.

The cave got its name after Oberberghauptmann Heinrich von Dechen (*1800-✝1889). He was a famous geologist and speleologist at this time.

Very interesting is the cave museum near the cave entrance. It informs about the cave, the geological situation and the cave bear bones found in the cave. The mechanisms of cave formation and origins of mankind are also explained. A central exhibit is the life size reconstruction of a cave bear.