Gutenberger Höhle - Heppenloch

Cave of Gutenberg

Useful Information

dripstone formations.
stalagmite with micro gours.
Location: 40 km northwest of Ulm. From Ulm 39 km on the B28, then 7 km B465 to turnoff Schopfloch. From A8 exit Kirchheim/Teck ~15 km B465 to turnoff Schopfloch. Through Schopfloch, at the city limits turn left to Krebsstein. Parking at the road Schopfloch-Krebsstein, 15 min walk to the caves.
Open: MAY to OCT Sat 13-16, Sun, Hol 10-16, closed on days with bad weather.
Additional times after appointment.
Fee: Adults EUR 3.50, Children (4-16) EUR 1.50.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 2.30, Children (4-16) EUR 1.30.
Price includes visit to both caves. [2014]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave horizontal cave, Malm
Light: electric
Dimension: L=180 m, A=690 m asl. Portal: B=5 m, H=3 m.
Guided tours: L=160 m, D=30 min, V=5,100/a [2005].
Photography: Allowed
Accessibility: Not accessible; many stairs and steep trails
Bibliography: Wilfried Rosendahl, Matthias Lopez Correa, Christoph Gruner, Gerd Polikeit (1999): Die Gutenberger Höhlen, Grabenstetter höhlenkundliche Hefte, Nr. 2, ARGE HuK Grabenstetten, Grabenstetten.
Kurt Riek, Wolfgang Ufrecht (1976): Das Gutenberger Höhlensystem, Der Laichinger Höhlenfreund 21-1, 1976, S. 7ff.
Helmuth Gußmann (1960): Neues aus alter Albhöhle, Sonderdruck aus Blätter des Schwäbischen Albvereins Nr. 1/1960
Address: Ortschaftsverwaltung Gutenberg, Hauptstraße 14, 73252 Lenningen-Gutenberg, Tel: +49-7026-7822 (Mon 15-17, Tue-Fri 9-12). 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.


07-AUG-1889 foundation of the Schwäbischer Höhlenverein (Swabian Cave Club).
NOV-1889 first archaeological excavation by Karl Gußmann.
APR-1890 opened to the public.
1893 additional excavation by Karl Gußmann in the new parts.
1950-70 scientific examination of the bones by Prof. Dr. Karl Dietrich Adam, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart.
1964 installation of a bronze plate in memory of Karl Gußmann.
1967 electric light.


small cave pool.
The entrance of the Gutenberger Höhle, called Heppenloch.

The Gutenberger Höhle is primarily of palaeontological interest. In the entrance area, called Heppenloch, the remains of middle Pleistocene animals were found. The discoveries include rhinoceros, cave bear, lion and wild horses. Unique for the Swabian Jura are finds of monkeys (Macaca sylvana suevica) and wolf (Cuon alpinus PALLAS), also named Rothund (red dog).

The Heppenloch is freely accessible and was known to the locals for a very long time. It is a cave portal with a 17 m deep entrance chamber. The cave tour shows the rest of the cave, which was discovered during the first excavations 1889. The excavation was the very first action of the new founded Schwäbischer Höhlenverein (Swabian Cave Club).

During additional excavations in 1893, Karl Gußmann found a 1 m long tusk, 200 m deep inside the cave. It is not clear, how the tusk got there. There was the theory, that ice age man put it there, maybe for some spiritual reasons.

The Schwäbische Höhlenverein (Swabian Cave Club) was founded on the 27-AUG-1889 in the town Gutenberg. The first chairman was Karl Gußmann. It was the first caving club in Germany. In the first 20 years of its existence the club members worked very hard and so the club was very successful. This is one reason, why caving soon attracted many people on the Schwäbische Alb.

Most findings of the Swabian Cave Club are today in the geological-paleontological division of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Stuttgart. Some findings are on display in the Heimatmuseum Kirchheim unter Teck. One room of the museum is called Gußmannsaal to the honor of Karl Gußmann.