Hermann's Cave

Useful Information

Cave entrance.
Cave bear memorial and cave entrance.
Cross section through the cave.
Location: In Rübeland, 14 km south Wernigerode. From Wernigerode F244 to Elbingerode, turn left, F27 to Rübeland. At the main road of Rübeland towards Rappbode-Stausee.
Open: JAN daily 9-15:30.
FEB to JUN daily 9-16:30.
JUL to AUG daily 9-17:30.
SEP to OCT daily 9-16:30.
NOV to DEC daily 9-15:30.
One of the caves closed for renovation every year during the winter months (NOV to APR).
End time is time of last tour.
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (4-16) EUR 4.50, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+3) EUR 20.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 6.50, Children (4-16) EUR 4.
Combiticket 2 caves or 1 cave + Schaubergwerk Büchenberg:
Adults EUR 12, Children (4-16) EUR 7.50, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+3) EUR 32.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 11, Children (4-16) EUR 6.50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave partly marble, horizontal cave, lower Devon.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=2,733 m (3,000 m), A=378 m asl
Guided tours: L=1,300 m, D=50 min.
V=100,000/a [2005].
Photography: forbidden
Accessibility: many stairs, not wheelchair accessible
Bibliography: Rübeland im Harz, Baumannshöhle, Hermannshöhle. Hrsg: Verwaltung der Tropfsteinhöhlen. Deutsch - German
Manfred Oelsner: Stadtführer Wernigerode, VEB Tourist Verlag Berlin, Lepzig. Deutsch - German
Address: Rübeländer Tropfsteinhöhlen, Tourismusbetrieb der Stadt Elbingerode (Harz), Blankenburgstraße 35, 38889 Rübeland, Tel: +49-39454-49132, Fax: +49-39454-53475. 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.


28-JUL-1866 discovered during road works.
1887 intensive exploration, big discoveries.
01-MAY-1890 electric light.
1949 tour path increased.
1970 new discoveries.


Side passage with some dripstones and an elliptic profile.
Calzite crystals are on display.
Strange solution marks.

Hermannshöhle (Hermann's Cave) is the larger and geologically more interesting of the two Rübeland show caves. It has three levels, at the bottom an active river cave with a cave stream, most of which can only be entered with diving equipment. Exploration by cave divers has extended this level in recent years.

Visitors enter the cave on the middle level and ascend to the top level during the tour, where they leave the cave again. One of the cave's attractions, the Kristallkammer (Crystal Chamber), is located on the middle level. Filigree, snow-white crystals of calcite have formed here in the stagnant water. Such crystals are quite rare in Germany, so there are only a few show caves that can offer something like this.

A large number of bones were found on the top level, mostly from cave bears (Ursus spelaeus). Some bear skulls and other bones can be seen during the tour. But the highlight here is a replica of a cave bear standing erect, which illustrates its extraordinary size of almost 3.5 m. This skeleton was acquired a few years ago, it is actually not from this cave.

A man-made cave lake at the highest point of the cave is the second major attraction. It contains living olms from Slovenia. 5 specimens were introduced in 1932 and a further 13 specimens in 1956, originating from Istria. Hermann's Cave is the only place in Germany where you can see living BiologyOlms (Proteus anguinus) from Slovenia. As they have been living in the cave for many years, it was always expected that they would eventually reproduce. The disappointment was great when they did not. Someone claimed that they were only male animals and therefore could not reproduce. In fact, socialist Yugoslavia had got into the habit of only releasing male animals, precisely to prevent them from reproducing. Even the status as a "socialist brother country" did not help. Later the import of further animals was no longer possible for conservation reasons. Others speculated that the temperature in the cave of 8 °C was too low. In fact, reproduction is temperature-dependent; above 18 °C, no development of eggs and larvae is possible. As olms do not normally colonize karst waters below 10 °C, there could also be a limit here. In fact, both speculations turned out to be untrue: after the concreted basin was completely overhauled in 2015, especially when it was brought into a much more natural state, gels appeared soon afterwards. This has now happened three times, in 2016, 2017 and 2020, so it was simply too uncomfortable for sex before. However, all of these eggs died after a while, and since this has already happened three times, there is a good chance that it is actually too cold. Although they live to a fairly advanced age of 70 to 100 or perhaps even 150 years, the time in which you can still see olms in Germany is therefore limited.

photography photography photography photography
Stalagmite, Cave bear Ursus spelaeus, cave exit