Kolbinger Höhle - Stephanshöhle

Cave of Kolbingen - Stephan's Cave

Useful Information

The cave of Kolbingen lies on a cliff above the Danube valley near Fridingen.
The path to the cave entrance crosses a through cave, maybe another part of the same cave system.
The lower exit of the through cave. Steps lead to the main cave.
Location: A81 exit Rottweil, B14 to Tuttlingen or exit Tuningen, B253 to Tuttlingen. Kolbingen lies 15 km NE Tuttlingen über Mühlheim a.d. Donau. 2,5 km SE Kolbingen, follow Oberdorfstraße and Höhlenweg, signposted from Kolbingen. (73,Lf60)
Open: Mid-APR to OCT Sat 13-17, Sun 10-17.
Fee: Adults EUR 3.50, Children (6-16) EUR 1.50, Members of the Albverein EUR 2.50.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 2.50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave horizontal cave, Malm (Upper Jurassic)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=330 m, 800 m asl GR: L=10 m, B=10 m, H=4 m.
Guided tours: L=88 m, St=141, D=20 min. V=5,000/a [2005].
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Thomas Rathgeber (1995): Neue Präsentation der Kolbinger Höhle, Laichinger Höhlenfreund, 30(1), S. 25-36, 3 Abb, 3 Tab., Laichingen 1995 (Deutsch - German)
Anon (o.J.): Vom Naturdenkmal Kolbinger Höhle, Faltblatt (Deutsch - German)
Elias Pantle (2021):
Dreidimensionale Vermessung von Höhlen mit Photogrammetrie und Laserscanning am Beispiel der Kolbinger Höhle (Katasternummer 7919/13, westliche Schwäbische Alb),
Beiträge zur Höhlen- und Karstkunde in Südwestdeutschland, Nr. 57, S. 19-28, Stuttgart, April 2021. pdf
Address: Schwäbischer Albverein e.V. Ortsgruppe Kolbingen, Alexander Mattes, Tel: +49-7463-2672728 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.


19th century used as a hideout by a thief named Stephan.
1879 mentioned as der hohle Felsen im Einschlag in the Beschreibung des Oberamts Tuttlingen by Karl Eduard Paulus.
1899 Pastor Karl Beer discovers remains of animals, some of them from the brown bear (Ursus arctos).
1908 several cave visits for the exploration of the pothole. Wilhelm Otto Dietrich finds more brown bear bones.
1908 discovery of the Nebenhalle.
1913 discovery of the continuation and development of the entrance, installation of gas light.
1914 the planned administration by the Schwäbischer Albverein fails, cave closed.
1916 damages in the cave mentioned.
1920 administration by the Schwäbischer Albverein.
1926 congress of the VdHK at Kolbingen, new survey of the cave.
1927 cave map and description by Walter Biese publishe in the Mitteilungen.
1933 wooden bridge installed in the Stephansdom.
1950 installation of a provisory electric light powered by a generator.
1958 cave closed because of unstable installations (paths, wooden bridge).
1965 first plans to refurbish the cave by the Albverein. Consultation of Helmut Frank from Laichingen.
1968 new development and electric light, reopened.
1971 congress of the VdHK at Kolbingen.
1975 exploration and new survey by the Arge Höhle und Karst Stuttgart.
1986 75th anniversary of the Ortsgruppe Kolbingen of the Schwäbischer Albverein. Höhlenausstellung.
1995 addition of an information table at the cave entrance.


3D Video of the cave.
This rock is balancing between the cavern walls. The story goes that it will fall down, if someone tells a lie under it.

The most impressive part of the Kolbinger Höhle (Cave of Kolbingen) is the entrance. From the entrance building the path crosses a cave ruin. The other end opens to the valley of the Danube. From here a path along the slope leads to the cave entrance.

The old name of this cave, Stephanshöhle (Stephan's Cave), is based on an old tale about a scallywag and a thief called Stephan, who used the cave as a hideout. The entrance he used is the natural entrance in the first hall and is shown on the tour.

After the first developement of the cave in 1913 the neighbouring towns Fridingen and Kolbingen started to quarrel. The entrance of the cave is located on grounds belonging to Fridingen but the cave itself is on the grounds belonging to Kolbingen. So the Schwäbischer Albverein (Hauptverein), a society for the protection and development of the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb), took over the administration cave as an independent institution.

The cave has several formations, which are remarkable because of the pure whiteness. A stalagmite in the second chamber is as thick as an arm and nearly reaches the ceiling.