Laichinger Tiefenhöhle

Laichingen Vertical Cave

Useful Information

The Kleine Halle (Small Chamber) 55 m below surface, is the deepest room visited on a tour.
Location: A8 exit Merklingen, pass Merklingen and Machtolsheim, 7 km to Laichingen. Use second exit to Laichingen, turn right at the start of the city limits.
A8 exit Behelfsausfahrt, to Hohenstadt then to Laichingen, 7 km. From city center follow signs to the cave or direction Suppingen, turn left.
1 km SE Laichingen. (48°28'42.74"N, 9°41'36.56"E)
Open: Good Friday to OCT daily 9-18.
Fee: Adults EUR 3.80, Children (6-16) EUR 2.80, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 3.50, Children EUR 2.50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave vertical cave, Malm (Jura)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,253 m, VR=80 m, 780 m asl.
Guided tours: L=300 m, D=60 min, VR=55 m, V=30,000/a [2005], Not suitable for people with heart conditions, bronchial illness or babes in arms.
Photography: Allowed
Accessibility: No, many steps
Bibliography: (1989): Führer durch die Laichinger Tiefenhöhle, Hrsg: Höhlen- und Heimatverein Laichingen e.V., 1989, EUR 2.50.
Address: Höhlen- und Heimatverein Laichingen e.V., Höhleweg 220, 89146 Laichingen, Tel: +49-7333-5586. 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.


How to get there.
1892 discovered by Johann Georg Mack, while he was digging for dolomitic sand.
1894 first survey by architect Kienzle, Ulm.
1903 1st artificial entrance.
1906 discovery of the deepest place of the cave, 80 m below surface.
1930 concrete paths and iron ladders.
1933 2nd artificial entrance.
1936 electric light.
1947 foundation of the caving club called Höhle- and Heimatvereins Laichingen e.V..
1961 cave museum opened.
1970-1975 construction of a shaft, 15 m deep, as exit. Allows one way tours.
1980-1982 installation of an emergency power plant.
1999-2000 new entrance building with restaurant.
09-JUN-2002 inauguration of the new cave museum.


The Große Halle (Big Hall), the biggest chamber of the cave.

The Laichinger Tiefenhöhle is the deepest show cave of Germany and the only vertical cave that can be visited by the public. This cave has very few formations, but you can take an interesting view into a Jurassic ocean.

The entrance of the cave, located on the plateau of the Schwäbische Alb (Swabian Jura), lies in a rather small area of dolomite CaMg(CO3)2. This rock is - in a certain way - responsible for the discovery of the cave. The weathering of this rock produced a fine sand which can be found in cracks and caverns between the rocks. This is the only source of sand on the plateau of the Alb: this karst region has no water on the surface, and so there are no river or sea sediments which could contain sand.

The sand was used together with soap to clean the wooden floors and for mortar. A low payed job in the last century was the digging for sand. The sand digger Johann Georg Mack from Laichingen worked in this area. But one day the sand pile, he made the before, was gone. He thought it might be stolen, so he stayed with his new pile the next night. To his astonishment the sand slowly but continously vanished. He found that the sand had vanished into a crack he opened some days before. Searching for his sand, he found that the crack continued far into the rock.

the Nasser Schacht (Wet Shaft).

The tour goes down on steep iron stairs. After 25 m the face of the rock changes, from holey to massive and from dolomite to limestone, Ca(CO3). This rocks are not layered, as they were not formed as a sediment. It is a fossilized reef, similar to the reefs of today, but the tiny animals that formed this reef were not corals but sponges. The cave shows several views of this reef.

The deepest chamber of the tour, the Kleine Halle (Small Hall) 55 m below surface, is the second largest chamber of the cave. This is not the deepest point of the cave, but the deepest point at 80 meters is not part of the tour. Now the path goes back up to the surface, showing the most impressive of 13 big shafts of the cave. The cave is left through a second building, just 100 m from the entrance.

This cave is very deep, think about it when you decide to visit it. Wear good shoes!

The Höhlen- and Heimatverein Laichingen e.V. (HHVL) is the biggest caving club in the Swabian Jura. It developed around the Laichinger Tiefenhöhle, as it first was a number of men working together to develop this cave as a show cave. The Swabian Jura section of the German cave register was founded by Helmut Frank, a member of the caving club. It is still maintained by the caving club. Last but not least, the caving club publishes twice a year its speleologic journal called Laichinger Höhlenfreund, containing scientific papers about speleology in German with an English abstract.

Laichinger Tiefenhöhle Gallery