Geraer Höhler

Useful Information

Location: Stadtmitte Gera.
Open: Geraer Höhler, Führungen: Mo-Do 11 und 15, Sa 11, 14 und 15, So 10, 11, 14 und 15
Museum im Höhler Nr. 188: Täglich 10-17
Museum für Naturkunde: Di-So 10-17
Classification: Künstliche Höhlen im Zechsteinkalk, Bierkeller.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=9.000 m, T=11 °C.
Guided tours: L=250 m.
Address: Museum im Höhler Nr. 188, 07545 Gera, Tel: +49-365-52003
Geraer Höhler, Geithes Passage, 07545 Gera, Tel: +49-365-8381470
Museum für Naturkunde, Nikolaiberg 3, PF 313, 07545 Gera, Tel: +49-365-52003, Fax: +49-365-52025
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.


17. und 18. Jahrhundert als Bierkeller entstanden.
II. Weltkrieg als Luftschutzkeller genutzt.
1986-89 im Bereich der Ostseite des Steinweges zehn Höhler als Führungsobjekt erschlossen.
1976-78 Vermessung der Höhler.


Below the historic city center of Gera a labyrith of subterranean passages exists. The construction of this socalled Höhler (local slang version of cavern) is connected with the brewing of bbeer. They were built during the 17th and 18th century as beer cellars.

Until the 16th century wine was grown in the area of Gera. The climate changed and became colder, the quality of the wine poorer, and so finally viniculture was abandoned. The people started to dring more beer, and also the city grew and its economic development boosted after the end of the Thirty Years War. So the beer production raised enormously. People who had the right to brew beer also had the right to sell it in a pub, and so this was a profitable work.

The right to brew beer was connected to the ownership of houses, as is documented in the oldest written account, the city law from 1487. So only people who owned houses inside the city walls were brewing beer. But the cellars of thos small Medieval houses soon became too small for the growing amount of beer. An most of them were not deep enough and became too warm during summer. So most owners of the right to brew started to build deep cellars, the Höhler, accessible only from their own house. The work was done by professionals, miners who were hired for this job. The economic value of such an cellar was enormous, so after the great fire of 1780 the city was rebuilt almost with the same ground plan, so every cellar owner could keep his cellar.

Surveys of the cellars revealed 220 differnt cellars with a total length of nine kilometers. They are sometimes built in two levels, between three and eleven meters deep. The cellars were built in the natural limestone, so after they were finished the growth of flowstone started, like in natural caves.

A part of the cellars may be visited on regular guided tours. Outside the open hours, or if you wish a self guided visit, you may go to the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History). It is located in the Schreibersches Haus, the oldest remaining middle-class house of the city of Gera. Below this house, the second largest cellar with a size of 252m³, and also the 11 m deep deepest cellar, is located. This cellar, called Höhler Nr. 188 is used by the museum for the exhibition Minerale und Bergbau Ostthüringens (minerals and mining of east Thuringia). It may be reached from both, the guided turs and the museum visit.

The exhibition shows an impressive amount of the 250 different minerals which are found in Thuringia. Among them are some, which are unique for Europe. A special show is the collection of fluorescent minerals, which show their colours only under ultraviolet light. The history of the uranium mining at Ronneburg, the geology of the deposits and the current decontamination program of the Wismut GmbH are explained. A comuter informs about uranium and radioactivity. Additional topics are the legends about gold searchin Venezians, and the modern gold panning in the river Elster.