Useful Information

Location: Museum für Naturkunde Gera, Nicolaiberg 3, 07545 Gera.
A4 exit Gera, to a city centre. Metered parking is available around the Salvatorkirche.
(50.877582, 12.085883)
Open: All year Tue-Sun, Hol 11-17.
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children (6-18) EUR 3, Students EUR 3, Families (2+4) EUR 10.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 3.50, School Pupils EUR 1.50.
Combo Höhler: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-18) EUR 4, Students EUR 4.
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: V=252 m³, VR=11 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Museum für Naturkunde, Nicolaiberg 3, 07545 Gera, Tel: +49-365-52003, Fax: +49-365-52025. E-mail:
Verein zur Erhaltung der Geraer Höhler e.V., Kornmarkt 7, 07545 Gera, Tel: +49-365-8321300, Fax: +49-365-8321300.
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.


1686-1688 Built on the site of a medieval burnt castle estate.
1716 owned by the merchants and traders Schreiber.
1780 it is the only residential building within the old town to survive Gera's largest fire.
1847 it becomes the property of the city and houses the city court.
1855 is put to private use.
1935 first survey as preparation for war.
World War II used as air-raid shelter.
1947 Establishment of the Städtisches Museums (Municipal Museum).
1950 Städtisches Museum opened.
1957 after reconstruction of the old Städtisches Museum in the Zucht- und Waisenhaus, it becomes the Museum für Naturkunde.
1975 closed for renovation.
1984 reopened.
1994 opening of the permanent exhibition Minerale – Bausteine der Erdkruste (Minerals - Building Blocks of the Earth's Crust).
1995 use of Höhler 188 for the exhibition Minerale und Bergbau Ostthüringens (Minerals and Mining of Eastern Thuringia).
2018 new LED light system.


The so-called Mineralienhöhler (Mineral Cellar) is a Höhler which is used by the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History) for its mineral collection. It is located in the Schreibersches Haus, the oldest remaining bourgeois house of the city of Gera. Below this house, the second-largest cellar with a volume of 252 m³, and also with 11 m the 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). The exhibition space is accessible both through the Museum of Natural History and through the guided tour of the Höhler.

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 computer informs about uranium and radioactivity. Additional topics are the legends about gold searching ExplainVenetians, and the modern gold panning in the river Elster.

The exhibition Das Einmaleins der Minerale – Entstehung, Gestalt und Nutzen (The basics of minerals - formation, shape and use) explains general aspects of mineralogy such as the technical use of minerals. Processes of formation as well as their shapes and colours are presented.

The exhibition Der Diabas-Steinbruch Dörtendorf – Erloschene Mineralfundstelle in Ostthüringen (The Diabase Quarry Dörtendorf - Abandoned Mineral Site in Eastern Thuringia) is dedicated to a famous mineral site. Above all, form-rich quartz crystals including water-clear rock crystals were found here. Calcite, dolomite, haematite and malachite were also found. Diabases were mined in the quarry and notable mineral finds were made in the late 1990s. The quarry was opened in 1906, taken over by VEB Diabaswerk Dörtendorf in 1951, and mining was interrupted after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2004, the Basalt-Actien-Gesellschaft took over. In 2016, mining operations were discontinued and renaturation began in 2018. Thus, the site is inaccessible either through lakes or through recultivation. The exhibits were provided on loan by members of the Mineralien- und Fossilienfreunde (Friends of Minerals and Fossils).