Grotte de Saint-Vit

St Veitsgrotte

Useful Information

Location: Near Saverne. Signposted.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: none
Guided tours:
Address: Saverne et sa Région, Zone piétonne, 37 Grand' Rue, 67700 Saverne, Tel: +33-388-918047, Fax: +33-388-710290. E-mail: contact
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The cave church of Saint Vit is located in the Alsace, a mountaineous area along the Rhine valley. This area is composed mainly of sandstones, and there are very few caves. So this huge erosional sandstone cave is rather exceptional from the geologic view.

The cave was named after Saint Vit (Saint Vitus) who was a martyr and was killed around 305 BC by being thrown into boiling oil. However, the story around this saint is complex and has obviously been modified over centuries, so there are numerous versions. The martyr is rather popular, 150 churches claim to have relics, 1,300 churches and chapels are dedicated to him. Vitus is the patron of apothecaries, brewers, landlords, actors, and vine-growers. He was called for epilepsy, hysteria, snake bites, thunderstorms, infertility, and bed-wetting. He was also honored by naming Huntington's disease Veitstanz (Dance of Vitus) in German.