Heimkehle

Heimkehle Memorial and Karst Show Cave

Heimkehle
Heimkehle

A geological phenomenon

Glass-clear underground lakes and a hall over 22 metres high - the Great Dome - await visitors to Heimkehle Cave.
This impressive natural phenomenon of the so-called Laughing Cave was washed out of the soft subsoil of the sulphate karst over thousands of years by the rivers Thyra, Krebsbach and Krummschlacht. In the process, very special cavities have formed: a wide horizontal surface forms the so-called Laugh Corner. The floor - the accessible floor of the cave - is narrower, and the walls naturally open upwards at 45 degrees. This creates a trapezoidal channel.
Only very few caves of this kind can be visited - the Heimkehle is one of them.
With a total length of two kilometres, it is one of the largest caves in the South Harz Karst region. 600 metres have been opened up for tourism.
Since 2019, the Heimkehle karst show cave has carried the title of "National Geotope".

Tourist highlight in the southern Harz - for 100 years

First mentioned in a document in 1357, the Heimkehle cave was opened up to tourists in 1920 under Theodor Wienrich. On 12 September of the same year, it was opened to the public. In the years that followed, the show cave established itself as an excursion destination of supra-regional appeal and achieved record visitor numbers.

Memorial

The Second World War put an end to the show cave operation. From 12 March 1944, a production plant protected from air raids was built in the cavities. Until 4 April 1945, concentration camp prisoners had to produce chassis parts for the JU88 aircraft of the Junkerswerke Dessau under inhumane conditions. During this time, a subcamp of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp was established in Rottleberode.
After the end of the war, the armament buildings and cave entrances were blown up due to the directive of the Allied Control Council.
A memorial in the Small Cathedral commemorates this dark chapter in the history of Heimkehle Cave.
It was not until 25 April 1954 that Heimkehle Cave was reopened as a show cave.

Exciting guided cave tours for many interests

Exploration of the cave is only possible on a guided tour. The tour starts in the gallery not far from the visitor centre. Don't forget a jacket, as it is cool in the cave in summer and winter at around 8 °C.
The 600-metre-long tour leads from the Small Cathedral via the Riegelgang to the Large Cathedral. From there through the giant tunnel to the Thyra Hall with the Thyrasee and back again.
The trail crosses the border between Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. This runs right through the middle of the show cave. A light show with background music awaits visitors in the Large Cathedral. The tour ends in the Small Cathedral opposite the memorial site. The visitors are dismissed in the exit gallery.
Whether rock fan, history enthusiast or bat lover - in the Heimkehle karst show cave, every visitor learns exciting and interesting facts. Maybe even one of the legendary dwarves will make an appearance ...

Infos & Service:

Exploring the cave is only possible as part of a guided tour.

Don't forget a jacket, as it is cool in the cave in summer and winter at around 8 °C.

Address:
An der Heimkehle 3
06536 Südharz, OT Uftrungen

Contact: Tel:
Phone 034653 305
hoehle@rossla.de

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