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Wiehler Tropfsteinhöhle

Dripstone Cave of Wiehl


Useful Information

Location: A4 exit Gummersbach/Wiehl, 1km south Wiehl, links der Straße von Wiehl nach Homburg. (40,Hd43)
Open: APR to OCT Mon-Fri 9-17, Sat, Sun 10-17, last tour 16:30. [2006]
Fee: Adults EUR 2.50, Children (3-18) EUR 2.30. Groups (20+): Adults EUR 2.30, Children (3-18) EUR 2.10. [2006]
Classification:  Karst cave, Mittleres Devon (Riffkalk)
Light: electric
Dimension: L=1600m.
Guided tours: L=1200m, D=30min, V=26,000/a [2005].
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Wiehler Tropfsteinhöhle, Wiehl im Oberbergischen
Address: Stadt Wiehl, Postfach 1220, W-5276 Wiehl.
Waldhotel Hartmann, Tropfsteinhöhle, Inh. Werner Hartmann, Homburgerstraße, 51674 Wiehl, Tel: +49-2262-7920, Fax: +49-2262-93400. 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.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:53:39 $

History

 
1860discovered in a quarry at the Pfaffenberg near Wiehl.
1922municipal council decides to develop the cave.
1926during times of unemployment the development of the cave became a public employment project.
4-AUG-1927cave opened to the public.
1930cave surveyed Walter Biese.
1960new survey by H. W. Holz.
1997the Arbeitskreis Kluterthöhle e.V., a local caving club, start the scientific exploration of the cave.

Description

The Wiehler Tropfsteinhöhle (Dripstone Cave of Wiehl) lies in small patch of limestone, surrounded by sandstones and marls. This is a petrified coral reef form the Devonian sea. As a result the limestone contains an enormosu amount of petrified animals, like corals (Amphipora ramosa) and segments of sea lilies. The limestone is about 30 to 50m thick. It is covered by a sandstone locally called Mühlenbergschichten.

The cave has two main directions. The northeast to southwest direction is in the strike of the layers, the northwest to southeast direction is vertical on the first and follows the dip. Two more directions can be found, westnorthwest to southsoutheast and north to south, both are 45° to the first direction. This system of clefts was formed by tectonic forcees which compressed the rock northwest to southeast. This force was part of the socalled Variscian orogeny, a mountain forming process which influenced a huge area in central Germany, from the border to France and Belgium to the Harz.

The cave is strongly dependant of the tectonic cracks. All mayor passages follow one of the clefts. This is a result of the lack of horizontal layers in the reef limestone, which is not a sedimentary rock but a sort of huge fossil. Thus water entering the limestone was restricted to the tectonic cracks.

Large parts of the cave were completely filled by clay, when they were discovered. During the development huge amounts of clay were removed. But still there are several passages which are filled completely by clay. The clay obviously made the grow of speleothems impossible. As a result the formerly clay filled passages have absolutely no speleothems.

The cave is known for abundand and extraordinary speleothems. A part which is called Kristallgrotte (crystal grotto) is a former cave lake, where calcite crystals grew inside the limestone rich and silent water.

Beneath the cave there are a forest trail and several game reserves.


See also


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