Schaubergwerk Sunfixl-Höhle

Useful Information

Location: At Kainach, Kohlschwarz.
(47.109569, 15.100518)
Open: All year Wed-Fri 14-, Sat, Sun 11-. [2007]
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children (0-5) not allowed, Students EUR 2, School Pupils EUR 2, Apprentices EUR 2, Family (2+*) EUR 10.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 4, Children (6-15) free.
Classification: SubterraneaRock Mine, ExplainRoom and Pillar Mining Gosau sandstone mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Schaubergwerk Sunfixl-Höhle, 8573 Kainach 19, Tel: +43-3148-23174, Tel: +43-3148-236, Fax: +43-3148-2366. E-mail: contact
Reservation and information: Tel: +43-3148-23174.
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.


1798 first mentioned by Josef Carl Kindermann.


The Sunfixl-Höhle (Sunfixl Cave) is not a cave, despite the name, it is an underground sandstone quarry. First mentioned in the 18th century, this was a place where grindstones were mined. Located high up at the mountain was a layer of hard quartz rich sandstone, which was ideal for many purpuses. Unfortunately the layer went into the mountain, so the workers followed it underground. And unfortunately the mountain in front of the mine was very steep, so it was problematic to transport the millstones down into the valley. They were mounted on a sledge and lowered down a trench until they reached the road below.

Most of the grindstones were produced for iron producing firms, for sharpening scythe or for workshops. It was also used for mills, door frame, stairs or graves. A typical year like 1911 saw the production of 21 big grindstones, 14 small ones less than one metre diameter, 13 pig feeders, 1 plate for a well, 30 grindstoned for fruits, 2 garden pillars, 55 tiles, 3 steps and a number of kerbstones. The stones were delivered to customers in Austria and northern Italy.

During World War I the sales were rather low, but after World War II the production was continued by two miners, Mr. Castori and the so called Stiedlbauer. But finally the mining ended and the mine was closed.

This is not a typical mine, especially not for Austria, where most deposits are lodes and thus rather narrow. Here is an almost horizontal layer of sandstone, rather thick and mined in a sort of room and pillar way. The passages are wide and high enough to walk upright. The floor and the ceiling are almost planar, as they are the layer boundaries of the rock. The millstone were produced by using a single thick layer of sandstone and removing the layers above and below. This can easily be seen during a visit. The numerous steps in the production of grindstone is detailed during the tour with many pictures. There are tools and machinery which were used during the mining.