Burghöhle Dietfurt

Castle Cave at Dietfurt

Useful Information

Location: In Dietfurt. At the Danube, 5km west of Sigmaringen. (9°8'22"E, 48°4'40"N)
Open: Closed. Key at the hut of the DRK (German Red Cross) at the foot of the castle.
Fee: Closed.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: none, bring electric torch.
Dimension: L=110m, H=8m, A=600m/610m asl.
Guided tours: Closed
Bibliography: Franz Josef Gietz (2001): Spätes Jungpaläolithikum und Mesolithikum in der Burghöhle Dietfurt an der oberen Donau, Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-8062-1570-7
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1928-29 developed, paths and electric light.
1970 first celtic (Urnenfelderzeit), and medieval shards discovered.
1971 test excavations.
1972 Excavations by the Staatl. Amt für Denkmalpflege.
1973 Excavations by the Staatl. Amt für Denkmalpflege.
1974 Excavations by H. Reim.
1984 Excavations by the Staatl. Amt für Denkmalpflege.
1987 Excavations by the Staatl. Amt für Denkmalpflege.
1988 Excavations by the Staatl. Amt für Denkmalpflege.


The Burghöhle Dietfurt is located in the rock below the castle Dietfurt. It is a through cave, going through the whole rock with a huge entrance at each side. The main passage is from one entrance to the other approximately 40m long. Three big halls are connected by a narrow passage. The height difference betwen both entrances is 10m which made some stairs necessary. The cave is well developed, had electric light for some time, but it was never a show cave.

The Burghöhle was developed by the Neutempler-Orden, an organization which owned the castle and the cave during the 1920s. The castle was called Ordensritterburg of the Neutempleisenerzpriorat Staufen. This oranization had antisemitic attitude and published the magazine Ostara, which was read by Adolf Hitler.

The original cave entrances were closed by walls, with only a small window. The three chambers were modified to a high degree. The biggest chamber was equipped with a chandelier and an altar, and used as a meeting hall. The members of the Neutempler-Orden held their congregations here.

The cave contains tertiary sediments. They are coverd by a 1m thick layer of flowstone, which is covered by a layer of limnic sediments from the Riß-glazial. The Riß-glacier blocked the valley of the Danube near Vilsingen, so a huge lake formed.

After World War II unknown treasure hunters searched the cave for a legendary treasure. This was a golden ninepins equipment. They left a big pit, 1m wide, 4m long and 5m deep, and they detroyed prehistoric sediment layers.

In 1970 members of the Bergwacht Sigmaringen discovered celtic remains from a time locally called Urnenfelderzeit. Other shard were from the earely and high medieaval. After this finds the Staatliches Amt für Denkmalpflege (National Bureau of Manuments) made several excavations. They discovered remains from the Middle Stone Age, late Old Stone Age and Magdalénien.

The Burghöhle is privatly owned until today.