Hohler Stein bei Schambach

Useful Information

Location: Near Attenzell and Schambach in the Schambachtal. Altmühltal, Denkendorf.
Road Schambach-Böhmfeld, 1.6 km south of Schambach, 3.5 km north of Böhmfeld. Left on unpaved single lane road, after 200 m left on gras road, after 500 m left on slope halfway up. About 15 min walk from the road.
(N48°53.339' E11°22.132')
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=35 m, A=437 m NN.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Oswald Böhme (1952): Ausgrabungen in der Hohlestein-Höhle im Schambachtal In: Heimgarten, Bd. 23 (1952), Nr. 43.
Carl Gumpert (1953): Höhlengrabung im Schambachtal In: Heimgarten, Bd. 24 (1953), Nr. 8.
Carl Gumpert (1953): Neue erfolgreiche Grabung im „Hohlen Stein“ bei Schambach In: Heimgarten, Bd. 24 (1953), Nr. 44.
Karl Heinz Rieder (2003): Schambach. Der Hohle Stein. In: Ernst Aichner (Hrsg.): Ingolstadt und der oberbayerische Donauraum. Theiss-Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, S. 178–179, ISBN 3-8062-1716-5 (Führer zu den archäologischen Denkmälern in Deutschland; 42).
Karl-Heinz Rieder: Der Hohle Stein bei Schambach Neandertaler und Eiszeitjäger in der Altmühlalb (Archäologie in Bayern Monografien). Pustet, Regensburg 2016, ISBN 9783791728438.
Address: Markt Kipfenberg, Tourist-Information, Marktplatz 2, 85110 Kipfenberg, Tel: +49-8465-9410-40. E-mail:
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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1901 First excavation by Max Schlosser, curator at the Palaeontological Museum in Munich.
1922/23 Excavation by Munich prehistorian Ferdinand Birkner.
1938-39 Walther Krauß, mayor of Eichstätt and Nazi district leader, searches in vain for the skeleton of an "Urgermane" (ancient german).
1951-1953 During excavation by Dr. Gumpert, more than 500kg of bones and teeth and around 3000 stone tools are recovered.


The Hohle Stein is of great archaeological importance, especially because the finds are attributed to the Neanderthal. As in many caves in southern Germany, excavations were carried out again and again during the 20th century. The finds mainly comprised stone tools and the bones of their hunting prey. These were primarily mammoth, horse and reindeer, and to a lesser extent musk ox, cave bear, elk, giant deer (Megaloceros giganteus), woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) and ibex. Human remains, however, were not found. The oldest finds are about 120,000 years old, but most are between 80,000 and 60,000 years old. The cave continued to be used after the Neanderthals, so there are also traces from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Iron spearheads, silver denarii from the Roman period and medieval shards have been found.

The Hohle Stein is a 35 m long through cave. The main portal is 4 m wide and 4 m high, behind it follows the lower cave with about 12 m² and a quite impressive height of 11 m. This is where most of the finds were made, the excavation forming a cone of rubble in front of the cave and a small forecourt. On the left, an 8 m long ascending passage leads to the upper cave, with 75 m² much larger and about 13 m high. This hall also has a 4 m wide and 4 m high entrance portal. Both portals are closed with iron bars, so the chambers are easily visible from the outside. In front of the lower entrance, a plaque with explanations has been mounted on the wall.

Until a few years ago, the cave was freely accessible, only the rear part was closed off. Some time ago it has been closed by a grille made of iron bars at the portal. It is located along hiking trails and is regularly visited by many hikers. The iron bars makes it easy to see, but it cannot be entered.