Kammerbacher Höhle

Useful Information

Location: Hohlstein, 37242 Bad Sooden-Allendorf.
Between Kammerbach and Hilgershausen. Near Bad Soden-Allendorf, Meisner, northern Hessen.
(51.2662910, 9.8955883)
Open: Closed due to risk of falling rocks.
Fee: Closed due to risk of falling rocks.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: none, bring electric torch
Dimension: L=40 m, B=21 m, H=12 m.
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: Trail requires surefootedness
Bibliography: Karl Kollmann (1993): Der Hohlstein bei Hilgershausen, in: Geschichte des Dorfes Hilgershausen, Bad Sooden-Allendorf 1993, S. 98-119 Deutsch - German
Friedrich Reinboth (1985): Aus der Geschichte der Kammerbacher Höhle Karst und Höhle 184/85, S. 171-175, 2 Abb., München 1985. Deutsch - German
Friedrich Reinboth (1988): Aus der Geschichte der Kammerbacher Höhle, Die Kammerbacher Höhle – die älteste urkundlich genannte Höhle Deutschlands, Das Werraland, 40(2): 19-21, 4 Abb, Eschwege. Deutsch - German
Klaus Sippel (1997): Der Hohlstein bei Hilgershausen, Stadt Bad Sooden-Allendorf Archäologische Denkmäler in Hessen 138, 12 Seiten, 9 (2 Farb-) Abbildungen, ISBN13: 978-3-898-22138-2. Hrsg. von der Abteilung Archäologische und Paläontologische Denkmalpflege im Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen und der Archäologischen Gesellschaft in Hessen e.V., Wiesbaden 1997. Deutsch - German online
Address: Geo-Naturpark Frau-Holle-Land, Klosterfreiheit 34 A, 37290 Meißner-Germerode, Tel: +49-5657-644990. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1267 first mentioned.
25-MAR-1938 declared a Natural Monument.


Kammerbacher Höhle (Kammerbach Cave) is often referred to as the largest cave in Hesse. However, the largest cave usually means the longest, and in Hesse this is the Herbstlabyrinth-Adventhöhlen-System, which is currently 13,070 metres long [2024]. The Kammerbach Cave consists of only one single hall, but it has quite impressive dimensions. It is 40 metres long, 21 metres wide and up to 12 metres high. This makes it probably the largest cave chamber in Hesse that can be visited without much effort. Or it would be, if it hadn't been closed for a few years now. The cave was formed in the Zechstein limestone and even has a small cave lake.

Archaeological finds prove that the cave was visited by people from 200 BC at the latest. Human bones were also discovered during excavations, leading to speculation about an Iron Age sacrificial and burial site. However, the rather sparse finds are hardly sufficient for a meaningful interpretation. The first written reference to Holenstein or Hollenstein dates back to 1267, making it the oldest cave in Germany to be documented by name.

In addition to this objective and verifiable history, there are also numerous legends and fairy tales about the cave. The Brothers Grimm also collected the stories for their fairy tale book in this area, and this cave is usually associated with the figure of Frau Holle (Mother Hulda). This also explains the name Frau Holle Cave. The stories about flower sacrifices and ceremonies with the water of the small cave lake, which is regarded as miraculous, originate more likely from the Romantic era than being historical facts. There are stories that wives wishing for a child bathed in the cave pond on the Mainacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, or on Christmas Eve. Girls laid flowers on the sacrificial stone in the hope of having a wish granted by Mother Hulda. Virgins who washed themselves with the cave water between eleven and twelve o'clock on Easter night and remained silent the whole time were said to retain their beauty for a long time. The hour-long silence is regarded as the more difficult part of the task.

The pond in front of the cave is called Hexenteich or Nixenteich, and there are also various legends about it. It is, of course, inhabited by a mermaid, whom you will never see. Except for girls who cannot love faithfully, if they get too close to the pond, they are taken by the mermaid, pulled into the water and never come back. There is also the Mädelsprung (Girl's Leap) above the entrance to the cave, a ledge from which an unfaithful girl is said to have jumped into the mermaid pond. In one version of the legend, she then turned into a mermaid and lives in the lake to this day.

Another cave nearby, the Kitzkammer, also has a connection to Mother Hulda. She transforms unfaithful wives into cats and then banishes them to the Kitzkammer.

The speculation that these traditions date back to pre-Christian times is unproven. They probably originate largely from the exuberant imagination of Romanticism or, like the fairy tales, from the late Middle Ages. In the 19th century, however, all kinds of rituals were performed, and it is more likely a kind of early hippie movement among the well-to-do youth of high society.

However, as Franz Lindenmayr rightly says, the unusual thing is that the legends are predominantly positive. For many centuries, caves were equated with hell, dragon dwellings or a generally dangerous place. Making a flower sacrifice before entering the Kammerbacherhöhle, a tradition that ended in the 1920s, seems rather hippie-like, flower power in essence. Flower sacrifices and the healing effects of the cave lake were described by G. Landau as early as 1842.

The cave is located on the Rhenanus Trail between Hilgershausen and Kammerbach. It is also not far from the local road, making it very easy to reach. A few years ago, the cave was freely accessible in summer, but in winter it was closed to protect hibernating bats. Then the cave was kept closed, probably due to vandalism, but you could get the key for a small fee and a deposit. In the meantime, however, the cave is completely closed, the reason given being the acute danger of falling rocks. The cave is closed with an iron gate that allows bats to fly through unhindered and allows visitors a small glimpse into the front part of the cave.