Feldhofer Grotte

Useful Information

Location: Neandertal
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SmileVirtual Caves
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
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AUG-1856 discovery of first Neanderthal remains.


The Neanderthal (Neander Valley) near Düsseldorf was once a 50 m deep narrow gorge. The romantic gorge with nine caves and two waterfalls was a famous sight. Artists from the art school at Düsseldorf used it for practicing, and so more than 150 artworks of the valley still exist. But not the valley itself, which was completely destroyed by limestone quarrying during the second half of the 19th century.

The story of the Neanderthals begins in 1856, when workers of the limestone quarry in the Neanderthal discovered some bones. They thought it were the remains of a bear, and gave it to amateur naturalist Johann Karl Fuhlrott.

The place where they found the bones was the Feldhofer Grotte, a small cave, which obviously served as a shelter for the Neanderhals. The cave was later completely destroyed by quarrying, today it is a sort of virtual cave, with a small monument 20 m below on todays valley floor. The monument are four couches built of the local limestone. Visitors can lay down and look up to the immaterial cave above.

While the cave is actually nonexistent, except for the artwork, there is a very good museum at the same place, dedicated to the Neanderthals.