Schinderhanneshöhle - Berger Wacken

Useful Information

Location: Berger Wacken, 54426 Berglicht.
(49.7755977, 6.9631038)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave Quartz vein
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=5 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Schinderhanneshöhle - Berger Wacken
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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This Schinderhanneshöhle (Schinderhannes Cave) is located in a quartz rock formation called Berger Wacken. It is about 1 km south of the village Berglicht in the Hunsrück. This is only one of several Schinderhannes caves in the Hunsrück area, all named after the same legendary robber, and all thought to be his hideout.

Johannes Bückler, the son of a knacker, committed some thefts and fell into the company of sinister journeymen. After a short time, he himself was the leader of the gang. The gang also robbed and murdered, but the charm and humour of Schinderhannes made him popular with the people, a kind of German Robin Hood. He had a relationship with the landlady of the Hoxmühle, who repeatedly hid him from justice. He also hid in the Schinderhannes Cave, 1.5 km from the Hoxmühle, which, according to legend, he was able to leave through a secret exit. But in the end the French gendarmes caught him, this was during the time of the French occupation, and he was executed on 21-NOV-1803 on the heights of Weisenau (Mainz) amidst lively public interest. Even today, a circle of 19 poplars with a stately tree in the middle marks this spot. In the Hunsrück, you can still visit many places that are said to have had a connection to his life. There are several Schinderhannes caves, prisons from which he is said to have escaped, and the Schinderhannes Tower in Simmern.

The Berger Wacken is an extensive rock massif in the middle of a fairytale oak forest. There are several such rock formations in this area, which are formed by the erosion of quartz veins, and they are called Wacken. This quartz Wacken is one of the most beautiful of its kind in the Hunsrück. It is also called Langer Wacken, is about 200 m long, up to 15 m high and 20 m wide. It is a quartz gangue or vein, a fissure in the rock which was formed during the Permian was filled with quartz by mineral rich hot water. The quartz is very resistant to weathering and therefore remains as a wall while the surrounding rock has already been eroded.