Obernburg, 34516 Vöhl.
|Classification:||Karst cave Zechsteindolomit|
|Dimension:||L=43 m, VR=10 m, A=410 m asl.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Regierungspräsidium Kassel (2016):
Maßnahmenplan als Teil des Bewirtschaftungsplanes nach § 5 HAGBNatSchG zum FFH-Gebiet „Siegfriedhöhle bei Obernburg“
|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.
|1982||Cave is regularly checked for the presence of hibernating bats.|
The Siegfriedhöhle (Siegfried Cave) is located 300 m from the exit of Obernburg in the direction of Dorfitter on the left side of the road. On the mountain spur above the cave was once the Upper Castle, after which the village was named.
The cave is known both as Siegfriedhöhle (or Siegfried Cave) and as Drachenhöhle (Dragon Cave). Siegfried of Xanten is said to have slain the dragon Fafnir here. This idea originated in the Germanic fantasy of Dr. Karl Tappe, who put forward this thesis in 1932/1933. At any other time it would probably have been laughed at. So it took root, and today there are just as many people who firmly maintain that this is an old legend as there are people who claim that this is actually the place from the Germanic legend. We don't even know what name the cave originally bore, some claim it was called Dragon's Cave because you can spot a fossilised dragon in the forms of the portal.
The Nibelungen saga is a heroic saga that is widespread in the continental Germanic and Scandinavian regions. There are numerous, variant versions. The best known is the Middle High German Nibelungenlied, an early written fixation, around 1200, probably from the Passau area. Places are not mentioned there, and if they are, they cannot be connected with today's places. The whole Nibelungen discussion is out of all proportion to the insignificance of this tiny cave. And if the dragon wasn't really a lizard, hardly more than the tip of its tail would have fit into the cave.
On the outskirts of the village is the church, built in Romanesque style before 1200, which is said to be connected by a secret passage from the cave to behind the pulpit. This passage served as an escape route in ancient times. Although the distance of 250 m is less improbable than in other cases, this is also pure fantasy, this is a legend of the type The Lost Connecting Passage.
Regardless of all fantasies, the cave is now both Natura 2000 (No. 4719-306) and Flora-Fauna-Habitat (FFH). Both times under the name Siegfriedhöhle near Obernburg, because the name Siegfriedhöhle exists several times. The cave is not open to tourists, even though it is freely accessible. It is the second-largest natural cave in the mountainous region of West Hesse. We ask you to bear this in mind when visiting the cave and to treat it with as much care as possible. In particular, there is a ban on entering the cave between November and April to protect the bats and other hibernating animals. During the rest of the year, too, no noise or open fires should be made and no rubbish should be left behind.
Actually, we would not have listed this cave on showcaves.com at all, because it has nothing to offer apart from the fantastic stories. However, since it now appears on several lists of Hessian show caves, including in the book Hessens Unterwelt (Hessen's Underworld) by the Hessian State Office for the Environment and Geology in its series "Umwelt und Geologie" (Environment and Geology), we wanted to take this opportunity to ask for moderation when visiting. There is nothing to be said against a detour to the cave and a few pictures, but the cave has neither a car park nor paths. It is very small, definitely not worth a longer journey, and is also closed with a barred door.