South of the city Hildesheim, the north German flatlands end, and the hill county begins. This landscape has a long history and is the origin of Grimm's fairy tales. Many names and places of the really exist in this area. For example, there is an area called Sieben Berge (Seven Mountains) which is well known from the fairy tale Little Snow White.
The bedding in this area is not horizontal, but nearly vertical, as the rocks were twisted by tectonic forces. Duinger Berg, Ith and Deister are escarpments, formed by hard limestone layers. Those hard layers resisted erosion better than the softer layers, which form valleys in between.
|Location:||A7 exit Hildesheim, B1 34km across Elze to Salzhemmendorf-Hemmendorf, turn South 21km across Salzhemmendorf to Eschershausen, turn left 2km to Holzen, in Holzen follow signs to Berg-Cafe, 500 m gravel road to the parking lot. (36,Ke37)|
|Classification:||fissure caves, partly artificial, Dolomite|
|Dimension:||L=30m, GR: L=3m, B=3m, H=2m.|
|Bibliography:||Die archäologischen Funde aus den Ith-Höhlen. Hrsg: Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum, Abt. Archäologie, Kanzleistr. 3, W-3340 Wolfenbüttel, in Zusammenarbeit mit: Landesmuseum Hannover, Landkeis Holzminden, Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim.|
|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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The rocks of the Ith are a well known climbing area. In those rocks a number of small caves and abris, only accessible to climbers, exist. It is difficult to visit them, and the caves are not very impressing. But they are famous for the number of archaeological remains found here. They contained remains from stone age to the middle ages. In German they are called Kulthöhlen (cultic caves).
The caves are called Nasensteinhöhle (Nasenstein cave), Rothesteinhöhle (Rothestein cave), Soldatenhöhle (soldiers cave), Töpferhöhle (potter cave), Kinderhöhle (childrens cave) and Teufelsküche (devils kitchen). They are typically rather narrow fissure caves, high enough to stand upright inside and rather short. Some are so called abris, shelters.
As a visit of the caves is not very impressive, except maybe for climbers, I would recomend the archaeological section of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum in Wolfenbüttel. Here the archaeological finds of the caves are on display.