Attahöhle

Atta-Höhle - Attendorner Tropfsteinhöhle


Useful Information

Location: Finnentroper Str. 39, 57439 Attendorn.
A45 (Sauerlandlinie) exit Meinerzhagen, 13 km to Attendorn, 1 km east of Attendorn, near the city limits on the road to Finnentrop.
(51.125347, 7.914906)
Open: 10-JAN to 23-FEB Sat, Sun 11-15:30.
24-FEB to 01-MAR daily 11-15:30.
02-MAR to 18-MAR Sat, Sun 11-15:30.
19-MAR to 08-APR daily 11-15:30.
09-APR to 29-APR daily 10-16.
30-APR to 14-AUG daily 10-16:30.
15-AUG to 03-OCT daily 10-16.
04-OCT to 16-OCT daily 10:30-16.
17-OCT to 20-NOV daily 11-15:30.
26-DEC to 09-JAN daily 11-15:30.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 11.50, Children (5-14) EUR 7, Children (0-4) free, Family EUR 30.
Groups (25+): Adults EUR 10.50, Children (5-14) EUR 6.50.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave middle Devon (Massenkalk)
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: T=52 m, L=6,740 m. GR: H=15 m, T=9 °C.
Guided tours: L=560 m, D=40 min. V=350,000/a [2002].
Photography: strictly forbidden
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Rainer Arweiler, Elmar Hammmerschmidt (1991): Attendorner Tropfsteinhöhle in: Die Höhlen der Attendorn-Elsper Doppelmulde, Karst und Höhle 1991/92, VdHK München, ISSN 0342-2062, Seiten 25-36. Deutsch - German
Address: Attendorner Tropfsteinhöhle, Postfach 130, 57439 Attendorn, Tel. +49-2722-93750. E-mail: contact
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.

History

19-JUL-1907 discovered, development started.
1907 first development.
1908-1910 second development, circuit.
1925 third development, new entrance tunnel.
1985 new parts discovered by Elmar Hammerschmidt.
2008 Installation of LED lighting by Germtec.

Description

The Attahöhle is probably the most beautiful show cave of Germany, with numerous speleothems along the tour path. There are forests of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and pillars. One of the chambers is called Kristallpalast (crystal palace) to honor this.

Beneath the normal flowstone, the cave contains huge areas with crusts of calcite crystals, sometimes big enough to be called dogtooth spar. They were formed in standing water, which contained a large amount of calcium carbonate in solution. They only grow inside the water, so the long term water level is the horizontal line where the calcite crystals end. Unfortunately only a small part of those crystals can be seen on the tour. The finest crusts are in the undeveloped parts of the cave and the specimen which are shown on the tour were placed there.

A really beautiful feature are the numerous curtains. They are illuminated from behind and show the typical structure with stripes resembling bacon rinds. Those stripes were formed by changing water supply with changing amounts of iron oxide.

The cave was discovered after a blast during the quarry works of the Biggetaler Kalkwerke in 1907. The owner realized the touristic potential and developed the cave immediately. It was opened the same year with more than 200 m trails. The following year the length of trail was more than doubled and it became a round trip. But there was a problem with the original entrance which was located at the road to Finnentrop. With increasing traffic it became more and more dangerous, and so in 1925 a new entrance was built. A 60 m long tunnel completed the access to the remaining parts of the cave and relocated the entrance to the Hotel Himmelreich. Unfortunately the commercialization inhibited any research in the cave, and so it took 70 years until the cave was explored. In the early 1980s some local cavers were allowed to explore the cave after befriending the owner, and the length of the cave increased from 850 m to 6,670 m in 1993.

The cave was simply named after the town of Attendorn, but the somewhat unwieldy Attendorner Tropfsteinhöhle (Dripstone Cave of Attendorn) was shortened to Atta-Höhle (Atta Cave). For a long time it was known as Attahöhle, but in recent years the operator uses the name Atta-Höhle again.

Unfortunately a cave visit has various drawbacks, like the high entrance fee and the expensive parking. It is not allowed to take pictures in the cave which is explained with copyright reasons, which means they want a monopoly in selling pictures. There are so many guided tours over the summer that you are always sandwiched between two groups and the cave guides always have to push. Also, they never corrected the wrong length that they give: the cave tour is not 1,800 m long but only 560 m. This seems to be a case of "mine is longer than yours". The complicated opening hours are also curious, currently 12 different opening hours are given throughout the year, from which there are again exceptions. Since the differences are minimal, this is particularly incomprehensible.