Attahöhle - Attendorner Tropfsteinhöhle

Atta Cave - Dripstone Cave of Attendorn

Useful Information

Location: A45 (Sauerlandlinie) exit Meinerzhagen, 13 km to Attendorn, 1 km east of Attendorn, near the city limits on the road to Finnentrop. (51°7'31.25"N,7°54'53.66"E)
Open: 26-DEC to 15-APR Tue-Sun 11-15:30.
16-APR to APR daily 10-16.
MAY to 04-SEP daily 10-16:30.
05-SEP to 03-OCT daily 10-16.
04-OCT to 01-NOV daily 10:30-16.
02-NOV to 11-DEC Tue-Sun 11-15:30.
Fee: Adults EUR 7.50, Children (5-14) EUR 4.50, Children (0-4) free.
Groups (25+): Adults EUR 7, Children (5-14) EUR 4.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave cave system, middle Devon (Massenkalk)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=52 m, L=6,740 m. GR: H=15 m, T=9 °C.
Guided tours: L=1800 m, D=40 min., V=350,000/a [2002].
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, Fax: +49-2722-93752
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.


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.


The Attahöhle is probably the most beautiful show cave of Germany, with numerous speleothems along the tour path. There are forests of Speleothemstalactites, Speleothemstalagmites, Speleothemcurtains and Speleothempillars. 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 Speleothemdogtooth 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 Speleothemcurtains 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 touristsic 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. Unfortunaly 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, and the length of the cave increased from 850 m to 6,670 m in 1993.

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. Also they never corrected the false length that they give: the cave tour is not 1,800 m long but only 560 m.