Bilstein Cave

Useful Information

the cave entrance, impressive is the profile of the cave.
Location: A44 exit Erwitte/Anröchte, B55 14km bis Warstein, in Warstein rechts ab nach Hirschberg, Beschilderung Tropfsteinhöhlen/Tierpark, nach 2km links der Straße, Parken beim Waldhotel Tropfsteinhöhle, 10min./350m Fußweg. (35,Ib40)
Open: 01-APR to 30-NOV daily 9-17, tours every half hour.
01-DEC to 31-MAR Mon-Sat 10-12, 14-16, Sun, Hol 9-16.
Fee: Adults EUR 4, Children (0-16) EUR 2.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 3,50, Children (0-16) EUR 1,50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave cave system, middle Devon (reef limestone)
Light: electric
Dimension: BH: L=30m, W=20m, H=25m.
Guided tours: L=400m. D=40min, V=37,000/a [2005].
Bibliography: Franz Adolph Roters (1973): Die Bilsteinhöhlen in Warsteinn, Hrsg. SGV-Abteilung Warstein. (Deutsch - German)
Address: Bilsteinhöhle, Im Bodmen, 59581 Warstein, Tel: +49-2902-811 and +49-2902-2731 (cave guide). E-mail: contact
Stadtverwaltung Warstein, Dieplohstr. 1, 59581 Warstein, Tel: +49-2902-81-0, Fax: +49-2902-81-216. 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.


1887 discovered by a lumberman who made trails for the Verschönerungsverein Warstein ("beautification association of Warstein").
1888 excavation by Carthaus.
1888 opened to the public.
1928 excavation by Andree.


an old engraving of the "Tropfsteinhöhle bei Warstein".
impressive formations.

The Bilsteinhöhle (Bilstein Cave) has a subterranean river. This is called Bilstein-Bach (Bilstein brook) and flows subaerial until it reaches the small limestone area of the Bilstein where it vanishes in sinks (ponors). It reappears in two springs about 300m north. Inbetween it is responsible for the formation of caves.

Close to the sinks, three small caves, which were inhabited by Stone Age man, were known to the locals for a long time. The caves contained remains of the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) were found. During excavations in one of those caves, a continuation was discovered, which is now known as Bilsteinhöhle.

The Bilsteinhöhle has several levels. Only two upper levels are open to he public, which are dry. The lower level is waterfilled, at least part of the year, as the Bilstein brook dries up durig summer and autumn.

The cave has some nice speleothems, stalactites and stlagmites which somtimes grow right in the middle of the tour path. The visitor walks through a forrest of stlagmites. The main chamber has an irregular shape and is crossed several times during the tours. Stairs in this hall allow the descend to the lower level and back up. But the most impressive part of the cave is the passage at the entrance, with its strange shape. This passage was formed by the erosion of the flowing water the Bilstein brook, when it flew higher and probably had more water. Characteristic is the wide convexity to both sides.

Beneath the Bilsteinhöhle there are several other caves around. The Hohle Stein (Hollow Rock) is a paleolithic cave at the Lürmecke. At the 422m asl high Hohen Liet is the system called Liethöhlen.

The whole area around the Bilsteinhöhle has a complex geologic structure. In general the limestone is the core of a saddle, which is very common for the smal limestone patches around the Sauerland. But this saddle has a complex structre with several thrusts. The loosing stream, sinks and springs around the cave are typical for the border to unsoluble rocks.

Bilsteinhöhlen Gallery