Useful Information

Location: Springen, 89601 Schelklingen-Gundershofen.
A8 exit Merklingen, L230 via Laichingen to Böttingen, before Böttingen turn left into Schmiechtal.
(48.383913, 9.595951)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: Ymin=60 l/s, Ymax=900 l/s, Yavg=280 l/s, A=623 m NN.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Stadt Schelklingen, Marktstraße 15, 89601 Schelklingen, Tel: +49-7394-24817. E-mail:
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 Schmiechquelle (Schmiech spring) is a karst spring from which the Schmiech river emerges from a cave portal. As the cave ceiling sinks immediately, the cave is then filled with water and can only be entered by cave divers. From the karst spring, the Schmiech flows through a deeply incised valley until it reaches the Urdonautal. There, interestingly, it turns up the valley and finally flows into the Danube. This is only possible because the broad valley of the Danube has almost no gradient until Ehingen. This is one of the few valleys that have cut so deeply that they reach the karst water level and have therefore not become dry valleys. The Schmiequelle spring is not very large, but with its cave portal it is well worth a visit. The spring area is a protected nature reserve.

Just downstream is a mill that uses the stream to power a generator. These buildings form the hamlet of Springen, which belongs to the Schelklingen suburb of Gundershofen. In the course of the valley, the Schmiech drove other mills, but most of them have been abandoned in the meantime. The Schmiech has also formed several tufa deposits in the course of the valley, which used to be quarried for building stone. One particularly thick deposit is still clearly visible today as an escarment in the valley floor.