Birresborner Eishöhlen


Useful Information

Location: 2 km west of Birresborn in the Fischbachtal.
From Gerolstein L24 to Birresborn, right on Fischbachstraße, left on Im Steinreich, straight on at the end of the village. Either at the hikers' car park Grillhütte at the hairpin bend and 1.5 km walk, or follow road to end, 100 m from hikers' car park Eishöhlen.
(50.177785, 6.601099)
Open: APR to SEP no restrictions.
OCT to MAR closed for bat protection.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaRock Mine SpeleologyIce cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=40 m, T=7 °C.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Natur- und Geopark Vulkaneifel GmbH, Mainzer Str. 25, 54550 Daun, Tel.: +49-6592-933-203, Fax: +49-6592-933-6-203. E-mail:
Tourist-information Gerolsteiner Land, Am Bahnhof, 54568 Gerolstein, Tel: +49-6591-949910. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1938 under nature protection.

Description

The Birresborner Eishöhlen (Ice Caves of Birresborn) are up to 40 m long tunnels, which are a result of underground basalt quarrying. The basalt was mined für millstones, which were very popular until the 19th century. The name - Ice Caves - is a result of ice contained in the caves, a result of the cold trap effect. Cold air enters the tunnel during summer, but is not able to leave in the summer, it is trapped. Cold air is heavier than warm air, so it always tends to flow downward. The tunnel goes down from the entrance, and there is no second entrance which would allow an air current. The caves contain ice during winter until early Summer, generally until June, in some years even longer.

The millstone quarrying created three adjacent tunnels, all of them leading downwards. The tunnels are sometimes rather low and require stooping. For the visit some kind of light is necessary. We recommend good shoes, torches, warm clothes and if possible a helmet and gloves.

The ice caves were used as a beer cellar by the brewery owner Kersten at Mürlenbach Castle. This is also where the wall remains in the caves come from.