Höhlenburg Buchfart

Cave Castle Buchfart

Useful Information

Das alte Bergschloß Buchfart im Großherzogthume Weimar. Public Domain.
Cave Castle Buchfart, Germany. Public Domain.
Location: Buchfart.
A4 exit 50 Apolda. Towards Bad Berka on the B87 to Buchfart. Follow the trail at the bridge, at the branch near the village turn right, after the field turn left. 5 minutes walk.
(50.923071, 11.327965)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Castle
Light: none
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Thomas Bienert (2000): Mittelalterliche Burgen in Thüringen, Gudensberg, 2000 Deutsch - German
Karl Gräbner (1822): Das alte Bergschloß Buchfart im Großherzogthume Weimar, mit einer Zeichnung der Ruine in Steindruck, Weimar, 1822. Deutsch - German online
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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1348 first documented as Lutolf von Heitingsburg residenz in Buchverte (Lutolf von Heitingsburg's residence in Buchverte).
1395 the Counts of Schwarzburg receive feudal sovereignty in Buchfart.
1398 mentioned for the last time.
1551 cave castle visited by mineralogist and mining expert Georgius Agricola.
1822 examined and later described by local historian Karl Gräbner.
2009 Extensive security measures.


Buchfart Castle is the only cave castle in Thuringia. It is located in a rock face, 40 m above the river Ilm, not far from Buchfart. It can be reached by a five-minute walk. The castle is freely accessible, but due to the absence of some essential parts, it is difficult and sometimes even dangerous to enter. We strongly recommend that you limit your visit to viewing the castle from the outside.

The cave castle was built into an overhang of Triassic limestone which was extended for this purpose. Nine of the original twelve chambers hewn out of the rock have been preserved. A wall connecting all the chambers was destroyed. A keep that is said to have stood in front of the castle is considered a legend, as the terrain does not seem suitable.

The castle was probably only in use for a very short time. It is only mentioned in documents in the 14th century. Thus, "Lutolf von Heytingisburg, gesessen zu Buchfart" is described in 1348 as a servant of the Counts of Orlamünde. It is assumed that it was abandoned around 1440.

A young miller from Hetschburg met a ghost. The ghost told him to come to the castle the next evening to dig up a treasure. But he forbade him to bring his godfather with him. Since this godfather was a sorcerer, the boy distrusted the prohibition and brought him along anyway. When the ghost appeared and noticed it, instead of the gold treasure he gave the miller a few good slaps and disappeared forever.

One night a journeyman bricklayer was walking through the Ilm valley towards his home village. As the chime of the Buchfart tower clock rang out at midnight, a little man suddenly stood beside him. He asked him to come with him to the cave castle and widen a hollow in the rock, the entrance to an underground passage. When he had finished his work, he was allowed to go home, but he had to promise to be very discreet and to come back the next evening.
The man gave him a handful of yellow leaves for his wife. The man threw away the seemingly worthless leaves on his way home. However, one leaf remained on his skirt without him noticing. The next morning, his wife discovered a shiny gold coin on her husband's skirt, right where the leaf had been hanging. Pressed by her, he told her about his nocturnal experience.
In the evening he went back to the rock castle, but he could no longer find the entrance to the cave. Nor did the little man reappear. Even the discarded leaves, for which he searched diligently, were no longer to be found.

Trutina is called the miracle woman of the mountain, she is said to be beautiful. When spring comes, she rides down to the valley on a white stag with golden antlers, surrounded and followed by delicate aerial figures. In autumn, when the leaves fall, she returns to the castle. Anyone who sees her is drawn to her, up to the castle and into the rocks. At the entrance to the castle, a faithful Eckard warns anyone who follows her, but her spell is too great. No one has ever returned behind whom the gates of the castle have closed.

Probably the most famous visitor to the castle was the mineralogist and mining expert Georgius Agricola. In 1551, he climbed up to the castle because he had been assured that dwarfish subterranean creatures had once lived there. The local historian Karl Gräbner investigated the legendary castle complex very intensively in 1822. He published his findings in the book Das alte Bergschloß Buchfart im Großherzogtum Weimar.