Did you know that Germany’s highest show case is concealed in the bowels of the Wendelstein? A resident of Bayrischzell in the valley discovered it in 1864 and it was professionally explored for the first time in 1882.
The Wendelstein Cave is part of an entire cave system, which winds its way through the impressive massif of the Wendelstein. It is regarded as something of a geological sensation in the caving world, as its remarkable altitude (1,711 m) far above today’s river level indicates that it must have been created long before the formation of the Alps.
The artificial entrance into the self-guided Wendelstein Cave lies directly behind the mountain station of the cog railway (signposted and less than a 4-minute walk from the mountain station). Visitors initially walk down 82 steps into the darkness. The tunnel zigzags through the gap in the rock and after some 200 metres you reach the impressive “Cathedral”, while in the other direction – a further 30 metres – you arrive at the natural entrance to the cave and what is known as the “Cold Trap” where snow still lies even in the height of summer.
Even lay people can appreciate and understand the signs of cave formation in the Wendelstein Cave: four interactive stations guide visitors through the inside of the mountain illuminated by LED lighting. Multimedia information is provided in German and English on a push-button screen including some surprising geological and biological facts. The cave is also considered from a psychological and philosophical perspective.