The Bing Cave in Streitberg
The following important points should be noted on your cave tour:
ÞPlease do not touch any stalactites.
ÞPlease always pay attention, as there is an increased risk of injury to the head due to low ceiling heights, especially when you take pictures.
ÞThe sometimes very narrow aisle can trigger claustrophobic fears - please contact us if you have any concerns.
ÞThe cave temperature is 9 ° C all year round with a humidity of approx. 95%. Please put some warm clothes on.
Thank you so much!
The inconspicuous corridor of the cave was excavated in 1905 by the Nuremberg industrialist and commercial councilor Ignaz Bing - he was the world's largest toy manufacturer at the time - and extended to a length of 30 m. Numerous prehistoric and paleontological finds were found during the excavations. In the same year, further extensive parts of the cave were discovered and developed. Today the Binghöhle together with the exit created in 1938 has a length of approx. 270 m. The Bing cave is the only Franconian show cave in limestone (limestone). The cave runs largely horizontally due to the contact with layered joints. It is considered a rare example of a former river cave lying dry today. Over time, the Bing Cave fell dry due to the lowering of the water table. Subsequently, the deposition of sediments and the formation of dripstones shaped today's appearance.
There are so-called flow facets in several places in the Bing cave. These are shell-like depressions on the walls. These are caused by turbulence eddies in the fast flowing water. they thus prove that a cave river flowed here a long time ago. In cross section, the flow facets show an elongated asymmetrical profile. The flat end points in the original flow direction of the river. The size of the flow facets depends on the flow speed: the faster the water flows, the smaller the facets. Try to find the flow facets in the bing cave and then determine the flow speed and direction.
Bathynella is a rare groundwater crab that lives in its thousands in a pool in the Bing Cave. These animals are considered living fossils because they have hardly changed their appearance in the past 350 million years. Although these animals are only 1mm in size, they belong to the higher crabs and are more closely related to lobsters and crayfish than to water fleas. Bathynella has lost his eyes and color pigments in the cave. This perfect adaptation to cave life means that these animals can no longer exist on the surface of the earth - they can therefore also be called real cave animals. Unfortunately you cannot see them in the water.
Ignaz Bing extended this passage downwards. A very beautiful crystalline stalactite that is translucent is particularly interesting right from the start. Also noteworthy are the water level marks, which lie like thick ridges around the stalagmites. This shows that this part of the cave was still under water when the stalactites were already in place. Here, however, it was standing water that had nothing to do with the cave river.
After a grand stalactite formation reminiscent of an altar, the passage widens for a few meters to a small staircase. In the middle of the tunnel - please pull your head in - you will pass an opening in the ceiling, "Konrad's loophole". This is the rest of the natural passage to the second part of the cave. Since no adult came through this constriction, the 13-year-old Konrad crawled into this unknown at the end of October 1905. The boy was the first person to enter the second, more beautiful part of the cave. He followed the corridor for a length of 150 m, for which it took him about an hour. On the basis of his enthusiastic reports, Ignaz Bing had the slip extended. In 1905 the cave was opened as a show cave and in 1907 it was already illuminated electrically due to the high number of visitors.
Stalactites are made of lime and are formed by the precipitation of crystalline lime when the leachate emerges from very fine crevices in the rock. A distinction is made between stalactites that grow from top to bottom and stalagmites that form from bottom to top. The small lime or sintered tubes on the ceiling are also known as macaroni. The growth rate of our stalactites is currently about 1/4 millimeter per year. However, the age of the stalactites cannot be calculated from this, since the growth rate depends on many factors (climate, amount of water, location of the stalactite and much more) and fluctuates very greatly over the millennia. Our landmark, the giant column is the largest stalactite in the cave with a height of over 2 m. Its age is limited to max. Estimated 150,000 years.
Dr. Kellermann was a very good friend of Ignaz Bing, came from Nuremberg and was a teacher by profession. He wrote the first treatise on the cave in 1905.
The candle hall is the largest room of the Binghöhle with a ceiling height of 9 m and white, very sensitive stalactites, so-called palm trunks. These columns are made of pure crystalline lime and are a special feature of the Bing cave
The entrance to the Venus Grotto is located in the middle of the cave and is about 30 m underground, making it the deepest part of the cave. The coral-like lime crystals on the right side are also called "cauliflower". These are stalactites that can only develop and grow under water. In the Venus Grotto we come across fallen columns, which were probably frozen during the last ice age. It is believed that the entire cave was filled with ice at the end of the last ice age. In the catacombs, the adjoining corridor, it is particularly noticeable that the Bing cave is embedded in the lime. The thickness of the stratification is particularly impressive here.
This beautiful part of the cave was named after Bing's niece Olga. She was a cave-loving young lady who greatly supported Ignaz Bing's research. She was also the first female cave guide in the Bing Cave.
The mermaid grotto is located between the Olga grotto and the fantasy grotto. Here you will find the traces of the fossil cave river in the form of bowl-like flow facets, from which you can see the direction of flow very well - contrary to the current direction of travel. The illuminated “red curtain” at the end is only approx. 1 mm thick and therefore extremely sensitive. Its beautiful red color is due to iron particles. At this point, 13-year-old Konrad had to turn back in 1905, since the rest of the cave was largely under water.
In the fantasy grotto you will come across a hedgehog, a harp and an elephant. Be careful, the path is a little slippery and the ceiling is very low.
The already described cave crab Bathynella lives in the small cave lake below the plaque commemorating the visit of Prince Ludwig in 1908.
The crystal grotto with the three pinnacles, the largest stalactite and a growth brand from 1905 is a highlight of this tour. It was the end of the original cave, so all visitors turned to go back to the entrance - sometimes with considerable crowds. In April 1938, after three years of largely voluntary work by the citizens of Streitberg, a 32 m long exit was completed, again finding a small natural cave, the so-called "new rooms". Since then you have been walking through the mountain and leaving the cave above the "Schauertal" valley.
The best way to walk back to Streitberg is through the Wedenbach Gorge - keep left after the cave exit and follow the signs. Pay particular attention to the waterfall-like sintered terraces and fire salamanders that can be found along the way.
We thank you for your visit and hope that you enjoyed this excursion underground and that you remember the Bing Cave well.
Your Team Binghöhle