Kaiser Rotbart erwartet Sie ganzjährig!

1. April bis 31. Oktober

von 10.00 Uhr (erste Führung) bis 17.00 Uhr (letzte Führung)

1. November bis 31. März

Dienstag bis Sonntag, Montag Ruhetag
von 10.00 Uhr (erste Führung) bis 16.00 Uhr (letzte Führung)

Wir haben an allen gesetzlichen Feiertagen geöffnet.
Am 24.12. bleibt die Höhle geschlossen.
Am 31.12. findet die letzte Führung bereits um 14 Uhr statt.

An Tagen mit Hochzeiten oder anderen Veranstaltungen in der Höhle (siehe im Menü Aktuelles oder im Veranstaltungskalender) können sich Führungen verschieben oder entfallen.

Bitte beachten Sie die folgenden Hinweise:

  • Die Höhle ist aufgrund ihrer natürlichen Gegebenheiten nicht barrierefrei.
  • Für Rollstuhlfahrer ermöglichen wir gern eine verkürzte Führung. Dafür ist eine vorherige Anmeldung unbedingt erforderlich!
  • Wir bitten um Verständnis, dass Hunde bzw. Tiere zu den Führungen nicht mitgenommen werden dürfen. (Richtlinie des Thüringer Oberbergamtes für den Betrieb von Besucherbergwerken und Besucherhöhlen - im Thüringer Staatsanzeiger Nr. 34/1997)
  • In der Höhle herrscht eine konstante Temperatur von 9° C. Auf entsprechende Bekleidung ist insbesondere in den Sommermonaten zu achten.


We are open for you all year-round!

1. April to 31. October

From 10.00am (first tour) to 5pm (last tour)

1. November to 31. March

Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday
from 10.00am (first tour) to 4pm (last tour)

We are also open on Mondays on official national/bank holidays.
On 24.12 the cave is closed.
On 31.12 the last tour is at 2 pm.

Further Information:

  • As a result of the natural conditions there is limited access to the cave for people with disabilities.
  • We are more than happy to arrange a shorter tour for wheelchair users. Advance booking is essential! 
  • We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but according to guidelines (Thuringia Government Gazette Nr.34/1997) issued by the Thuringia Superior Mining Authority for the Operation of Show Mines and Show Caves, animals cannot be taken with you into the cave.
  • There is a constant temperature of 9° C inside the cave. Please ensure you have appropriate clothing with you, especially during the summer.

The 13.000 m² Barbarossa Cave is one of just two anhydrite rock show caves in the whole world and therewith an absolute geological rarity. The curious charm of the underground magical world lies in the individual, beautiful, multi-layered, more or less immense play of colours contained within the white – grey rock of a thousand fold shapes and forms that continually inspire wide-eyed wonder.

Here you can learn about the characteristics of the cave that fascinate our visitors time and again in more detail:   

Extensive, Hall-like, Flat Hollow Spaces


Entrance Hall: span width: 38 m, height: 10 m

Dance Hall: span width 42 m, height 7 m

High, Dome-like Vaulting


Olympus: 25 m high

Cathedral: 18 m high


Spectacular, Bizarre Ceiling Formations

In the tannery some bizarre, up to 1-metre long „gypsum lobes“ can be found hanging from the ceiling and they’re reminiscent of hides and furs that have been hung to dry out.


Such unusual formations as these cannot be viewed in show caves anywhere else in the world!

They are created when anhydrite turns into gypsum via a hydration process. The anhydrite rock actually doesn’t contain any water, but can absorb water on its surface. The water contained in the 98 % high air humidity is sufficient and gypsum is created as a result. The volume of the stone increases by almost 60% and pressure rises so much that the rock surface is dissolved and grows downwards from the ceiling in the form of these strange lobes. These grow at a rate of 3 – 5 cm every hundred years. The speed of growth is dependent on the rock, the air circulation and the humidity. The flaking process means the lobes loosen more and more until they become so heavy that they break off. Afterwards the process begins all over again.

Crystal Clear Lakes

The numerous crystal-clear shimmering blue-green lakes with their impressive ceiling reflections are striking.
Due to uncanny optical illusions such as the reflection on one hand and a high level of light refraction on the other, the lakes deceptively appear to be much deeper than they actually are.

"Swiss Landscape": 3,50 m deep

„Grotto Lake": 3 m deep

Manifold/ Diverse Layers

Fascinating rock structures: clayey and dolomitic layers of rock separate the 50-metre thick anhydrite layer and the alternation between pale and dark layers is visible throughout the cave.

Alabaster Eyes

White alabaster eyes can be seen in many places in the cave. Alabaster is the purest from of gypsum. In these cases the pure calcium sulfate collected in certain places before it solidified and then hardened to form alabaster spheres.


Snake Gypsum

Particularly observant visitors will notice some interesting „snake gypsum,“ formations in a few places.

The way snake gypsum is created hasn’t been fully explained from a geological point of view, but it certainly took place at the time the precipitated anhydrite was still lying on the seabed as mud. Movement caused individual layers of it to slide and fold, which created movement folds with the smallest of puckering right through to muddled slides and folds of mush.    


The Barbarossa Cave is an anhydrite cave. These types of caves have no outside entrance and have developed at a great depth as a result of formation water under impermeable rock coverage.

It developed in 3 phases:

1. A roughly 5 metre-thick layer of sedimentary Zechstein calcium sulfate forms the cave’s foundation. This conducts water very well, so rainwater and surface water penetrated it via clefts and chasms. The Werra anhydrite layer directly above it dissolved significantly better in the water than the Zechstein calcium sulfate. This led to extensive break up of Werra anhydrite layer on the boundary layer of both types of rock, which created flat, expansive hollow spaces known as cavities.


2. In these cavities karst water formed at a consistent level. This water was sated with aqueous stone. A permanent inflow of fresh, absorbent water however, entered the hollow spaces, so that further horizontal depletion took place at the level of the karst water.


3. In this way the hollow spaces continued to grow. The large widths of the halls meant that the ceilings collapsed, even breaking through to the earth surface. The caved-in rubble often filled the hollow spaces, but the water continued for the most part, to break them down again. Today, the real floor of the cave is hidden under metres of caved-in rock.



Barbarossahöhle im GeoPark Kyffhäuser
Mühlen 6, OT Rottleben
99707 Kyffhäuserland

Telefon: +49 (0)34671 5450
Fax: +49 (0)34671 54514
Mail: service@hoehle.de

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