Gertrudenberger Höhlen

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Gertrudenberger Höhlen are an anthropogenic cave system located in the Sonnenhügel district of Osnabrück under the Gertrudenberg , which is registered as a cultural monument. The cave system is closed to the public due to possible dangers.


In a document dated May 12, 1333, Abbot Wescelus of the Gertrudenberg monastery first mentioned a quarry near the Gertrudenberg , which the city of Osnabrück operated. Over the centuries, the quarry was expanded into a cave system by mining the trochitic limestone on the surface - extracted from the shell limestone . The main layer of the trochitic limestone is about six to seven meters thick here. It falls into the mountain and is partially overlaid by rocks that are not very useful.

The dismantling followed the usable layer. First of all, the unusable materials were also dismantled and deposited as overburden on the edges of the resulting stone pit. Later these layers were left standing and underground rock extraction was used. Over the centuries, an extensive, legendary and unexplored cave system, the so-called Gertrudenberger Loch, was created .

The stone was only used in a few cases for the construction of structures, rather it was burned in lime kilns and thus formed the basis for the production of mortar. Building blocks from the dismantling can now be found in the monastery wall and the monastery buildings as well as in the institution wall. It separates the insane asylum that opened in 1868 (today Ameos Klinikum Osnabrück) from today's Bürgerpark. The kilns were on the northwest slope of the mountain, above today's tennis courts. Some remains of the foundations can still be seen today where the “Meesenburg” restaurant was once located.

The origin of the cave system through underground limestone mining was at times controversial. In the 1930s it was assumed that it was a Germanic place of worship.

Cave system

The access to the cave used to be behind an entrance building in the eastern stone pit slope at the height of today's rose garden. The maximum length in north-south direction was approx. 135 m, the greatest width approx. 70 m. According to the rules for determining the total length of caves, the length of the Gertrudenberger Höhle was about 900 m without taking the staircases and air shafts into account. The bottom of the cave is between about 79 and 85 m, the entry shaft at about 97.5 m above sea level. NN. It has several cave rooms, some of them from ancient times, of great size and height, which were accessible via at least three entrances, some via very high stairs.

The cave system was connected to the Gertrudenberg monastery. In the wider area, too, tunnels related to the system were repeatedly discovered during various earthworks.


Little is known about its use before the 19th century. In the 19th century the caves were used as a beer cellar and for growing mushrooms. During the Second World War , part of the cave system was expanded into an air raid shelter . According to the General Law on Consequences of War , the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (BImA) was responsible for security and hazard prevention from this time .

For the planned BUGA 2015, it was planned to make the northern part of the cave accessible to visitors as a decentralized project location in the long term (however, the city of Osnabrück decided in 2006 to dispense with the BUGA.) In a feasibility study in 2002, the cave was not included, because there were unresolved legal problems, in particular of the person liable for personal injury and property damage. A lack of budget funds from the city and public funds have prevented the cave from being opened to the public so far. Because of possible dangers, there have been plans by the BImA since 2013 to fill the caves with concrete. However, the owners of the property - the city of Osnabrück, Ameos Klinikum and a private individual - also have to decide on this. A mining expert opinion should clarify from 2015 whether the cave is in danger of collapsing.

The cave is registered under no. 3714/01 or 001 in the Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia cave cadastre and is registered as an archaeological monument in the Lower Saxony list of monuments and also with the city of Osnabrück, Department of Archaeological Monument Preservation . It is a cultural monument (limestone mine) according to Section 3 of the Lower Saxony Monument Protection Act .

Association of Gertrudenberger Höhlen Osnabrück e. V.

The non-profit association "Gertrudenberger Höhlen Osnabrück eV" was established through the founding meeting on February 15, 2011 and the entry in the register of associations at the Osnabrück District Court on March 24, 2011. founded. Its purpose is to develop activities that enable locals and non-residents to access the cultural history of the city of Osnabrück, the Gertrudenberg and the Gertrudenberger Höhlen.

The association particularly supports:

  • Public relations work for the Gertrudenberg and the Gertrudenberger Höhlen cultural monument,
  • to protect the Gertrudenberg and the Gertrudenberger Höhlen cultural monument, to maintain it and to research and document it scientifically (e.g. archaeological, geological, historical etc.),
  • the opening of the Gertrudenberger Höhlen to the general public.


  • Hans Morlo: The Gertrudenberger Loch - An artificial cave in Osnabrück. Treatises on cave and karst studies, booklet 26, 138 pp., 71 images ISBN 3-927441-08-2 .
  • Wido Spratte: Approaching Osnabrück - The bombing attacks 1940 - 1945 . ISBN 3-87898292-5 .
  • Matthias Rickling: The day Osnabrück went under. September 13, 1944. ISBN 3-8313-1478-0 .
  • Ernst Andreas Friedrich : Die Höhlen im Gertrudenberg , S. 216–217, in: If stones could talk. Volume I, Landbuch-Verlag, Hannover 1989, ISBN 3-7842-03973 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Martin Wein: Bund wants to concretize caves. In: Weser Kurier of December 2, 2013, p. 15.
  2. Air raid shelter.
  3. a b c Horst Grebing: Artificial cave systems in Gertrudenberg.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. a b Gertrudenberger Höhlen. Documentation of the Osnabrück air raid shelter
  5. Piesberg - A mountain opens up to the future,, 2013-08-15. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013 ; Retrieved March 25, 2015 .
  6. ^ Rainer Lahmann-Lammert: Federal government wants to fill Osnabrück caves with cement. In: New Osnabrück Newspaper . June 25, 2013.
  7. ^ Rainer Lahmann-Lammert: Gertrudenberg: Osnabrück commissions cave reports. In: New Osnabrück Newspaper . 23rd December 2014.

Coordinates: 52 ° 17 ′ 8.8 ″  N , 8 ° 2 ′ 54 ″  E