Swabian Alb

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Swabian Alb
Relief map of the Swabian Alb

Relief map of the Swabian Alb

Albtrauf, Middle Swabian Alb, seen from the eastern slope (575 m) of the Jusiberg (672.6 m).  The places are Neuffen and Beuren.  The Albtrauf is formed by Hohenneuffen (745.4 m), Bassgeige (735.6 m), west of Beuren the Engelberg (527.2 m) and further back the Teckberg (774.8 m) with the Swabian volcano Hohenbol (602.2 m) in front of it m).  Extensive rubble lies on the Albtrauf.  The foreland with the two places rests on layers of the Brown Jura.

Albtrauf , Middle Swabian Alb , seen from the eastern slope ( 575  m ) of the Jusiberg ( 672.6  m ). The places are Neuffen and Beuren . The Albtrauf form Hohenneuffen ( 745.4  m ), Bassgeige ( 735.6  m ), west of Beuren the Engelberg ( 527.2  m ) and further back the Teckberg ( 774.8  m ) with the Swabian volcano Hohenbol ( 602.2  m ) in front m ). Extensive rubble lies on the Albtrauf . The foreland with the two places rests on layers of the Brown Jura .

Highest peak Lemberg ( 1015.7  m above sea  level )
location Germany: Baden-Württemberg , Bavaria

Switzerland: Canton Aargau , Canton Schaffhausen

part of Southwest German layer level country
Classification according to Handbook of the natural structure of Germany / Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Coordinates 48 ° 24 '  N , 9 ° 12'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 24 '  N , 9 ° 12'  E
Type Low mountain range , layer level
rock Calcite , limestone , posidonia slate
surface 5,887.35 km²
Appearance of the Alb plateau of the Middle Alb : arable land near Erpfingen at an altitude of over 700  m

The Swabian Alb , formerly Swabian Jura or Schwabenalb called, is a mountain range in southern Germany and with small parts in Switzerland . It is about 180 to 200 km long, 35 to 40 km wide, including the small Swiss portion 5887.35 km² and up to 1015.7  m above sea level. NHN high.

The mountain range consists of Mesozoic Jurassic limestone and is largely located in Baden-Württemberg , with its northeastern foothills also moving to Bavaria and with the southwestern foothills to Switzerland. The Alb is a plateau divided by the effects of erosion , which is bounded to the northwest by a very striking steep drop, but gently sloping towards the southeast and merges into the Alpine foothills beyond the upper Danube valley .

The north-western drop is called the Albtrauf and separates the Alb plateau from the Alb foreland. In the northeast the low mountain range ends at the Nördlinger Ries . To the southwest it can with the Swabian-down Alemannic linguistic border in Tuttlingen and Spaichingen are deferred, but often are more areas subject of consideration (see. Nature regions ) .

From a geological point of view, the Swabian Alb is a layer level in the southwest German layer level country . As they northeast continuing Franconian Jura is making an Tafeljura -Gebirge, and along with the wrinkles Jura , which adjoins to the southwest, it is part of the Jura mountain ranges between Geneva and Coburg .


Partial landscapes

Typical landscape of the Kuppenalb: Steinacker and Kornbühl near Salmendingen

Some, but not all, areas of the Swabian Alb have traditional proper names. There are also newer names given by geographers. Strictly speaking, the Tabular Jura regions from Baaralb (partly) to Basler Tafeljura no longer belong to the Alb (language border near Spaichingen and Tuttlingen), but areas north of the High Rhine are often included in it.

Rauhe Alb is perhaps the oldest name for the landscape. “Rough” probably didn't mean the climate, but the unevenness of the ground. On older maps, the Rauhen Alb refers to the area between Engstingen , Bernloch to Laichingen , Feldstetten to Blaubeuren . In 1933 Eugen Nägele , editor of the papers of the Swabian Alb Association , demanded that the supposedly degrading term Rauhe Alb be dispensed with. Soon afterwards, the Württemberg Minister of Culture Christian Mergenthaler ( NSDAP ) issued a ban on the term Rauhe Alb .

Subregions from northeast to southwest:
Riesalb , Härtsfeld , Albuch , Heidenheimer Alb , Niedere Alb , Stubersheimer Alb , Ulmer Alb , Hochsträß , Blaubeurer Alb , Uracher Alb ( Vordere Alb and Hintere Alb ), Münsinger Alb , Lutheran Mountains , Regional Court , Reutlinger Alb , Zwiefalter Alb , Tautschbuch , Zollernalb , Großer Heuberg .

Sub-regions of the Tafeljura in the Alemannic area:
Baaralb , Hegaualb , Randen , Klettgaujura , Aargauer Tafeljura , Tafeljura around Basel.

Natural structure

The main unit groups (two-digit) and large regions of the 3rd order (thicker dividing lines) of the south-west German level country

The Federal Institute for Regional Studies has since the 1950s in the Handbook of the Natural Region Divisions of Germany and in subsequent single sheets 1: 200,000 in Germany natural space divided part landscapes. The Swabian Alb, together with the Franconian Alb , which continues to the northeast , forms a third-order large region of the south-west German level country (second-order greater region). As with the Gäuen (Muschelkalk, 12-13) and Keuper-Lias countries (10-11), the Jura and Dogger-Malm landscapes were divided into a Swabian (09) and a Franconian (08) main unit group The dividing line is based more on physical than cultural considerations. Especially in the Swabian and Franconian Jura, the dividing line south of the Nördlinger Ries corresponds to the common division.

The Swabian Alb is divided into three-digit main units as follows:


The Lemberg  - Zeugenberg, highest mountain in the Swabian Alb and the most important elevation in the region of 10 thousand

The Albtrauf , the north-western edge of the mountain range, represents a mostly steeply sloping stratum up to 400 meters high . The geomorphologically inconceivable south-east edge can be geologically marked by the submergence of the Jurassic strata under the molasse strata of the Alpine foothills. To the north of the southern border, during the Miocene , a cliff ( e.g. Heldenfinger Kliff ) developed through the upper Molasse Sea . This cliff line runs from Tuttlingen in the southwest to Donauwörth in the northeast.

The layers that make up the Swabian Alb are unfolded and inclined. The " collapse " of the stratified surface occurs from northwest to southeast. The average altitude does not only decrease towards the southeast. Also starting from the Großer Heuberg , the elevation values ​​are lower towards the southwest and northeast.

Pronounced summit mountains are not typical for the Swabian Alb. The highest points are for the most part along the Alb eaves. In front of and on the steep drop, the erosion results in numerous outcrops , mountain peninsulas and witness mountains , which are connected to the stratification of the Alb body. A pronounced certification can be found both in the area of ​​the Albtraufs and in the interior. The much-cited term “Alb plateau” therefore only applies to the areas between the valleys. These plateaus can be subdivided into the northwestern Kuppenalb with small-scale, restless relief and high proportions of forest and grassland, as well as the southeastern, more arable Alb area (cliff line).

Appearance of the Alb plateau of the Hohe Schwabenalb : Schafberg plateau with juniper heather at
an altitude of almost 1000  m

The highest elevations of the Alb body reach just over 1000 meters. They can all be found in the southwestern part of the Alb, especially in the area of ​​the Großer Heuberg. Elevations with or over 1000 meters are Lemberg (1016 m, highest point in the Swabian Alb), Oberhohenberg (1010 m), Hochberg (1009 m), Wandbühl (1007 m), Rainen (1006 m), Montschenloch (1004 m), Hochwald (1003 m), Bol (1002 m), Hummelsberg (1002 m), Plettenberg (1002 m) and Kehlen (1001 m).

Mountains of witnesses are no longer connected to the layer step at the level of the step-forming rock layer and are mostly free-eroded in front of the night eaves. The mountains of volcanic origin standing in front of the Alb eaves are, geologically speaking, “pseudo-witness mountains”. The following is a list of witness mountains, with and without the remainder of the stratification area , sorted from northeast to southwest. The mountains marked with "(V)" have a volcanic core that is largely responsible for their formation.

Mountains of witnesses without layer surface

The Zeugenberg Zoller carries the Hohenzollern Castle

Mountains of witnesses with layered surfaces

From a natural point of view, the Hesselberg belongs to the Franconian Alb , but in dialect geography it lies in the pre- Swabian area (Swabian-East Franconian transition area with predominance of Swabian features). Other areas of the westernmost Franconian Alb on the eastern edge of the Ries are also in the Swabian, Swabian-East Franconian or Swabian-Bavarian dialect.

In contrast to mountains of witnesses, the mountains of emigration are still essentially connected to the shift level. The following is a list of outsiders, with and without the remaining layer area , again sorted from northeast to southwest. The mountains marked with "(V)" have a volcanic core that is largely responsible for their formation.

The Runde Berg is a remote mountain

Cantilever without layer surface

Cantilever with layer surface


A limestone outcrop on Dreifaltigkeitsberg near Spaichingen (western edge of the Alb)

Origin in the Jurassic Sea


The Alb represents a stratum of the southern German stratified plain. It consists of sedimentary marine deposits in the form of thick layers of clay, limestone and marl. These rocks formed during the Jurassic period at the bottom of a sea that covered large parts of Europe around 200 to 150 million years ago. The Jurassic rocks form three main formations. According to their color, one differentiates locally from bottom to top Lias ( Black Jura ), Dogger (Brown Jura) and Malm (White Jura).

Black Jura
Petrified sea lily from the Black Jura near Holzmaden

The rocks of the Black Jurassic are clay slate and are colored darker by a high content of bitumen and pyrite . One also speaks (incorrectly) of oil shale . This rock occurs at the foot of the night eaves and is famous for its ichthyosaur finds . These can best be viewed in the Urwelt Museum Hauff in Holzmaden or in the fossil museum of the Holcim Factory Forum in Dotternhausen . The fossil museum in Dotternhausen houses over 1,000 exhibits of Jura fossils from the western Alb.

Brown Jura

The layers of the Brown Jura , sandy-clay marl, get their brown color from a rather high iron content . This iron was also mined as oolithic iron ore in Wasseralfingen near Aalen . The Aalenium , a chronostratigraphic stage of the Middle Jurassic, belongs to this layer and geochronologically covers the period from around 174.1 to 170.3 million years. The step has been named after the city of Aalen since 1864 . The first fossil finds were made in the deep tunnel in Aalen. A large part of this is exhibited in the city's Urweltmuseum Aalen.

White Jura
The limestone quarry in the Blautal near Gerhausen , an outcrop in the White Jura

The White Jura , which forms the steep escarpment of the Alb eaves, consists of almost pure calcite that was deposited in an oxygen-rich and living sea. It is characterized by an alternating sequence of marls , limestone banks and mass limestone (reefs). The limestone quarried in a number of large quarries - for example at Plettenberg near Dotternhausen , at Schelklingen and at Grabenstetten - is used for cement production and as road gravel. Ultra- pure limestone - the CaCO 3 content is sometimes over 99% - is extracted in the Blautal near Ulm and sold as Ulmer Weiß to the chemical industry all over the world.

In the Swabian Alb, the mining of tufa played an important role economically , which can indirectly be assigned to the white Jura as a secondary sediment. A distinction is made between localities such as Seeburger and Gönninger Kalktuff . Because of its material-specific resilience and weather resistance, tufa from Seeburg was used on many representative buildings such as the Ulm Minster . However, karstification processes are a prerequisite for the formation of tufa.


All Jura sediments contain a variety of fossils that you can easily find yourself on a hike. Geologist Friedrich August von Quenstedt created the structure of the southern German Jura named after him on the basis of the key fossils that are typical for the respective layer .

Some fossils can be found all over the Swabian Alb, while others are unique or found objects from a certain region. In many museums around the world, the fossil corals of the Swabian Alb are exhibited due to their filigree aesthetics . An important location for fossils from the Malm is the Nusplinger plate with the naturally occurring thin limestone plates. Meerengel cavort in fossilized form next to giant dragonflies and fossil marine crocodiles .

Erminger Turritellenplatte

Tertiary deposits occur on the southern edge of the Swabian Alb and form the surface. The Erminger Turritellenplatte near Ulm is particularly well known for its abundance of marine fossils .

Hero's Finger Cliff
The cliff line (dashed green) along the southern edge of the Swabian Alb between the districts of Heidenheim (top right) and Tuttlingen (bottom left)

The Heldenfinger Kliff was part of the rocky coast of the Tertiary Sea ( Upper Sea Molasse ) 15 million years ago. The prolonged impact of the waves has carved out a typical cove with holes made by drilling mussels and drilling sponges from the Weißjurafels on the south side of the Swabian Alb. The Heldenfinger Kliff is described by geologists as the best preserved fossil beach, which is why this cliff line has achieved scientific importance and is protected as a natural monument and geotope.

Steinheimer Schneckensand

As Steinheimer worm sand of the fossil is snail shells -mixed sand called that in many places in Steinheim comes to light. The paleontologist Franz Hilgendorf found in the 1860s that the snail shells slowly change their shape from layer to layer; this was the first paleontological evidence for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution .


The Swabian Alb is one of the largest contiguous karst areas in Germany. Limestone, which is particularly well soluble in carbonic water, is washed out, creating caves , sinkholes and dry valleys . Dry valleys are prehistoric forms. They arise, for example, when the erosion base is deepened in an area with water-permeable rock and the groundwater level sinks - the rivers then leave the surface and run deeper into the rock. The valleys can also have been formed during cold periods when permafrost soils basically seal water-permeable rock against runoff downwards.

Because of its karstification, there are very few surface waters on the Alb. Precipitation quickly disappears underground, where it drains off over crevices and caves about 150 to 200 m below the surface. In the geological layer package of the Alb, water-permeable limestones alternate with damming clayey marls, which is why two karst storeys have formed in the Alb body.

Only with the gradual development and expansion of the Alb water supply was it possible to ensure the supply of clean drinking water for the inhabitants of the arid plateau of the Alb towards the end of the 19th century.


Around 2500 caves are known in the Karst of the Swabian Alb, one of the most famous caves is the Blautopfhöhle , which drains to the Blautopf . The Laichinger Tiefenhöhle is the deepest accessible shaft cave in Germany and the Charlottenhöhle is one of the longest show caves in southern Germany.

The show caves are:

The caves listed can be visited. Others can be visited on your own as part of hikes. Various geological and karst hiking trails allow the interested layperson to recognize and understand many of these special features.

The Bockstein Cave , the Geißenklösterle , the Hohle Fels , the Hohlenstein-Stadel , the Sirgenstein Cave and the Vogelherd Cave were put on the tentative list of Germany under the title " Caves and Ice Age Art of the Swabian Alb " at the suggestion of Baden-Württemberg and confirmed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2017 . In this case, the interest in the six caves is more for cultural than geological reasons.

The local groups of the Association of German Cave and Karst Researchers , which have gained in importance in recent years, take care of the complex and sometimes laborious surveying, mapping and appropriate documentation of all caves in the Swabian Alb . Last but not least, the cave explorers want to make known the zoological biodiversity in the subterranean habitats of the Alb , which is hardly known to the public . Since 2009, a cave animal of the year has been identified and presented every year .

→ See also: Category: Swabian Alb cave

Meteorite craters, volcanoes and earthquakes

In addition to the karst phenomena, there are other geological phenomena that contributed to the fact that the Swabian Alb was recognized as a National GeoPark in Germany in 2002 due to its geological diversity and special features .

Meteorite impact

The Steinheim Basin was created from the crater of a meteorite impact

The Steinheim Basin is an impact crater around Steinheim am Albuch that was created by a meteorite impact about 14 to 15 million years ago . After the impact, a crater lake formed, which later silted up.

Swabian volcano

The Swabian volcano is found within a radius of about 56 km on the plateau of the Swabian Alb and in the Alb foreland. To date, over 350 volcanic vents (diatrems) have been identified; numerous hidden chimneys could only be mapped using geophysical techniques. Since the extinction of volcanism in the Miocene (approx. 11 million years ago) there has been no further activity on the Alb. After this long period of time, volcanic features are only perceptible in a few cases and in even fewer cases they shape the appearance of the landscape; so on Jusi , but also on Konradfels and Calverbühl , a volcanic vent.

Geothermal energy on the Swabian Lineament

The cross-sectional drawing summarizes important geological features of the Swabian Alb in a simplified way: on the right the three main layers Malm, Dogger and Lias (including the underlying layers), the Alb eaves with its witness mountains, the slight incline of the layers towards the Danube, volcanism due to geological rifts, hot near the surface Magma chambers and ultimately instability that can lead to earthquakes

On the northern edge of the Swabian Alb natural geothermal energy near the surface can partly geothermally be used. The mineral and thermal bath AlbThermen in Bad Urach is fed by two healing springs at a depth of 770 m with a spring temperature of 61 ° C. The situation at the Panorama Therme Beuren is similarly favorable . During drilling in 1970, thermal mineral water with a temperature of 38.5 ° C was encountered at a depth of only 381 m. They continued to drill and found another find at a depth of 755 m; the water found there was 48.3 ° C. The water of the Limes thermal baths in Aalen was discovered in 1980 when drilling the Swabian Lineament , a 140 km traceable layer fault on the Albrand, at a depth of 650 m. The temperature at the well outlet in Aalen is 36.4 ° C.


Earthquake zones in Germany according to DIN 4149

The Swabian Alb is one of the areas in Germany with the most and most dangerous earthquakes ; In 1911, 1943 and 1978 severe events occurred in the so-called Albstadt shear zone . The earthquake on September 3, 1978 , the epicenter of which was near Albstadt , measured a magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter scale. There was considerable damage to buildings and 25 people were injured.

Since 2005 the area around Albstadt has been one of the most endangered Zone 3 according to DIN 4149 ; therefore a particularly earthquake-proof construction is required there.


The soils that emerged from the White Jura are predominantly heavy and loamy, locally also loose and crumbly. In addition to deep soils, there are also locations with very little soil coverage. Typical soils include: Rendzina , Terra fusca and Brown Earth - Pelosol .

Climate and vegetation

Downhill rain on the Albtrauf, here near Neuffen; the snow line (here around 700  m ) can also be seen

Due to the altitude, the climate in the Swabian Alb is harsher and the temperature is usually around 3 to 5 ° C lower than in the foreland several hundred meters below. This clear temperature contrast leads to the saying that it is “always a coat colder” on the Alb. The annual average on the Alb is between 4 and 7 ° C, the long-term average for January is −2 ° C, for July around 15 ° C. Compared to other low mountain ranges, the Alb is quite cold, about as cold as the significantly higher southern Black Forest .

Typical inversion weather, here near Mössingen am Farrenberg

Since the rain clouds prefer to come in from the northwest, the Alb eaves recorded significantly higher amounts of precipitation than the lower Alb foreland due to the incline rain . From the western to the eastern Alb, precipitation tends to decrease in line with the falling altitude. The Große Heuberg , located far to the west, is out of the ordinary here. Despite the high altitude, there is hardly more precipitation (around 1000–1100 mm per year) than on the lower central Alb between Reutlingen and Göppingen . The reason for this is the rain shadow of the Black Forest near the Heuberg in the northwest.

In autumn and winter, so-called inversion weather conditions sometimes set in , which make it sunny and warm on the Alb plateau, while the Neckar foreland or the Danube valley lie in cold fog . On such days there is often a clear view of the Alps on the Alb plateau .

The landscape of the Swabian Alb has a rather harsh, austere character, its plateau is mainly by forests, meadows and through the sheep incurred juniper heath dominated, while the steeply over the northern foothills soaring to Albtrauf presented rather steep cliff edges. The barren, stony soils (see the history of Swabian stone fields ) in the Alb are generally not considered to be particularly productive. In spite of this, large-scale agriculture is practiced in some parts of the Alb , especially in the area of ​​the Niederen and Ulmer Alb, but also on the Großer Heuberg.


The course of the Neckar, Rhine and Danube

Most of the rainwater seeps into the fissures of the karst mountains and reappears in karst springs . After a relatively short walk, it reaches the large natural receiving waters , the Neckar in the north and the Danube in the south. Two main types of karst springs can be distinguished:

  • Stratified and overflow springs, mainly on the Alb eaves , where the water is released again after only a short period of time (hours to days).
  • Outflows from caves or siphons from caves, mainly on the south-eastern slope of the Alb.

In both types, the bed is sometimes very large and / or fluctuating greatly. On the Danube, which breaks through the Alb between Tuttlingen and Sigmaringen, a geological peculiarity occurs near Immendingen with the sinking of the Danube .

Coloring tests showed that the European main watershed runs near the Alb eaves.

The most important rivers of the Swabian Alb, divided into the two main river systems , are:

Danube river system:

Rhine river system:

  • Echaz , tributary of the Neckar
  • Erms , tributary of the Neckar
  • Eyach , tributary of the Neckar
  • Fils , tributary of the Neckar
  • Jagst , tributary of the Neckar
  • Crooked , tributary of the Fils
  • Louder , tributary of the Fils


The Schopflocher Alb nature conservation center , a place where the public has been sensitized to ecological issues in the Swabian Alb since 1989

As early as 1942, the Schopflocher Moor was designated as a nature reserve. It is one of the oldest nature reserves in the Alb. At the end of the 20th century, it was increasingly discovered that the Alb represents a low mountain range with special ecological conditions. The high value and the absolute need for protection of this complex landscape penetrated the awareness of both the general public and political decision-makers more and more. One consequence of this was the establishment of information points from 1989, such as the nature conservation center Schopflocher Alb , which has set itself the task of sensitizing the public to both natural phenomena and ecological issues in the Alb.

From 1993 onwards, the Biodiversity Convention , a global convention on biological diversity with ambitious goals, was in the background of political decisions in the concrete efforts to address the Alb .

Further essential steps in this context were:

In the 21st century, these steps led to a further consolidation and networking of diverse information centers on geological, biological and environmental issues with regard to the Alb.


Common fringed gentian , found at juniper heather near Heubach (Ostalb)
Alb plateau with juniper heather and rocks near Böttingen at over 900  m altitude on the Großer Heuberg ; Spruce trees growing here have adapted to the mountain climate and have a remarkably narrow crown shape

As a low mountain range, the Swabian Alb has partially subalpine vegetation . The botanical symbol of the Alb is the silver thistle . No less decorative is the woolly thistle on the Alb . On the juniper heaths and south-facing slopes, the silver thistle and often the smaller gold thistle grow as well as the alpine thistle in the rubble under rocks .

Pink family are on the Alb diverse home: the Cheddar pink , the Carthusian Elke , the head Elke and the nature reserve Heidenelke . As a great rarity there the true splendor Elke .

Several species of gentian grow in the Swabian Alb. In spring, the spring gentian transforms the Alb areas into a carpet of color. The lime-loving German fringed gentian can also be found on the sheep pastures and blooms well into autumn. The cross gentian and the yellow gentian are less common .

Different types of lily can be seen on the grasslands of the Alb, such as the elderberry iris and the iris . The colorful Turkish League appears in the woods . The grass lily, which is rather rare in the lowlands, also finds a suitable growth location in the flower meadows of the Alb, but is now counted among the asparagus family .

The mountain aster , which is almost 50 centimeters high, prefers sunny places . There is a larger occurrence of the common pasque flower in the Eastern Alb near Bopfingen, among other places . In the meadows, devil's claws and the spherical flowers are also splashes of blue.

In the canyon forests of the Alb bloom in spring, among other things, Märzenbecher , blue and yellow stars , from May the blue mountain knapweed . A little later comes the monkshood . This appears on the Alb not only as a blue iron hat , but also as a yellow iron hat and as a pied iron hat in appearance.

At the outlet of the karst springs, the bright yellow marsh marigolds can already be seen in March .

Flora on the limestone cliffs

The exposed rock heads of the Swabian Alb are a special place for plants. There you can find the Bibernell rose , the rock buckthorn , the Carinthian mountain buttercup and the spicy stonecrop , in addition to mountain hellerkraut , mountain vetch , grape germander , common sun rose , gray sun rose , celandine , turf saxifrage and dwarf Bellflower .

Wild orchids

Orchids form a large group within the wild orchid family on the Alb

Several native orchid species grow on the Münsinger Alb, all of which are protected. In the beech forests, for example, the red forest bird , the white forest bird , the brown-red stendellum , the marsh stendel root and the purple stendel root can be found . Conservationists pay special attention to the locations of the yellow lady's slipper , the large two-leaf , the pyramidal dogwort and the ragwurzen . Five species of the latter are common in the Alb: the more common fly ragwur , the less common bee ragwurz , the bumblebee ragwurz , the small spider ragwurz and the absolutely rare large spider ragwurz . These rarities are at home in the limestone grassland . The Mosquito-Haendelwurz also has locations in the southern Alb. Some of these botanical treasures have already been named Orchid of the Year and are mapped and looked after in the area by the local orchid working group.

Another group of wild orchids are orchids . These orchids bloom on the Alb from April, beginning with the early blooming orchid . The fire orchid is significantly rarer on the Alb than the helmet orchid . The purple orchid is up to 80 cm high, the male orchid is somewhat smaller . The latter is scientifically called Orchis mascula , in the dialect cultivated on the Alb also Hodesäckle , because it is reminiscent of the anatomy of male reproductive organs.

Increasingly, one can observe the very stately, occasionally up to one meter in length growing Bocks strap tongue not only in the Swabian Alb, but also there. However, this type of orchid is rarely found at altitudes above 800  m .

Occasionally there are also forest hyacinths , of which only two species are native to the Alb: the two-leaved forest hyacinth and the greenish forest hyacinth . In the foothills of the Alb, for example near Teckberg , you can discover the particularly late-blooming autumn rootwort from the genus Spiranthes .

All these orchids are also on the Red List of Endangered Species and are therefore - not only on the Alb - under special protection.


Butterflies near Heubach on the Eastern Alb on a silver thistle

With its multitude of different biotopes, the Swabian Alb offers numerous animal species a suitable habitat.


Swallowtail on Carthusian carnation (location: Lenninger Alb)

Juniper heaths and south-facing slopes and rocks are home to a multitude of butterflies and warmth-loving insects. The rare Apollo butterfly ( Parnassius apollo ) is only found in one place in the Münsinger Alb , the even rarer blue-black kingfisher on the edges of the blue valley. The swallowtail ( Papilio machaon ) can be seen in the summit balz and on flowers. The blue-winged wasteland insect ( Oedipoda caerulescens ) likes to stay on wasteland and scree fields. Even the rare alpine buck ( Rosalia alpina ), which is more native to the Alps, occurs on the Reutlinger Alb and very rarely north of it, when beech trunks are allowed to rot.


Primeval times

A pterosaur ( Cycnorhamphus suevicus ) was discovered and exposed in the Nusplinger plate limestone . It is estimated to be around 150 million years old. Fossil bones of the ptarmigan that were found in the Kleiner Scheuer , a cave on the Rosenstein , indicate that the bird population on the Alb during the Ice Ages was different from what it is now. Fossil flamingos and pelicans , found in the so-called "warm water layers", originate from the Steinheim basin and thus from a phase after the meteorite impact .

Modern times

Rocks and steep walls also offer breeding sites for eagle owl ( Bubo bubo ), peregrine falcon ( Falco peregrinus ) and common raven ( Corvus corax ). Strict Horst guarding by conservationists and temporarily pronounced climbing ban to ensure that the eagle owl and the peregrine falcon can raise their young in peace. A larger colony of jackdaws is located near Sigmaringen near the castle. Also tawny owl ( Strix aluco ), boreal owl ( Aegolius funereus ), barn owl ( Tyto alba ) and - due to climate change  - now scops owl ( Otus scops ) are found. The black woodpecker ( Dryocopus martius ) builds nesting caves in tall, old trees in the Alb . In abandoned black woodpecker caves, numerous other bird species (including owls) are often found, which are now using the used nest as a nesting site.

In 2007 there were also a few griffon vultures ( Gyps fulvus ) on the Münsinger Alb. Due to a lack of food at their home in Spain, the vultures fly hundreds of kilometers to other European regions. Griffon vultures were still native to the Danube valley until the 19th century.

The gray heron ( Ardea cinerea ), the great egret ( Ardea alba ), the white stork ( Ciconia ciconia ), and occasionally the black stork ( Ciconia nigra ) and the lapwing ( Vanellus ) can be found on the moist meadows in the Alb valleys and on the banks of the Danube valley vanellus ) enough food.

The bird protection center in Mössingen, where sick birds and bats are treated and, if possible, returned to the wild

In Randecker Maar in the Swabian Alb one of the longest time and konsequentesten ornithological monitor programs in Europe is through the research station Randecker Maar instead. Among other things, the long-term observation of bird migration and the investigation of insect migration are carried out in this scientific station .

The Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) maintains a bird protection center that is accessible to visitors in Mössingen near the Ziegelhütte an der Alb. More than 100 injured or sick (young) birds and bats are treated here every year.


Primal animals
One of the oldest works of art of mankind, the mammoth from the Vogelherd cave (40,000 years old, Aurignacien ), carved from
mammoth ivory, today in the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Hohentübingen Castle , shows, along with some other examples, that the ancient animals of the Alb had an early impact in artistic creativity found by people

Bones of bison , woolly mammoth , woolly rhinoceros , collar lemming , cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus ), cave hyena ( Crocuta crocuta spelaea ), cave lions ( Panthera leo spelaea ) can be found in many caves in the Alb (e.g. Charlottenhöhle , Hohlenstein , Hohler Fels , Kleine Scheuer and Ramensteinhöhle ) , Giant deer ( Megaloceros giganteus ), red deer ( Cervus elaphus ), arctic fox ( Vulpes lagopus ), wild horse ( Equus ferus ), wild cattle ( Bos ), ice age big cats, mountain hare ( Lepus timidus ) and reindeer , which indicates that these mammals are still in the Pleistocene both inhabitants of the Alb and objects of human hunting. All of these mammals no longer belong to the modern population.

Primeval pasture
Taurus cattle on the prehistoric pasture near Beiningen

In a quarry between Gerhausen and Beiningen , 27 primeval Taurus cattle (an aurochs image breed, see also Tauros program ) and 13 Konik horses were resettled together. The animals that have been living in the wild there since 2012 are intended to push back the encroachment in the quarry and thus preserve the semi-open landscape character. At the same time, they are reminiscent of the ancient animals of this landscape in the Blau- and Achtal, known from the Stone Age, and form a bridge to modern times.

This primeval pasture on the Swabian Alb is the first year-round grazing project of this size in Baden-Württemberg with wild horses and wild cattle. The near-natural year-round grazing is a nature conservation concept in which the largely human-uncontrolled process of grazing should be in the foreground.

Modern times

The rocky landscape of the Danube Valley offers the chamois ( Rupicapra rupicapra ) an area tailored to their needs. The chamois of the Swabian Alb originally come from the Alps. The population of the Alb is due to the release of a few animals a few decades ago, which is unfavorable for the rare vegetation of the rock heads.

Things are similar with isolated populations of wild sheep in the Alb, especially the European mouflon ( Ovis gmelini musimon ).

Beaver dam in the Fehlatal

Starting from the Bavarian Danube, European beavers ( Castor fiber ) returned to the Swabian Alb on a larger scale between 2011 and 2015. This was not only to the delight of road users, because railway embankments were washed away by beaver castles and important traffic routes were blocked by trees felled by the rodents.

Before resettlement, one of the last lynxes ( Lynx lynx ) in Germany was killed in 1846 on the Swabian Alb near the Reußenstein ruins . It has been considered extinct since the 19th century. However, sporadic records of the lynx have been reported from the Danube valley in recent years.

The European wildcat ( Felis silvestris silvestris ) used to be a resident of the Alb, but no traces of it can currently be seen on the Alb.

In addition, the common wild species red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ), European badger , roe deer , wild boar , stone marten , pine marten , polecat and ermine occur in the Swabian Alb. There are no fallow deer and sika deer outside of closed enclosures on the Alb. The red deer ( Cervus elaphus ), a heraldic animal of the state of Baden-Württemberg, was also exterminated on the Alb in the 19th century. The resettlement through the lifting of the hunting shooting requirement of 1958 is judged controversially.

Increasing numbers of raccoons ( Procyon lotor ) being shot show on the one hand that they feel at home in wooded regions of the Alb, but on the other hand that there is uncertainty as to whether this most successful representative of neozoa in the Alb has negative effects on the ecosystem of the forest areas .


Due to the high number of caves, rocks, overhangs and crevices, but also due to its sparse forests with old trees, there is a rich population of bats on the Alb . The Gray Country ear ( Plecotus austriacus ), the brown long-eared ( Plecotus auritus ), the greater mouse-eared ( Myotis myotis ), the Bechstein's bat ( Myotis bechsteinii ), the whiskered bat ( Myotis mystacinus ), the Daubenton's bat ( Myotis dauber toni ), the Natterer's bat ( Myotis nattereri ), the noctule ( Nyctalus noctula ), the lesser noctule ( Nyctalus leisleri ), the parti-colored bat ( Vespertilio murinus ), the pipistrelle ( Pipistrellus pipistrellus ), the pipistrelle ( Pipistrellus nathusii ), but also the serotine ( Eptesicus serotinus ), the Northern bat ( Eptesicus nilssonii ), the lesser horseshoe bat ( Rhinolophus hipposideros ) and the small blackish pug bat ( Barbastella barbastellus ) are among them.

Some bat species are endangered in the Swabian Alb due to loss of housing, for example due to the destruction of old wood stocks, but also due to the renovation and modernization of old buildings and barns in settlements. A certain danger is also of wind turbines by bat blow from which list on the Alb a large increase. Examples are the Himmelberg wind farm , the Lauterstein wind farm (2016) and the Stötten wind farm (1997).

In the forests on the Albtrauf, however, bat boxes have ensured the settlement of more bats.

Upper Danube Nature Park

The administration of the Upper Danube Nature Park is located in Beuron.

The Upper Danube Nature Park is located in the southwest of the Swabian Alb . It covers large parts of the districts of Tuttlingen , Sigmaringen , Zollernalb and Biberach . It was founded on December 5th, 1980 and is one of seven nature parks in Baden-Württemberg. The park was expanded in 2005.

The protected area covers 1350 square kilometers along the Danube and its tributaries Bära and Lauchert between Tuttlingen and Herbertingen . It is managed by the Obere Donau Nature Park Association, based in Beuron , where the most impressive part of the Danube breakthrough through the Swabian Alb can be experienced. The former station building in Beuron has housed the offices of the Obere Donau Nature Conservation Center and the Obere Donau Nature Park Association since 1996. The so-called House of Nature shows an exhibition on the geological development of the Upper Danube and points out the peculiarities of the flora and fauna. One focus of the work is in the area of ​​environmental education.

The fauna-flora-habitat area (FFH) "Upper Danube Valley between Beuron and Sigmaringen" and the bird sanctuary "Südwestalb and Upper Danube Valley" with an area of ​​2,700 hectares are almost identical to the Natura 2000 area "Upper Danube Valley" . The nature reserve "Stiegelefels" also belongs to the nature park.

GeoPark Swabian Alb

As GeoPark Swabian Jura since 2002, the entire area of the Swabian Alb applies with a length of about 200 km and an average width of km 40th The Alb is now one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks as the “Jurassic GeoPark” . The fossil-rich deposits of the tropical Jura Sea contain sites of global importance. The basis for the global subdivision of the Jurassic period was found using the Alb as an example.

The Swabian Alb is a cave-rich karst landscape with unique fossil deposits, some volcanic craters and a meteorite crater. The UNESCO defined for the Geopark three overarching goals: preservation of healthy environment, stimulate sustainable economic development and geoscience knowledge. Due to its diverse geo-heritage, the Alb has been awarded a National, European and Global Geopark. There are currently (as of March 2016) 64 Geoparks in Europe that are certified by UNESCO as European Geoparks .

National geotope

National Geotope is an award that was awarded to 77 important geotopes in Germany in 2006 as a result of a competition . Seven of these award-winning geotopes are related to the Swabian Alb and are thus recognized and recognized nationwide:

The Mössinger mountain slide on the Hirschkopf , where the Alb eaves was torn down in 1983 over a length of 1000 meters.
Banked limestones of the Upper Jurassic were exposed from one moment to the next. The Mössinger Bergrutsch is now a national geotope of Germany.

European bird sanctuary

Not only the rough owl, which has an ancestral home in the Albuch, but also other rare bird species are protected in the Swabian Alb by the European bird sanctuary. Many birds on the Red List find shelter and habitat on the Alb .

Several regions of the Swabian Alb were designated as a European bird sanctuary from 2007. These include:

Swabian Alb biosphere area

Juniper heather in the Mönchsteig nature reserve near Aichen on the Kuppenalb

Large parts of the Middle Alb and its foreland were designated on January 31, 2008 by the state of Baden-Württemberg as the Swabian Alb biosphere area. The establishment of the 85,270 hectare area goes back to the closure of the Münsingen military training area in 2005 and is the first biosphere area in Baden-Württemberg. The Swabian Alb biosphere area has also been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since May 26, 2009.


View from Teck Castle over Kirchheim / Teck

In contrast to other low mountain ranges, the Swabian Alb was settled very early. The numerous famous sites dating back to the Paleolithic Age, especially on the edge of the Nördlinger Ries , in the Lone and Blau or Aachtal valleys, are not to be found, as they, as evidence of Ice Age use by hunters and gatherers, do not in principle indicate permanent settlement.

Already in the early Neolithic , at the time of the linear ceramic band, the first farmers settled in the Ulmer Alb. A Neolithic village near Ehrenstein dates back to a later phase of the Neolithic. Numerous burial mounds have come down to us from the Bronze and Hallstatt Ages. With the Heuneburg in the 6th century BC A first "protourbanes center". In the following Latène period, the oppidum Heidengraben was created near Grabenstetten. With the advance of the Romans in the 1st century AD, the Alb eaves briefly became the imperial border ( Alblimes ).

After the Roman period and the fall of the Limes , the Alb was resettled very quickly. An Alemannic prince's seat was established on the Round Mountain near Bad Urach. Numerous villages and castles are built, but only a relatively few monasteries (e.g. Zwiefalten ). Many cities did not get beyond the status of a small town.

Heinstetten (914 m), Bubsheim (912 m), Burgfelden (912 m), Böttingen (911 m), Meßstetten (907 m) and Heidenstadt (903 m) are located over 900 meters and thus the highest villages in the Swabian Alb .

Larger and important cities and towns on or on the edge of the Swabian Alb, sorted alphabetically. The population figures are as of December 31, 2013:


The characteristic Alb plateau, pierced by the
Danube near Nendingen

Hiking trails

Autumnal juniper heather on the Eastern Alb near Heubach

There are numerous well-marked hiking trails on the Swabian Alb. These can be divided into long-distance hiking trails and circular hiking trails. The hiking trails are mostly supervised and marked by the Swabian Alb Association . Many municipalities have also set up circular hiking trails in their area. The hiking trails often lead past the special features of the Alb. The silver thistle as the unofficial symbol of the Alb is just one of many special flowers that can be discovered on a hike.

The main hiking trails (HW) form the backbone of the hiking trail network in the Swabian Alb :

  • The HW 1 ( Swabian Alb North Edge Path ) and the HW 2 ( Swabian Alb South Edge Path ) enclose the Alb and allow several weeks of hiking through the mountains. They have their starting and ending points in Donauwörth and Tuttlingen .
  • HW 3, HW 4, HW 5, HW 7 and HW 9 also touch the Alb on some sections:
    • The HW 3 ( Main-Neckar-Rhein-Weg ) from Wertheim to Villingen enters the Swabian Alb area near Hechingen and leaves it again before Villingen.
    • The HW 4 ( Main-Danube-Bodensee-Weg ) from Würzburg to Friedrichshafen runs from Wasseralfingen to Ulm over the Alb.
    • The HW 5 ( Black Forest-Swabian-Alb-Allgäu-Weg ) from Pforzheim to the Black Ridge near Isny ​​touches the Alb from Reutlingen to the Danube.
    • The HW 7 is also called the Swabian Alb Oberschwaben Way . It runs from Lorch to Friedrichshafen and crosses the Alb from Göppingen to Zwiefaltendorf.
    • The HW 9 ( Heuberg-Allgäu-Weg ) runs from Spaichingen to the Schwarzen Grat near Isny ​​and crosses the southwestern Alb from Spaichingen to Neuhausen ob Eck.

Long-distance cycle paths

Racing cyclists on the Lochen Pass
Danube cycle path between Mühlheim and Fridingen in the upper Danube valley

Numerous ascents and descents are part of the nature of the Alb cycle paths. The only exception in the category of long-distance cycle paths in the Alb area is the predominantly flat Danube cycle path , which leads from the source of the Danube to the mouth of the Black Sea . Between Donaueschingen and Donauwörth, it mainly runs along the southern edge of the Alb. It is run as the EuroVelo route EV6 .

An important element of the cycling strategy of the state of Baden-Württemberg is the Alb-Neckar cycle path , which leads from Ulm via Blaubeuren and Laichingen over 213 kilometers as a long-distance cycle path to Heilbronn . It overcomes the watershed of the Swabian Alb and thus leads from the southern Alb to the northern Alb. He makes the Alb as a low mountain range tangible. During its course the Alb-Neckar-Radweg overcomes 2100 meters uphill and 2416 downhill.

The Swabian Alb Cycle Route follows the same route in parts, but with different starting points and destinations . The Hohenzollern cycle path also overcomes the Alb and leads largely through this low mountain range. The Hohenlohe-Ostalb-Weg , which starts in Ulm, is mainly located on the Ostalb .

The Albtäler Cycle Path , which leads through eight valleys in the Swabian Alb, is a circular route.

Mountain bike

The area of ​​the Swabian Alb offers mountain bike users an ideal training ground. Successful representatives of this sport live near and on the Alb. The mountain bike club in Pfullingen has been running a permanent time trial course with a Stoppomat on the lime kiln since May 2008 . In Albstadt , Blaustein , Heidenheim an der Brenz and Münsingen there are bike parks for the downhill discipline.

Sports organizations in the Alb organize important national competitions, such as the German Mountain Bike Bundesliga or the Albstadt Bike Marathon with more than 3200 participants (2010). The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is a regular guest in Albstadt with four Olympic cross-country races.

The annual Heubacher mountain bike festival Bike the Rock am Rosenstein has become a Bundesliga race in the highest classification over the years . Several world records have already been set for the Guinness Book of Records at Rosenstein . In 2016, the bike marathon was introduced for amateur athletes .

Rock climbing

Sport climbers in the bright limestone rock of the Swabian Alb, here in the Eselsburger Valley.

The Swabian Alb offers numerous opportunities for sport climbing and, together with the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and the Franconian Alb, is one of the outstanding low mountain ranges in Germany when it comes to climbing.

There are climbing opportunities mainly on the so-called mass limestone rocks . These are structures that were built up in the Jurassic Sea by living beings (corals and sponges) and that were thundered out of the surrounding rock.

The upper Danube valley offers the best climbing opportunities and the highest walls. Other areas with good climbing opportunities are in the Blaubeuren area as well as in the Lenninger Valley and the Ermstal. The individual leads over the numerous larger and smaller rocks are described in several climbing guides. On the Eastern Alb, the rock formations of the Rosenstein near Heubach and the Eselsburger Tal are among the most famous climbing areas. The steep cliffs at the Reußenstein ruins near Neidlingen are also a popular climbing spot. In the Swabian Alb area there are hundreds of climbing routes up to difficulty level 10.

Climbing has not been permitted everywhere for several years. The nature conservation law of Baden-Württemberg counts the rocks among the so-called §24a biotopes . In principle, entering these biotopes is not permitted. In recent years, the nature conservation administration and the climbing associations have succeeded in defining the areas that can be climbed and the climbing bans for the entire Swabian Alb. Some rocks are now closed all year round, sometimes the climbing bans only apply seasonally during the breeding season of certain bird species (e.g. eagle owl or kestrel ).

The Bergwacht Württemberg has bases in the most important climbing areas of the Alb and looks after climbers in need, but also winter sports enthusiasts, hikers and cyclists in exposed terrain - before the weekends.

Winter sports

The Swabian Alb offers numerous winter sports opportunities with ski lifts and cross-country trails . Some of the lifts are also used in summer to transport summer tobogganing and mountain bikes . In 1907 a ski hut was built on the Kalten Feld . Individual places in the Alb also have smaller ski jumps . In 1926 the Degenfeld ski jumps were inaugurated, which in 1927 hosted the first Swabian championships .

water sports

Sections of the Danube in the Upper Danube Nature Park , but also some tributaries of the Danube (such as Lauter , Ach , Blau and Brenz ) that drain the Swabian Alb, are popular canoeing waters with different degrees of difficulty.

Tourist routes, themed tourist routes and motor sports

The Deutsche Alleenstraße crosses the Swabian Albstraße on the Reutlinger Alb . The picture shows a section south of Eningen under Achalm . The street is lined with 50 ash and maple trees.

The most famous holiday route is the Swabian Albstraße .

Due to its sparsely populated, wooded areas and the winding, long climbs and descents as well as the curved high-level stretches, the Swabian Alb is used by motorcyclists for tours of all demands.

The Deutsche Alleenstrasse crosses the Swabian Alb as a holiday route on its 2,900 kilometers through Germany in the Reutlingen district and continues to Lake Constance. A particularly impressive section of this road, particularly protected as a natural monument, can be found near Eningen under Achalm : an avenue lined with maple and ash trees.

As a tourist themed street, the Strait of the Staufer runs through large parts of the Eastern Alb . In contrast, you can experience the historical dimension of the Alb in the area of ​​the western Alb on the Hohenzollernstrasse .

The Württemberg Wine Route touches the Swabian Alb near Beuren , Kohlberg , Neuffen and Metzingen ; there, wine is grown and marketed in the foothills of the Alb. By Ulm , Lauterbach and Blaubeuren the main route which runs for a short section Oberschwäbischen Barockstraße to then Riedlingen to leave in southern direction the Swabian Alb.

Since the corresponding historical architecture has also been preserved in the Swabian Alb, two routes on the German Half-timbered Road lead through Bad Urach , Blaubeuren and Riedlingen , but also through Trochtelfingen .

Panoramic view in the northern Wental , a dry valley interspersed with rock formations in the eastern Swabian Alb, which is well developed for tourism and is known as the sea of ​​rocks



One of the oldest works of art of mankind, wild horse from the Vogelherd cave (40,000 years old, Aurignacien ), UNESCO World Heritage "Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura", Museum of Ancient Cultures at Hohentübingen Castle , Collection of the Older Prehistory of the University of Tübingen

Significant archaeological finds come from the Swabian Alb. In the Vogelherd Archaeological Park , the rich Stone Age culture of the Alb is comprehensively presented and made tangible for the public, starting with the Neanderthals' cultural level . The oldest figurative representations of mankind, made from mammoth ivory , were found in caves in the Alb. In addition, three-dimensional depictions of animals and the oldest flutes of mankind were discovered there, made from the bone material of the whooper swan and the griffon vulture .

Museum presentation of the artefacts of the UNESCO World Heritage "Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura"

Three-dimensional animal representations from the Stone Age are among the finds and exhibits in the Lone Valley. The mammoth was discovered in the Vogelherd cave in 2006 after excavations in 1931 overlooked is

The Vogelherd figures from 1931 as well as some of the new finds since 2006 are exhibited in the Museum of Ancient Cultures in Hohentübingen Castle . They are the main part of the collection of older prehistory of the Museum of the University of Tübingen MUT . These 16 finds mainly include the famous wild horse and several flutes or flute fragments - the oldest known musical instruments of mankind. Since 2017, all exhibits have been part of the UNESCO World HeritageCaves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura ”. All artifacts are approximately 40,000 years old and come from the Aurignacia .

The artefacts from the Ach and Blautal valleys ( Geißenklösterle , Hohler Fels ) near Ulm are - in addition to the Archäopark - exhibited in the following museums:

Under the project title Caves of the oldest Ice Age art , six caves from the Alb region were put on the tentative list of Germany at the suggestion of the state of Baden-Württemberg . Germany has thus successfully applied to UNESCO for an entry of the caves on the World Heritage List .

Museums, castles and monasteries

The roller mill , a sawmill on the Lauchert near Hörschwag

The Swabian Alb also offers something remarkable in terms of culture . Numerous castles and castle ruins, especially along the Albtraufes and along the few rivers, bear witness to past medieval culture. Church buildings and monasteries that are well worth seeing were extensively restored in the past and are still in the service of religious communities today. Small villages also have interesting local museums . Important industries were, for example, jerseys and precision mechanics in Albstadt and linen weaving in the Laichingen area .

Please refer:


Painter related to the Swabian Alb

Summer landscape, probably near Buttenhausen , by Otto Reiniger (around 1909)

The Swabian Alb is always a subject for painters of the 19th and 20th centuries. The works of Friedrich Eckenfelder (1861–1938) and Christian Landenberger (1862–1927) are in the foreground. Eckenfelder was considered a great painter of the West Alb, Landenberger was also born on the West Alb and grew up there. He remained associated with this landscape of his childhood and, as a teacher, was one of the formative Swabian Impressionists . Otto Reiniger (1863–1909) is also counted among the Impressionist landscape painters. He was even characterized as "the leading landscape painter among the Swabian Impressionists". Karl Schickhardt (1866–1933) liked to portray the Alb landscape as a lecturer and professor at the Stuttgart Art School. Theodor Schnitzer (1866–1939) belongs to the same generation as an alb painter. Wilhelm Laage (1869–1930) from Hamburg exhibited in his youth together with the painters of the expressionist artist group Brücke , then moved to Reutlingen and also devoted himself artistically to the local mountain , the Achalm . This striking mountain of witnesses also attracted HAP Grieshaber (1909–1981), who repeatedly showed it with woodcuts . Erwin Starker (1872–1938) was impressed by his time as one who captured numerous moods and landscapes as an impressionist with oil paint. Paul Hildenbrand (1904–1971), who was also called the “painter of the Swabian Alb” by his contemporaries, created predominantly naturalistic and impressionistic oil paintings.

The late impressionist Alice Haarburger (1891–1942) created alb pictures before her murder, which are honored in the Reutlingen local history museum .

Galleries and art museums related to the Swabian Alb

The Albstadt Art Museum houses a collection on the landscape of the Swabian Alb as well as a large collection of works on Christian Landenberger. Since September 2016 there has been the Albmaler Museum in Münsingen in the old warehouse, which permanently shows a large number of painters who deal with the Swabian Alb in their works.

Poets and writers

The poet Eduard Mörike (1804–1875) liked to go on extensive hikes across the Swabian Alb, looking for fossils. With a passion for collecting and enthusiasm, like a palaeontologist , he brought many fossils with him. At home he compared them with other finds and studied the specialist literature of his time. He described this occupation on the Alb in the poem The Petrefacts Collector (published 1847). Another work related to the Alb from his hand is The History of the Beautiful Lau (1853), which is located at the Blautopf von Blaubeuren. The Mörikehaus Ochsenwang on the Alb is a literature museum dedicated to the memory of the poet since 1981.

Although David Friedrich Weinland (1829–1915) was a natural scientist as director of the Frankfurt Zoological Garden , his name as a youthful writer of the Alb is unforgettable. His novel Rulaman , published in 1878, takes place in the Alb valleys around Bad Urach and leads into the early days of this landscape. With the work, Weinland found worldwide fame and recognition. The book was translated into several languages ​​and made the Alb known to a wide range of readers.

Matthias Koch (1860–1936) is considered to be an important Alb poet , who first published his poems from the Balinger Alb in 1913 under the title Kohlraisle . Even Hans Reyhing (1882-1961) is thematically Heimatdichter to find again and again on the Alb. His stories from the Rauhen Alb (1917), his novel Der Hülenbauer (1922), his Schäferlies , the festival piece for the Uracher Schäferlauf (1923), but also Albheimat - A Book from the Münsinger Alb (1926) should be mentioned. The Hans-Reyhing-Stube in Hohenstein- Bernloch reminds of him. Helmut Pfisterer (1931–2010) wrote poetry in the dialect: Äcker uf am alde Meer. Swabian Alb poems (2008).

Frank Faber (1966–2013) made a name for himself as the creator of four crime novels . Between 2008 and 2012 Schäfers Tod , Mord am Heidengraben , Wacholderbrand and Baurabrot appeared . Reiner Plaumann (* 1963) is in the same genre with his work “Strafschlag: ein Alb-Krimi”.


The much cited Älblerisch as a separate dialect area of ​​the Swabian Alb does not exist in linguistic terms. It is an invention of Swabian joke and joke literature. By far the largest area of ​​the Swabian Alb (Reutlinger, Uracher, Münsinger, Laichinger, Nürtinger, Kirchheimer, Göppinger Alb) belongs to the Central Swabian region. The significantly smaller area of ​​the south-west Alb (Balingen, Albstadt and the east of the Großer Heuberg) belongs to the south-west Swabian region. On the Baaralb, Hegaualb and in the west of the Großer Heuberg there are transitional dialects between the Swabian and Lake Constance dialect areas (see Baar-Schwäbisch (eastern Baar) ). The only difference to the lower-lying areas of the dialect areas is the somewhat less advanced Verneu High German.

regional customs

In the Reutlingen region , the Mutscheln , a traditional star-shaped yeast dough biscuit, is diced on Mutscheltag , which is known as Mutscheln .

Around June 21st, the Swabian Albverein Dotternhausen organizes a solstice celebration on the Plettenberg with a large fire that can be seen from far away in the valley when the visibility is good.

The Trachtenmuseum Baumann'sche Mühle in Pfullingen exhibits the costume collection of the Swabian Alb Association, which also shows traditional costumes from the Swabian Alb. The local history museum in Nellingen also shows typical clothing from the Swabian Alb from bygone times.

food and drinks

The Swabian Alb and adjacent areas were a special focus in German lentil cultivation until the 1950s. The special varieties are now grown as Alb-Leisa , sold in stores and offered in local restaurants as a regional product. "Leisa" is the Swabian word for lenses . The Alb-Leisa are now in the Ark of Taste at Slow Food added.

The black porridge , also called musbrei , Habermus , Brennt's Mus (burned mus), is a traditional dish typical of the Swabian Alb, the main component of which is musmehl .

The Ulmer Butterbirne is an old pear variety from the Swabian Alb, which was first found on the Steige between Ulm and Albeck . It is particularly suitable for drying and distilling schnapps .


Sorted by year of publication.

Illustrated books
  • Thomas Vogel u. a .: Experience the Swabian Alb . Theiss, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8062-1890-0 .
  • Manfred Grohe u. a .: Flight over the Danube and Swabian Alb . 2nd Edition. Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-87407-670-9 .
  • Ernst Waldemar Bauer u. a .: Behind the blue wall . 2nd Edition. Theiss, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 978-3-8062-1972-2 .
  • Georg Hiller , Stefanie Kölbl (Hrsg.): Welt-Kult-Ur-Sprung . Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Ulm 2016, ISBN 978-3-7995-1168-1 (on the ice age art of the Alb, German and English).

See also

Portal: Swabian Alb  - overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of the Swabian Alb

Web links

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Individual evidence

  1. a b Emil Meynen , Josef Schmithüsen (Editor): Handbook of the Natural Region Divisions of Germany . Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen / Bad Godesberg 1953–1962 (9 deliveries in 8 books, updated map 1: 1,000,000 with main units 1960).
  2. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  3. Julius Hartmann in: Blätter des Schwäbischen Albverein 2, 1890, p. 50 f .; Weigand: German Dictionary , 1909, p. 44; Fischer: Swabian Dictionary I , 1904, p. 125; Johannes Majer: Ducatus Wurtenbergici delineatio , Nuremberg 1710
  4. Eugen Nägele: On the name and validity of the Swabian Alb , in: Blätter des Schwäbischer Albverein 45, 1933, p. 1 f.
  5. Thomas Pfündel / Eva Walter: Rauhe Alb , Stuttgart o. J. [1990], p. 16
  6. ^ Designation according to Alfred G. Benzing: Geographical land survey: The natural space units on sheet 186 Konstanz. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1964. →  Online map (PDF; 4.1 MB)
  7. Designation according to Hansjörg Dongus : Geographical land survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 171 Göppingen. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1961. →  Online map (PDF; 4.3 MB)
  8. ^ Otto Franz Geyer and Manfred Paul Gwinner , Geology of Baden-Württemberg . 3. Edition. Stuttgart 2011, p. 338.
  9. September 2nd, 2008 : The Swabian Alb shook 30 years ago ( memento from August 30, 2016 in the web archive archive.today ), September 2, 2008, accessed on December 4, 2016
  10. Swabian Alb | LGRB knowledge. Retrieved April 6, 2020 .
  11. Günter Künkele and Friedrich Schilling: European jewels: Rocks of the Swabian Alb , anniversary issue, ed. from the Bund Naturschutz Alb-Necker e. V., Reutlingen 2003
  12. Günter Künkele : Natural heritage military training area. The Münsinger Hardt: Pictures of a unique landscape . 1st edition. Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-87407-713-6 , p. 72.
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