The elephant ear
|Location:||Franconian Switzerland , Germany|
|Cadastral number:||B 27|
|Show cave since:||1834|
|Lighting:||electric, since 1971|
|Overall length:||900 meters, of which Sophienhöhle is 500 meters|
|Length of the show
|Average annual number of visitors:||29,000 (2008–2012)|
|Current visitors:||26,681 (2012)|
|Website:||Site of the cave operator|
The stalactite cave is located on the north-western edge of the Ailsbach valley, not far from Rabenstein Castle in Franconian Switzerland . It was discovered during excavations in 1833 and has been used as a show cave since 1834 . The Sophienhöhle, which has been electrically illuminated since 1971, is one of the most beautiful show caves in Germany with its three large sections and winding passages. It has rich stalactite jewelry with stately sinter curtains and basins. A multimedia show with Sophie at night has been taking place in the Sophienhöhle since 2002 .
The cave forms with three other caves, the Ahornloch, the Klaussteinhöhle and the Höschhöhle, a cave system that is known as the Klaussteinhöhlen complex. She is a member of the Jurahöhle adventure world .
The Sophienhöhle is located on the northwestern slope of the narrow, winding Ailsbach Valley near the municipality of Ahorntal in the Upper Franconian district of Bayreuth . The valley has many steep rock bastions and the greatest density of caves in Franconian Switzerland. The entrance to the cave is 411 meters, the valley 375 meters and the Klausstein chapel above it on the site of the former Ahorn Castle 443 meters above sea level . From the parking lot at Rabenstein Castle west of the cave it can be reached on a 650 meter long footpath, from the parking lot 30 meters below the cave, directly on the state road 2185, a steep 120 meter long path leads up.
The Sophienhöhle is located in fossil sponge reefs in the Franconian dolomite of the Malm in the Jura . The 18 meter wide, six meter high and uphill tapering entrance portal has a dome-shaped structure. The cave has dome-like halls, some of which are connected by narrow, winding passages. This is typical for caves in the Franconian dolomite. The cave essentially runs along the horizontal joints of the sponge reefs. These surface shapes can be traced particularly well in the third section using the joints. With a size of 42 × 25 × 11 meters, it is one of the largest Franconian cave spaces. Here, large blocks of collapse have detached themselves from the ceiling along the joints and cover the floor. The other two departments also have fall blocks, which are covered in stalactites in some places. The spatial image of the cave indicates a great age.
The cave was created in standing groundwater along the largely horizontal joints. Carbonated water could penetrate through fine cracks and crevices in the rock. Although carbonic acid is a relatively weak acid , it can dissolve limestone and dolomite rock. Large cavities were created by leaching along numerous cracks and fissures. A deepening of the Ailsbach valley sank the groundwater level and exposed the cavities. Later, the rooms and corridors were partially backfilled with sediment , which partially separated the front departments.
The Sophienhöhle consists of a complex of four caves: the always known entrance portal, the Ahornloch, the adjoining Klaussteinhöhle, the actual Sophienhöhle discovered in 1833 and the initially filled Höschhöhle. Together, the individual caves form the Klausstein cave complex or the Sophien cave. It has a length of about 900 meters, with the actual Sophienhöhle with its three sections being 500 meters long. In the Franconian Alb cave register , which has over 3000 caves on an area of 6400 square kilometers, the Sophienhöhle is registered as B 27 and the cave connected to it as B 24. The cave is designated as geotope 472H009 by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment . See also the list of geotopes in the Bayreuth district .
The Sophienhöhle has rich and varied stalactites . There are ceiling formations such as stalactites and sinter tubes, floor formations such as stalagmites and sinter basins, and beautiful wall sintering areas. The sintering occurs predominantly in the first two departments, but not entirely missing in the third department either. The rooms in front of the Sophienhöhle, such as the Ahornloch and the Klaussteinhöhle, have very few stalactites. In the Sophienhöhle there are sintered flags and sintered curtains that are created on sloping ceilings and overhanging wall sections. The stalactites appear in different colors. The transparent sintered tubes and pure white stalagmites are made of pure calcite . Due to contamination with iron oxide, stalactites with yellow and brown hues appear. Some stalactites were colored black by manganese oxides .
Numerous bones of Ice Age animals were found in the cave complex , the remains of the cave bear making up the largest proportion. The bears used the Sophienhöhle during hibernation and gave birth to the young there. Occasionally, animals have died of old age or diseases. Over a long period of time, such a large accumulation of bones accumulated.
The age of the bones in the Franconian Alb is estimated at 28,500 to 60,000 years. This was shown by several radiocarbon dating from Franconian caves. The bear bones in the Sophienhöhle come mainly from the Worm Ice Age . There is no age dating about the Sophienhöhle itself. In the first section of the Sophien Cave, in addition to the bones of the cave bear, the remains of a mammoth , woolly rhinoceros and reindeer were found . According to old cave reports, the Sophienhöhle must be regarded as outstanding in terms of its numerous reindeer remains in the Franconian Jura. Most of the fossils found in the Sophienhöhle are lost. Many of them were housed in the nearby Rabenstein Castle. Some are in the possession of the State Palaeontological Collection in Munich, such as a lower jaw fragment of a lion from the Pleistocene .
The anteroom of the Sophienhöhle, the Ahornloch, was already used by prehistoric people. The name of the cave comes from the noble family von und zu Ahorn, who are considered the first rulers of the Ahorn Valley and who lived directly above the Ahornloch in Klausstein Castle. The parts of the cave that have been accessible for thousands of years, the Ahornloch and the Klausstein Cave, have been partially filled in by deposits over time. The backfill consisted of meter-thick layers of cave bear bones, bat droppings and remains of human settlements from the Stone and Bronze Ages . In addition, there were frost breaks from the ceiling and sinter deposits . The low connecting corridors between the halls were completely filled with this material. As a result, the cave areas behind the closed parts fell into oblivion.
The Klausstein cave takes its name from the Klausstein chapel above. There was a castle there that was being demolished. The oldest finds date from the Neolithic Age, when humans first settled down and farmed and ranched animals. Most of the finds, however, date from the Hallstatt and La Tène periods . Mainly ceramic shards were found, bronze jewelry was also reported. It has not yet been possible to clarify whether the finds are based on the use of the cave as human habitation or whether cultic acts were carried out there.
The bones and deposits found in the cave in the Middle Ages were sometimes ascribed magical properties, which is why fossil animal bones and teeth were ground up and sold to pharmacies as medicinal powder. Attempts were made to make gold from cave clay and dolomite ash. 1490 Bamberg Hans Breu wanted in Maple hole from phosphatic cave sediments saltpeter win, which was used for the manufacture of gunpowder. The cave was mentioned for the first time in a relevant document. The company failed, however, because no saltpetre could be extracted from the bottom sediments .
After this search for usable deposits, it became quieter around the cave until about the second half of the 18th century. Pastor Johann Friedrich Esper , who is considered the founder of scientific cave research in Franconia , visited the Ahornloch in 1774 and 1778 and wrote a detailed description of the Ahornloch:
“It is the highest northern crag on which Klausstein rests, and beneath it , the cave to be described runs through the several Laughing rocks at a dizzying height. Via a path which is almost impossible to climb from the valley up, and which has many dangerous things down from the top of the rock, one approaches a twenty-foot-high rock wall, which by unknown coincidence broke out like a shattered amphitheater at a distance of several hundred feet and the open turns to the north. Four beds of rock are here on top of each other and the surface hangs a number of shoes against the baseline, a thing that may have been caused by weathering [...] On the ground you can see carefully laid gaps, which is why hunting dogs are the cause who are said to have given themselves who often lost themselves in this area when refereing. Also, the water noticed in the depths of this chasm caused an experiment with ducks, they were let in, and they reappeared in the area of Streitberg. It is certain that these mountains have many standing lakes in their interior, and are crisscrossed with connected canals. [...] "
The Klausstein Cave was rediscovered during excavations in 1788 in the rear part of the Ahornloch. In the following years the partition wall to the maple hole was removed in order to create a more convenient entrance. One also hoped to find something precious. No attention was paid to archaeological finds, such as the bones of cave bears. The excavated material was thrown into the shaft of the Klausstein cave.
Georg August Goldfuß describes the Ahornloch in one of his reports in 1810:
“Where it has reached half its height, the rock mass is bent into a semicircle, the curvature of which may amount to a few hundred shoes. A steep path leads to the green space, which the rock encloses, and now, under an overhang of the same, one sees the two entrances to the Klaustein cave. Surrounded by traces of devastation all around, you shyly venture into these gullies, in the interior of which nature veiled its workshop with night and horror from the human eye. [...] "
Discovery of the Sophienhöhle
In 1833, the art gardener Michael Koch carried out expansion work on behalf of his employer, Reich Councilor Count Franz Erwein von Schönborn-Wiesentheid , who owned the cave. He wanted to create a new exit in the southeast of the cave. He broke through a sintered ceiling and discovered fossil bones. Thereupon he crawled into a small room which, in contrast to the previously known cave parts, was equipped with sintered molds. On February 16, 1833, he felt a strong draft in the rear, narrowed part, which was blowing towards him from a narrow crevice. Then he removed rock rubble and clay with farm workers and widened the crevices. On February 18, 1833, he and the count's patrimonial judge Schmelzing from Weiher and Müller Hösch from nearby Neumühle undertook a first inspection of this widened crevice. They discovered new cavities richly decorated with stalactites, the current Sophienhöhle . The shaft of the Klausstein cave was filled with the excavation material. The rooms separated from the Klausstein cave by the overburden have a total length of about 200 meters and are now called the cave cave after the long-time owner of the Neumühle.
Immediately after the discovery of the new cave rooms, Koch reported in detail to his count. To protect the cave, the count ordered it to be closed immediately. As a result, it could largely be preserved in its original state and, like many other stalactite caves, was not robbed of its stalactite jewelry. The discovery of the cave, which at the time was one of the most beautiful in Central Europe, was quickly spread in the newspapers.
In the newly discovered cave area, around 40 cave bear skulls, some of which were sintered on, were found, vertebrae, shoulder blades, extremity bones and many individual teeth. There were also skulls of the cave hyena . The best preserved bones were brought to the museum in the nearby Rabenstein Castle at the instigation of the Count . A few relics also came to the Geological and Mineralogical Institute of the University of Erlangen . The finds that were housed in the castle at that time are lost.
The count visited the cave on June 21, 1833 with his eldest son Erwin and his wife Sophie (née Countess zu Eltz ). He then named the cave in honor of his daughter-in-law Sophienhöhle. He had the cave carefully prepared for visitors with stairs and paths. During the development work, the Ahornloch and the Klausstein cave were completely leveled. After the discovery of the cave, numerous scholars came to investigate it.
Johann Wilhelm Holle described in 1833 in The newly discovered Kochshöhle or the cave queen in the royal. Regional courts Hollfeld-Waischfeld die the newly discovered cave quite euphoric. He reported, among other things, that he “has seen the most famous caves in Europe, is beyond comparison with them in terms of their beauty and size.” He wrote about the cave: “Here nature seems to have poured out a whole cornucopia of beauty. The walls are dazzling white, as if covered in the finest alabaster; in the middle, from the ceiling down, curtains of stalactites have formed, from which the edges seem to be lined. Waterfalls from 30 to 36 feet discharge on the right; on the floor there are innumerable, conical, black-gray stalactites and completely petrified animals [...]. "
In 1834 the Sophienhöhle was opened as a show cave. During guided tours, magnesium light was first lit in front of the most beautiful stalactite formations. So-called Davy lamps, invented by Humphry Davy , were used to illuminate the cave . Carbide lamps were later used.
Shortly after the discovery of the Sophienhöhle in 1833, Professor Rudolph Wagner described the bone finds:
“In the depths of the ground there are a number of skulls, antlers, and other bones, covered by a relatively thin sintered crust, in part also almost completely bared and protected by overhanging rocks. They are excellent skulls, perfectly preserved with teeth and all appendages, which cover the surface of a bone bed probably extending far into the depths, and which present themselves to the astonished observer. [...] "
In 1835 the paleobotanist Kaspar Sternberg wrote about the bone beds in the Sophienhöhle:
“From a prehistoric point of view, the Rabensteiner Höhle (Sophienhöhle) in Franconia, which I visited on my return trip, is of far greater interest and not yet sufficiently well known; It is difficult to find elsewhere the various species of animals that flee each other in ordinary life, so close and clearly recognizable, as it were, placed next to each other [...]. On going down into the cave one arrives at a spacious chamber, in the middle of which stalagmites have piled up, and first comes across an upright, stately reindeer antlers, which are very close to the antlers of the reindeer still alive; the head with the lower part of the two rods of the antler is covered with stalagmites, whereby it is kept upright, several rungs are intact. A few feet below lies an immense basin of a mammoth embedded in this very stalagmite; and several feet below, three cave bear heads protrude from the stalagmite, baring their teeth as if trying to grasp their prey; and a few more steps away, two rods of a reindeer with a few rungs appear, the lower ones are covered with stalagmites "
First measurements and further excavations
The parts of the cave that adjoin behind the Ahornloch were named Klaussteinhöhle, Sophienhöhle and Kochshöhle, after the discoverer. The name Kochshöhle disappeared around 1840, the name Klaussteinhöhle lasted next to Sophienhöhle until around 1900. In 1856, Theodor Rothbart published a portfolio with three lithographs depicting the three main departments of the Sophienhöhle. In 1902 Major Adalbert Neischl measured the cave for the first time with a total length of 284 meters. Some side aisles, some of which were only made accessible later, were not yet taken into account.
During further excavations in 1905 and 1906, a large number of remains of cave bears, cave lions and hyenas were found. The total length of the cave including the vestibule was re-determined in 1966 by the Natural History Society of Nuremberg at 465 meters. In 1971, the carbide lamps previously used on tours were replaced by electric lighting. In the 1970s, the cave, which was closed and cut off during the development work in 1833, was rediscovered. In 1997, the entire cave had to be re-measured, as more recent research by Bayreuth and Nuremberg cave researchers made further discoveries. The new measurement together with the Höschhöhle showed a length of about 900 meters. In the late summer of 2000, the show cave was closed with 34,000 visitors a year due to safety deficiencies.
The Nuremberg businessmen Reiner Haas and Wolfgang Deß, who run a property management company in Nuremberg, bought the cave in December 2000 together with Rabenstein Castle. At first there were differences with the old tenant, who refused to vacate the facility. The two people from Nuremberg invested 125,000 euros in expanding the cave. The lighting was completely renewed, the path system secured and partially re-routed. In the Ahornloch, the anteroom of the Sophienhöhle, fossils were displayed in showcases. The routes in the first two main departments were partially relocated; they now have multiple visitor platforms. As part of the renovation, the previously publicly accessible maple hole was closed with a large grille.
To replace the lighting, a total of 6,800 meters of power cable was laid and around 480 spotlights, floodlights, spots and spotlights were installed. The new light sources are controlled by two computers and are divided into several sections. The implementation was the responsibility of the lighting designer Bernd Beisse. Using special computer programs, the individual light sections can be controlled twelve times per minute in changing light colors. The paths are illuminated by light sources from below. For the Sophie at night project, pieces of music match the lighting. In 2002 the management of the cave could be resumed.
In 2011, more than 8,000 bones were secured in a sinus during sieving operations, from which the skeleton of a cave bear was put together and placed in a showcase in the second antechamber. The almost complete cave bear skeleton, which the cave operators named Benno , is considered the most complete in the world.
In 2012 the lighting system in the cave was completely renewed. The LED lighting, which the owner had financed without subsidies, cost more than 100,000 euros. A total of around ten kilometers of new lines were laid. The new system uses 90 percent less energy. The lights are individually controllable, so different lighting effects can be achieved. In the event of a power failure, emergency lighting is activated. Since LED lamps produce less UV light than conventional light sources, the plant growth in the cave is reduced. The mosses and ferns created by the old lamps were removed except for a few locations. A modern security system against break-ins and vandalism was also installed during the renovation .
The path leads through a very narrow passage about three meters long to a platform in the upper part of the first section of the cave. Directly in front of the path that leads there to the left is the "elephant's ear", a freely hanging sinter flag more than a meter long. As a counterpart, a stalagmite has formed on the floor, the "beehive". The path then leads past the "Oriental City" and turns right in a semicircle. The "Oriental City" is on the left halfway up in a small cave and consists of numerous candle stalagmites. Then a staircase leads more than ten meters down, where there is a cave bear reconstructed from bones . The sintering on the right wall is reminiscent of a waterfall and gave reason to assign the same name to the formation. There are sintered flags on the ceiling and occasionally sintered tubes. On the floor there are prehistoric bones covered with sintered mass, etc. a. a reindeer antler fragment. At one point, stalagmites with drip funnels have formed.
A grating leads to the second section. Several sinter basins of different sizes can be seen on the left and right. Several sintering dishes with a diameter of a few millimeters are located next to it. These formations are formed by slowly flowing water on the inclined sintered surfaces. On the left is the "millionaire", the largest stalactite in the cave. At the base, this stalagmite is more than two meters in diameter; he is about 2.4 meters high. The name is derived from the previously assumed age. But this was set too high. The stalactite is fed by a large sinter flag , the chandelier . In the back right part there is another floor stalactite, which is a bit smaller than the millionaire and is called "iceberg" or "little millionaire". More sintered flags, some over a meter long, have formed on the ceiling. A particularly noticeable one is called the "eagle".
The way goes steadily uphill past the “millionaire”. A very narrow passage leads to the third section, the largest cavity in the cave complex. There is almost no sintering here. Dripstones have only formed in individual places, including a large conical stalagmite. On one wall, running water has created a large sinter formation called the “pulpit with Madonna”. In this room there are five large boulders on the floor that have detached themselves from the ceiling and are partly already over-sintered. An area on the ceiling is secured with large iron anchor rods so that there are no further rock breaks. Several parallel crevices run on the ceiling, which are overgrown with sinter. In this section, the path describes a large circle and leads to the exit.
Individual side corridors are not developed. Parts of the old guideway are also no longer used. There are also stalactite formations, for example cauliflower sinter and the sintered-in pelvic fragment of a cave bear. The Ahornloch and the Klaussteinhöhle were changed during the various excavations. During the search, the ground was ransacked and later leveled, partition walls were removed or widened, shafts filled with excavation material and stalactites removed. The cave is closed. It can only be climbed by experienced cave climbers. Two openings lead from the first section to a small side cave, which can be seen but not entered. Because of the numerous bones found by Ursus spelaeus ( cave bear ), it is called the bear cave. It is unclear how the cave bears got there, as today's entrance was only exposed in the 19th century and the assignment of crevices to an access that bears could pass at the time does not seem possible.
Flora and fauna
Despite the adverse living conditions, the Sophienhöhle accommodates a diverse fauna , all year round nine degrees Celsius and darkness except for the lighting during the tours . 35 different animal species have been identified so far. The Sophienhöhle is one of the most fauna-rich caves in the Franconian Alb . They are different species of spiders and insects . However, not all animals that you meet in the cave are real cave animals . So-called Trogloxene, cave-alien animals, get into the cave by chance and perish soon afterwards.
In the cave, subtroglophilous animals that only stay in the cave during certain development phases or seasons can be found with a certain regularity. The buckthorn spanner Triphosa dubitata belongs to this group . This moth visits the Sophienhöhle already in late summer, often in large numbers to overwinter there in the area near the entrance. Individual specimens spend up to ten months in the cave. In spring, the surviving moths leave the burrow to lay their eggs.
Most of the animals found in the Sophienhöhle are among the eutroglophiles, the cave friends. They spend their entire lives in the cave. But they can also exist in the outside world. This group mainly includes the numerous springtails . These one to two millimeter long animals belong to the urine insects and live mainly on the surface of the numerous water and sinter basins. With their forked jumping apparatus, they can cover distances that are more than ten times their own size. Another species is the cave spider Meta menardi . This often lives in sheltered places in the cave ceiling. There, more than a hundred young spiders often hatch from centimeter-sized, spherical egg cocoons. Some of these young animals remain in the cave and grow up to sexual maturity there, others leave the Sophienhöhle to find new habitats in the vicinity of the cave entrance. The larvae of the mushroom mosquito Speolepta leptogaster can also be found in the Sophienhöhle . They are only known from caves and have regressed eyes that are fully developed in adult insects. The larvae , only a few millimeters in size, live on a delicate web of threads that are covered in pearl-like mucus droplets.
The Sophienhöhle is one of the few caves in Franconia that also houses real cave animals. These are called troglobionts and in the course of evolution have developed properties that enable them to live permanently in the cave. So far, twelve of these animal species have been identified in the Franconian caves, two of which live in the Sophienhöhle. The food requirements of these animals are greatly reduced; they utilize almost everything that has even a very low nutritional content. One is a microscopic crab belonging to the genus Bathynella . The second species is the pigmentless vortex worm Phagocatta vitta . In the caves of the Franconian Alb this could only be detected in the Sophienhöhle.
Since the first installation of electric light in 1971, a very conspicuous and diverse plant community, the so-called lamp flora, has formed in the Sophienhöhle. This is most strongly represented in the vicinity of the lighting sources. In the relatively weak light conditions, algae and moss in particular can thrive. Much more demanding flowering plants have hardly any chance of survival in these light conditions and only rarely appear in the form of pale, short-lived seedlings. The plants differ in many ways from their conspecifics on the earth's surface, as they live on the edge of subsistence level. In the case of mosses, the stems are usually elongated, with loose leaves and the ends of the leaves have overlong tips.
The lamp flora in the Sophienhöhle is subject to certain regularities in its development. Light-sufficient algae turn out to be pioneer plants that also settle at a greater distance from a light source. Various types of moss later join these. In the Sophienhöhle there is mainly the light -fringed yew-leaved split tooth moss . It forms extensive moss lawns.
The plants found today all appeared after the installation of electrical light. In order to keep the vegetation on the stalactites as low as possible, the lighting outside the guides is reduced to a minimum. During the renovation phase from 2000 to 2002, the vegetation was partially removed. Before that there were already mushrooms which, with their light-independent way of life, had penetrated far into the depths of the Sophienhöhle. These mushrooms were mostly found on the earlier wooden railing of the guide path and other organic remains. In caves, fungi can grow out of their organic breeding ground due to the high humidity and spread to the surrounding inorganic surfaces with so-called rhizomorphs . These rhizomorphs, some of which are very large, can even be found in the Sophienhöhle on sintered flags in the ceiling area of the second section. The special cave climate leads to different growth forms of the mushrooms, so that their appearance is very different. The mushrooms play an important role as a food source for many cave animals.
The tours in the Sophienhöhle go over easily accessible paths and stairs, all of which have been renewed since 2000, to the individual departments and past the stalactite formations. The guide path is used in the Ahornloch, in the Klausstein Cave and in the first two sections of the Sophien Cave as a way there and back. In the third section it is laid out as a circular route. A tour lasts around 40 minutes. Around 220 meters are covered. Guided tours take place all year round. Concerts take place in the Klausstein cave in the summer months.
Since it reopened in 2002, a multimedia show ( Sophie at night ) has been offered in the cave . It takes place on Saturdays after the guided tour in the evening. The area in front of the cave with a campfire is also included. Nature films are shown in the Ahornloch. During the multimedia show, every visitor can move freely in the cave in order to look at the stalactite formations which are illuminated in different colors and whose lighting changes constantly. There is also a sound show.
In the years 2008 to 2012 the average number of visitors was 29,002. With this value, the show cave is in the middle of the show caves in Germany. In 2008, 31,649 people visited the cave (highest since it reopened in 2002). In 2012 there were 26,681 visitors.
- Hans Binder, Anke Luz, Hans Martin Luz: Show caves in Germany . Aegis Verlag, Ulm 1993, ISBN 3-87005-040-3 , pp. 74-75.
- Friedrich Herrmann: Caves of the Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland . 2., verb. Edition. Verlag Hans Carl, Nuremberg 1991, ISBN 3-418-00356-7 , pp. 80-83.
- Brigitte Kaulich: The Sophienhöhle near Rabenstein . In: From the country in the mountains to Franconian Switzerland. A landscape is discovered . Verlag Palm and Enke, Erlangen 1992, ISBN 3-7896-0511-5 , pp. 255-263.
- Stephan Kempe: Caves. World full of secrets . HB Verlags- und Vertriebs-Gesellschaft, Hamburg 1997, ISBN 3-616-06739-1 , pp. 100–101 (= series: HB Bildatlas . Special edition).
- Stephan Lang: Caves in Franconia. A hiking guide into the underworld of Franconian Switzerland . Revised and exp. Edition. Verlag Hans Carl, Nuremberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-418-00385-6 , pp. 61-64.
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in the Ailsbach valley. Wonderful underground world . (Main source for flora and fauna) Verlag Reinhold Lippert, Ebermannstadt 1998, ISBN 3-930125-02-1 .
- Hardy Schabdach: Underground Worlds. Caves of the Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland . Verlag Reinhold Lippert, Ebermannstadt 2000, ISBN 3-930125-05-6 , pp. 47-49.
- Helmut Seitz: Show mines, caves and caverns in Bavaria. An excursion guide into the underworld . Rosenheimer Verlagshaus, Rosenheim 1993, ISBN 3-475-52750-2 , pp. 47-49.
References and comments
- Friedrich Herrmann: Caves of the Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland. P. 80.
- Hardy Schabdach: Underground Worlds - Caves of Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland , p. 48.
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal , p. 9.
- Stephan Lang: Höhlen in Franken - hiking guide into the underworld of Franconian Switzerland with new tours , pp. 61–63.
- Geotope: Sophienhöhle near Rabenstein (show cave). (PDF; 284 kB) accessed on August 26, 2013
- Martina Pacher, Anthony J. Stuart: Extinction chronology and palaeobiology of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) . In: BOREAS . tape 38 , no. 2 , May 2009, ISSN 0300-9483 , p. 189–206 , doi : 10.1111 / j.1502-3885.2008.00071.x (November 2008 online).
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal , p. 11.
- Johan Friedrich Esper: Brief description of the peculiarities recently discovered in the osteolite tombs near Gailenreuth, not far from Muggendorf. Ansbach 1790, pp. 77-105.
- Georg August Goldfuß: The area around Muggendorf - A paperback for friends of nature and antiquity. Erlangen 1810, p. 114.
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal. P. 13.
- Brigitte Kaulich: Vom Land im Gebirg to Franconian Switzerland , Erlangen 1992.
- Friedrich Herrmann: Caves of the Franconian and Hersbrucker Switzerland. P. 81.
- Johann Wilhelm Holle: The newly discovered Kochshöhle or the cave queen in the royal. Hollfeld-Waischfeld regional courts. Bayerische Annalen, No. 26, pp. 197-198.
- Hans Binder, Anke Luz, Hans Martin Luz: Show caves in Germany. P. 74.
- Rudolph Wagner: About the newly discovered Zoolithenhöhle near Rabenstein. In: Bayerische Annalen , No. 47, 1833, pp. 313-315.
- Lecture by Kaspar Sternberg at the general assembly of the Bohemian Museum in Prague in 1835.
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal. P. 33.
- Saale Zeitung of May 2, 2002.
- Rabenstein Castle (ed.): Sophienhöhle in the heart of Franconian Switzerland. Nuremberg.
- "Benno" is complete again / Europe-wide only complete cave bear skeleton discovered in the Sophienhöhle near Ahorntal
- Thomas Weichert: New lighting effects put “Cave Queen” in the limelight. nordbayern.de, July 21, 2012, accessed on August 29, 2012 .
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal. P. 29.
- Sophie at night ( Memento from February 12, 2008 in the Internet Archive )