Dechenhöhle Letmathe Reviews
Deep down to the hall of colums and the mermaid pool Jul 30, 2010
The Dechenhöhle (or Dechen cave) is a big flowstone cave with several halls, discovered in 1868 by some railroad workers who lost their hammer.
It is situated in Devonian limestone. This type of stone dissolves in water containing CO2. An underground river did its work and washed out the cave. Now the river flows about 25 meters below in another cave.
The cave cannot be visited on your own, only with a guided tour - which I definitely prefer when entering a mountain. Unfortunately it is not allowed to take pictures during the tour because it would be too much delaying the tour :( Another minor point is that the tour is only available in German, so a lot of the explanation we did not understand at all. I was happy the man at the ticket office gave me a leaflet explaining in english what all the chambers were about.
Our tour was the last of the day and the guide seems to be in a bit of a hurry, for she managed the 40 minutes to be done in less than 30. However, we still were impressed by the sight of all the different flowstones.
The cave consists of several halls or chambers, each named after the images that - with a little imagination - can be seen in the shape of the stalactites and stalagmites.
So is the group of stalagmites in the first hall (called "the Chapel") adressed as "the Holy Family".
In another chamber a large group of stalactites resembles a church organ, thus that chamber is called "Organ chamber".
In yet another chamber you can find fossils on the walls. These are corals, braciopodae and stromatoporae, small animals who lived in the Devonian sea which was situated here some 350.000 million years ago.
One chamber did have a pool with bright clear water, called Mermaids pool, with a depth of 1,50 meter.
There was a total of 12 chambers we passed.
In this cave live some animals as well, including bats ofcourse, but I'm glad we did not saw any of those.
With your entrance ticket to the cave comes the free access to the Deutches Höhlenmuseum (German Cave Museum), outside the cave.
The museum is devoted to all cave topics: Cave genesis, geological, palaeontological, biologican, archaeological, and historical aspects. I definitely was impressed by the size of the model of the cave lioness in the palaeontological room, (also because I read "Clan of the Cavebear" :))
Part of the Sauerlands Foresttown travel blog
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