Geological Points around Ruhla

Geologists refer to the area around Ruhla as “classical geological mile”. The name derives from a square mile circle, one could draw theoretically around Ruhla and study hundreds of million years of geological history in the enclosed area. Goethe visited the area around Ruhla in 1784 for geological studies as well.

In the following we would like to introduce you to geologically interesting locations around Ruhla:

Kittelsthal Dripstone Cave

Bergstraße D-99842 Ruhla / Kittelsthal
  • +49 (0) 160 94450973 (cave)
  • +49 (0) 36929 89013 (tourist information)
Opening hours:
April till October
Wed Groups by appointment
Thu-Sun 10.30am - 5pm
Guided Tours Every hour on the hour

Explore the fascination of the Kittelsthal Dripstone Cave during a guided tour. The cave was discovered by mining in 1888 and opened to the public in 1896. You can visit stalagmites and stalactites and explore the great grotto with the 3.5 metres high pyramid. Further attractions in the cave are massive, coarse crystalline sintering surfaces and numerous small sinter formations hidden in wall niches.

Quick Facts:

  • Depth of the cave: 48 metres
  • several thousand-year-old stalactite formations
  • overcoming 228 steps within a 45 minute long guided tour
  • The air temperature in the cave is about 11° C
  • Please wear sturdy footwear and a jacket.
  • Minimum age for visitors: 3 years
  • guided tours for groups of visitors from 2 people to 30 people possible

Tropfsteinhöhle Kittelsthal
© A. Nestler

Altenstein Cave

Altensteiner Straße 5 D-36448 Bad Liebenstein / Schweina

The cave was discovered in 1799 and was soon expanded into a show cave. It offers a unique view of the Altensteiner reef as it is the oldest show cave in Thuringia. It is also a site for ice age fossils. Bones of the cave bear ursus spelaeus were found here.

Blick auf den Gipsbruch in Kittelsthal
© Peter Jäger

Gypsum quarry in Kittelsthal

D-99842 Ruhla / Kittelsthal

The gypsum quarry in Kittelsthal is a unique natural monument. Limestone was mined here as early as the 16th century. Goethe visited the quarry in 1784 and made a sketch of stone positions, that was later used to build the city palace in Weimar. The gypsum quarry was mined until 1960. Today a lime kiln can be seen there.

Remains of the old lime kiln
© Peter Jäger

Meisenstein Mountain

The rock edge is approximate 40 to 50 metres high and consists of porphyry. It’s a popular viewing point from which many hikers and cyclists enjoy the view over the Thuringian Forest Nature Park with Großer Inselsberg Mountain. You can reach the summit by a comfortable footpath and may use the cosy seating area for a picnic.


Grebestein Mountain

On top of Grebestein Mountain is a memorial of the chief forester Grebe. Today it is a view point.