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Of bears and dragons

The Wildkirchli caves, legendary place of power.

Experience the mystical and mysterious atmosphere of the caves and take a guided tour of past times and thrilling encounters with history. 

The trail from the Ebenalp cable car mountain station is undemanding and safe. During your walk, take time to enjoy stunning panoramic views across the scattered hamlets of the Appenzellerland region – and Lake Constance in the distance. 

The Wildkirchli Caves are at a height of 1,500 metres above sea level and occupy an area of around 2,000 m². They are karst caves, formed by underground streams over millions of years.

Prehistoric finds

In 1904 the Wildkirchli Caves became famous owing to finds of prehistoric stone tools, which provided evidence for the first time that man had lived in the Alps during the Palaeolithic Era (45,000 to 30,000 BC). It is presumed that the caves were used by hunters and gatherers during the summer months as a hunting site. In addition to stone tools, the remains of cave bears were also found. All in all, archaeological digs between 1904 and 1908 uncovered the remains of around 800 animals, including the bones and teeth of cave lions, wolves, ibexes, chamois, martens and birds.  

Today visitors arriving at the Ebenalp cable car mountain station can admire the complete skeleton of a cave bear, which provides an idea of just how big these ancient creatures actually were. 

Our secret tip

The mystical ambience of the Wildkirchli Caves is particularly apparent when the weather is wet.

Immerse yourself in an ancient Alpine world and experience the power of nature. The cool quietness of the Wildkirchli Caves has a healing, invigorating quality: to this day they are a place of refuge where visitors can enjoy peace and tranquillity.

Wildkirchli guide tour

Duration: 1 – 1½ hours
Dates and times: On request
Participants: For families and groups of up to 25 persons
Start of tour: Cable car valley station in Wasserauen 

Provider: Appenzellerland Tourismus AI
Hauptgasse 4, CH-9050 Appenzell, T 071 788 96 41,
Tel. +41 (0)71 788 96 41, www.appenzell.info