Current weather

Ebenalp
10.7°
80° 0.0 mm
wind gusts 20.4km/h
average 11.1km/h
Wasserauen
15.7°
50° 0.0 mm
wind gusts 22.2km/h
average 9.3km/h

The weather forecast was updated on: Sunday, 26.09.2021 um 18:07. Update interval: 3 hours.
The rainfall values are only available every 6 hours.

forecast

Ebenalp

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Wasserauen

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schliessen
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Zurück zur Wochenübersicht
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Aescher and Wildkirchli

Take in our majestic scenery, but be aware that beauty often also lies hidden – on a rock wall or deep inside a legendary cavern.

You can still feel it today: the primal force of the mountain. On the rock face by Aescher and inside the Wildkirchli caves.

This is the place where it all started in Appenzellerland: Alpstein tourism’s ground zero, the rustic alpine guesthouse called Aescher. One of the oldest inns in Switzerland, its beginnings go back to 1800, when hermits and herdsmen began to cater to visitors coming up to the Aescher meadow. Today the inn is known far and wide for its unique atmosphere, hospitality and iconic charm. Nestled against the cliff face, at one with the mountain and its imposing natural surroundings, the inn is the centerpiece of an image that is sent all around the world.

The nearby Wildkirchli is no less spectacular. Prehistoric discoveries in the caves in 1904 made the Wildkirchli caverns famous. These excavations proved for the first time that Neanderthals also inhabited the Alpine region. And on top of that, were the traces of giant cave bears. Please, come inside.

Wildkirchli caves

It took millions of years for the force of water to create these four cavernous spaces. Long before our time, Neanderthals used them as hunting quarters. Whether they also hunted the cave bears remains to this day not entirely clear. What the caves have revealed so far can be discovered inside and in the small hermit's house. A short path leads you from Ebenalp upper station to the well-constructed walkway that winds through the caves.

Wildkirchli guided tour

Duration

1–1½ hours

Dates and times

on request

Participants

For families and groups of up to 20 persons

Costs

CHF 210 per group, excl. the cable car

Start of tour

Cable car valley station in Wasserauen

Provider

Appenzellerland Tourismus AI, Hauptgasse 4, CH-9050 Appenzell
+41 (0)71 788 96 41

appenzell.info

Of bears and dragons

In addition to stone tools, remains of some 800 individual animals have been found in the Wildkirchli caves, including cave lions and wolves. But dragons? At least that’s what people believed lived there in the Middle Ages. Today we know that the large bones unearthed here are those of the cave bear. This beast has long been history. But sometimes, on certain days, you can hear his roar faintly echoing. Or is it more of a snarl?