Bavarian Forest
National Park

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Stone Age Cave at the Falkenstein National Park Centre

Stone Age Cave

A journey into the Ice Age in the Bavarian Forest

The look at the past begins in the Stone Age cave with a journey into prehistory.

Near natural, sparsely populated forest landscapes – home of the red deer. Over millions of years it was the climate and not people that determined what happened on Earth. Warm periods created luxuriant plant and tree populations and a rich wildlife, whilst tropical temperatures weathered rock quickly and eroded soils.

About two million years ago the climate changed significantly: in the following millennia several long cold periods alternated with short warm phases.

The predominant forests shifted to the warmer South. Frugal grasses, dwarf shrubs and lichens that could survive in cold conditions moved into the ice free areas. A tundra rich in species developed across large swathes of the landscape. With the tundra other species of animal came into our region. Wild horses, reindeer, musk oxen, woolly rhinoceroses and mammoths roamed the mostly treeless regions. Their seasonal migrations led them into the interior of what is today the Bavarian Forest.

What was it like when our ancestors encountered these large animals as they roamed the landscape of the Bavarian Forest in the glacial Age?

We take this exciting theme up at the animal enclosures close to Ludwigsthal. Imposing hoofed animals, including the aurochs, wisent, wild horses, which lived here during the Ice Ages, can be observed from the visitor trail. This leads into a dark rocky cave, where impressive cave paintings of lifelike sketched animals are reconstructed.

Images of fast moving herds of cattle and flighty wild horses on the cave walls tell of an extraordinary gift of observation of the “old masters", the special relationship between Stone Age people and the animal kingdom and how they lived together.

An informative film, displays and 3D animations illustrate the changes in climate, landscape and wildlife since the last Ice Age and the ensuing post glacial era, and also show how human beings - through developments in hunting techniques - responded to the environment and climate changes.

Opening Hours

From 26th December to 31st March: 9:00 – 16:30;
From 1st April to the first week of November: 9:00 – 18:30

Entry is free!