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Bear Cave (Bärenhöhle)
Bear Cave is located near Sonnenbühl, Swabian
Alps in Germany. The total length of Bear Cave is 292 meters and most of
it is accessible to the public. It gets its name from the
remains of a cave bear those remains were found inside. The
skeleton still remains inside connected by wires into life like
stance. Besides cave bears archaeologists discovered remains of
the cave lions, rhinos and other animals that stumbled here or
were brought as a prey by the carnivore animals.
Bear Cave was rediscovered by a teacher Fauth in
1834 who walked in this area in search of medicinal herbs or so
the story tells. His snuff box fell into a crevice that was
later turned out to be a huge cave. Another re- discovery
occurred in 1949 by Charles Bez who tracked several bats that
flew inside the ground thus identifying the entrance site to
underground cave system. Thus another name for the Bear Cave is
a Charles Cave as it is sometimes called. However this is not
the first time humans used this cave. In the medieval times
bodies of the plague victims were thrown into the same crevice.
Many of the unfortunate victims were re- buried, but few
skeletons remained inside the Bear Cave to this day. They are
visible underneath the glass.
The temperature inside Bear Cave is fairly cool
and usually ranges between 8 and 10 C throughout the year. So
take some warm clothes not to freeze yourself. You can take
photos inside the cave, but avoid using flashes. Bear Cave had
problems with the growing mosses and other primitive plants
inside the cave. This is why the lights were switched to offer
less light to growing photosynthesizing plants. Additionally
they are turned off when there is no need for them.