Höhle Hohlstein (Hohlstein Cave)
With its first written mention in 1267 (as "Holenstein" or "Hollenstein"), the karst cave is deemed the oldest cave in Germany verifiable by name. The interior of the cave is a single open space, about 40 m long, 21 m wide and 8 m high (12 m high at its highest point), thus one of the largest interior cave spaces in Hesse. There is a small cave lake located in the front area, at the same level as the small witch or mermaid pond in front of the cave, which is likewise a sinkhole.
The cave with the 24 m high boulder above it and the pond before it could have been an old cult site where the earth goddess was worshiped. Young wives bathed in the cave pond on May nights or on Christmas Eve if they desired a child. Girls hoped that Mother Hulda would fulfil their wish if they laid flowers on the sacrifice stone. Whoever washed herself with the cave water in the Hollenstein cave while observing strict silence on Easter night between eleven and twelve would long retain her beauty. These waters were regarded as wondrously strong. Many legends have grown around this almost sacred place.
From May 15 to September 15, the cave is only open after advance reservation with the Tourist-Information Bad Sooden-Allendorf at (+49 (0)5652 9587-0) or firstname.lastname@example.org. The opening hours of the Tourist-Info are: Mo. to Fr. from 9 am to 5 pm and Sa. 9 am to 12 noon. A deposit of 20 euros is required. The key loan costs 10 euros.