Eisriesenwelt Caves

The entrance to Eisriesenwelt Caves in Austria.
Photo by: daleharvey, Creative Commons

If you are looking for a different thrill with the most astounding natural scenery that you can find, the Eisriesenwelt Caves in Werfen, Austria will capture your heart as an amazing limestone ice cave.

The Eisriesenwelt Caves is a natural ice cave in the Salzburg area. The caves are open from the 1st of May until late October. It is the biggest ice cave system in the world and is known to cater to most tourists in the midst of the summer heat.

Its name suits its exploits best. Eisriesenwelt literally means the World of Ice Giants and indeed it is. The mountainside caves of Salzburg is known for the largest ice formations and the wonderful view of these formations will surely make you feel amazed at the beauty that nature offers on this side of Austria.

It was discovered initially by a natural scientist named Anton Posselt. It was known to the locals as the gateway towards hell which is mainly the reason why no one dared to enter the caves during that time. In 1880, upon Posselt’s discovery of the caves, he published a report that was soon forgotten by the community.

It was Alexander von Mörk, a cave specialist and explorer, who remembered Posselt and his discovery. He started the explorations in the mountains which were followed by the others. Later, when the first routes in the mountains were created, the caves soon rose to fame as tourists began to flourish in the area.

A tour in the Eisriesenwelt Caves is worth every second. From the entrance, the tour will be directed to the Posselt Hall towards a big room with a stalagmite formation named the Posselt Tower. Then, it continues inward where a cross marker can be seen as the sign of the farthest area that Posselt reached in his exploration.

Large ice formations will follow soon after that point. The area where the largest and tallest ice growth can be found is named the Great Ice Embankment. Next to it lays the Hymir Castle where a formation of stalactites called Ice Organ or Frigga’s veil is located. Frigga is a Norse pagan goddess and is the wife of Odin.

Inside the caves, you will also find one of the largest areas called the Alexander von Mörk Cathedral. It is the resting place of the ashes of Alexander von Mörk and indeed, the rightful place where his remains should find its place.

Exploring the ice caves of Eisriesenwelt will be such a delight. Wear warm clothes and trousers in order to battle the coolness of the caves but most of all, enjoy the amazing ice formations which feature the spectacle of nature at its best.

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