Field Trips

The Swabian Alb is a geopark of superlatives. All 3 routes take you to selected geological, paleontological, archaeological, historical and cultural sites and objects in the Geopark. You have the choice. Please note that it may still be cold at the end of March in the Swabian Alb. Normally we can expect average temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees. Think of warm clothes and hiking boots.


Route 1 - Ice Age Art and Geotope Management

The cradle of human culture stands on the Swabian Alb! With an age of around 40,000 years, finds such as the lion man, the little mammoth or Venus from Hohle Fels are the oldest works of art in the world. They were found in six caves that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. We will visit the two valleys where the finds were made and you will be able to admire some original sculptures.

In a quarry near Blaubeuren we will visit a unique nature conservation project which is known under the name “prehistoric pasture”. Semi-wild taurus cattle and conik horses keep a quarry open by grazing and thus promote biodiversity. It is a successful example of cooperation between the Geopark and the economy.

Route 2 - Karstification und meteor crater

The Swabian Alb mountain range in the South of Germany comprises the layers of the lower, middle and upper Jurassic. Geomorphological phenomenas of karstification shape the face of the landscape.  Wen Valley and  Hungerbrunnen Valley are impressive testimonies of the Jurassic era. In the Reef museum in Gerstetten you can get an insight in a jurassic coral reef with its fantastic richness of corals and sponges, whereas the Heldenfinger Kliff represents the former sea coast of the Burdigalian.

The Steinheimer Becken (Steinheim basin) is the result of the impact of a meteorite about 15 million years ago. Its well-preserved crater rim and central cone make the Steinheimer Becken unique worldwide. We will visit the Crater Museum in Steinheim and experience the formation of the basin first hand.

Route 3 - Mining and Regional History

The region around Aalen is a historic mining landscape. Both the melting of bean ore and iron sandstone have been the starting points of economic development. In today's visitor mine "Tiefer Stollen", the history of mining in the region is coming alife. With the Brenztopf and the Buchbrunnen Spring we will visit the two largest karst springs on the eastern Alb. Drinking water is extracted from the well of the Buchbrunnen, this shows the importance of environmentally sound agricultural use in a karst landscape.

Castle Katzenstein is the most beautiful knight's castle in the Geopark from the Romanesque period. It is largely build of suevite, a rock formed by partly melted Mesozoic sediments as a result of the meteorite impact in the Nördlinger Ries.  Suevite was a popular building material in historical time.