Geotope Protection and Ice Age Art
Departure at Aalen, Gmünder Tor - Platz
Project "Prehistoric Pasture"
Blaubeuren: Prehistoric Museum and Blautopf
Guided Tour through the museum and visit of the Blautopf, Lunch
Return to Aalen City
Project "Prehistoric Pasture"
The largely abandoned quarry Gerhausen/Beiningen of HeidelbergCement AG is the home to many amphibians, birds, insects and rare plant species that need much warmth and light and therefore prefer an open landscape. To keep the vegetation low and preserve the character of the landscape special Taurus cattle graze here all over the year. Taurus cattle are an attempt of breeding back the aurochs, the wild ancestor of domestic cattle. Additionally, a small herd of Konik horses, a semi-feral horse breed, also help to prevent bush encroachment. Today, the quarry is a hotspot of biodiversity and a successful project in the open preservation of quarries. The grazing of the quarry is a joint project by the Building Material Association Baden-Württemberg e.V. and the UNESCO Global Geopark Swabian Alb.
Prehistoric Museum Blaubeuren
The caves around Blaubeuren are among the most important archaeological sites in the world. "Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura" are World Heritage since 2017. Both Neanderthals and the early anatomically modern man lived on the edge of the Swabian Alb during the Palaeolithic. The works of art and musical instruments are amongst the oldest artefacts to demonstrate evidence of humanity. Among the sculptures is the “Venus of Hohle Fels”, a female figurine made of mammoth ivory. It is the earliest known undisputed example of a depiction of a human being in prehistoric art. The museum shows the central role the Swabian Alb played in the development of mankind in Europe. Together with the original Venus, three bone flutes are on display, which are among the oldest musical instruments in the world, as well as unique carvings made of mammoth ivory.
The Blautopf would literally translate to “pot of blue” and as soon as you get a look at it you will likely agree it lives up to its name. The 21-m-deep spring with its blue to turquoise-green colour has been named a national geotope. The spring is the second largest karst spring in Germany and is the source of the river Blau. Since the Blautopf is situated in a karstic environment, which only has subterranean drainage, its spring discharge greatly depends on the amount of rainfall. The spring pit is the hidden entrance to the Blau cave system, with its 14 km corridor length the second biggest cave in Germany.
The Archeopark integrates information about the Ice Age with the location, allowing visitors to experience how people lived here tens of thousands of years ago. The Archeopark offers some answers by presenting the region’s unique finds in an accessible way.
During the last glaciation, the Lone Valley looked completely different than it does today. A cold steppe, where bare rocks stood out clearly in the open landscape. The Lone River meandered there, leading in spring the melting waters from the Jurassic plateau to the Danube River. Nowadays the Lone mainly flows underground leading water only sporadically and conveying little of its ancient size.