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The history of the cave

A brief summary of the most important milestones


The Obir dripstone caves are located in the municipality of Eisenkappel-Bela at the mountain massif Hochobir Unterschärffler-Alps, in the once thriving mining area. In 1878 the mining houses in Obir, after discontinuation of mining, were left to the section of the Eisenkappel Austrian tourist club, as a mountain hut and to establish a meteorological station.

Ore in the Massif Hochobir

Hochobir, with its 2141 metres, is the highest mountain in Karavanke. The tectonic rupturing in this mountain range ruptured its ore (lead and zinc), which made the discovery and excavation considerably more difficult. The tour provides a detailed insight into the lives of the miners.

The first tours

1903 The Obir dripstone caves were first mentioned in the tourist guides of Bad Eisenkappel. Even then, to a lesser extent, tours were held. The cave started being used for tourism purposes in 1987, with the establishment of the Obir-Tropfsteinhöhlen association under the baton of Peter Haderlapp.

Adding lighting and sound

1988 the Society for the construction and operation of the Obir dripstone caves – Obir-Tropfsteinhöhlen Errichtungs- und Betriebsges.mbH, was established, under the leadership of the project manager Walter Jerlicha. Thus, the caves were, since 1991, prepared for a wider audience. Different sound and lighting fixtures certainly contributed their share to the attraction and popularity of the caves.

A research device for a long-term observation of the caves climate and hydrology

Since 1998, in the part that is closed to visitors, a device for exploring and obtaining important information about the dynamics of the formation of dripstones was setup .

New multimedia installations

2007 new light, sound and visual effects were installed.

Audio guides

2013 audio guides for more languages were purchased

Electricity generator for emergency current

2014 begin of the use of a modern aggregate for the emergency current


1171: Probably the oldest mention of mining activities on Hochobir (charter)
1696: The first documented evidence of mining on Hochobir
1870: Discovery of the Obir dripstone caves while advancing into the Mark tunnel
1989 Establishment of the company Obir-Tropfsteinhöhlen Errichtungs- und Betriebsges. m. b. H. by the project manager Walter Jerlich.
1991: Official opening of the Obir dripstone caves for tours; the start of guided tours (July 5)
1999 The half-millionth visitor
2003: The making of operational mine plan, through which all processes in caves were governed 2004: The first installation of lighting, sound and visual effects in caves (base-projection HDTV)
2007: Installation of the first HDTV-projection in a cave in the world
2012: The one-millionth visitor
2013: The new audio guides

Additional Information

Even more interesting information can be found at the link Downloads