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The Reckenhöhle

Ein stilisiertes Mammut mit dem Text Visit Balve daneben

In the spring of 1888, Franz Recke came across the Reckenhöhle by chance. Franz Recke was not only a farmer and innkeeper, but also a true entrepreneur of his time. He ran a quarry, a straw rope factory, a mill and had built a turbine plant to generate electricity. When the turbine ditch, which branched off from the Hönne, did not carry enough water, he used a locomobile and lead accumulators to generate electricity.

The cave was also connected to the electrical system, and the free-hanging insulators of the old light line are still visible today. It was not until the 1930s that the cave was connected to the public electricity grid.

An accidental discovery

Show cave since 1890

The cave was discovered by chance. Franz Recke had repeatedly observed fog rising from a narrow crevice in the limestone opposite his house in cool weather. While chasing a fox that had already stolen geese and chickens from him several times and escaped in one of the crevices, he came across a veritable fairytale world.

The excavation of the "foxhole" entrance led to an astonishing cave system with impressive stalactite formations, which was opened as a show cave on August 16, 1890. Although the other passages were accessible, they were heavily filled with clay. The cave was continuously expanded over a period of 34 years, with trolleys being used to bring the clay to the surface. The entrances and exits even had to be blasted, as there was no natural entrance apart from the "foxhole".

Guided tours through the depths

Are you interested in a guided tour? These can be requested directly from "Haus Recke".

Further information and contact details can be found on the website:

To the Reckenhöhle