Vulkankrater Papenkaule

Vulkankrater Papenkaule


The Papenkaule is a circular volcanic crater 80 metres wide and 20 metres deep and today a valuable geotope and biotope. The Papenkaule is famous throughout the Eifel and something very special.

Around 10,000 years ago, it became noisy and uncomfortable for the Stone Age inhabitants, who had settled on the former sea reef of the Gerolstein Dolomites in the Buchenloch cave. In their immediate vicinity, a volcano broke through the limestone rocks. The Papenkaule was formed - not a volcanic cone with a crater at the top, but a depression in the bedrock that still exists today.

A different kind of lava flow

The lava reached the surface 300 metres west of the explosion in the Hagelskaule and flowed southwards into the Kyll valley in the direction of today's Gerolstein district of Sarresdorf. This lateral movement of the lava flow is unique in the UNESCO Natural ans Geopark Vulkaneifel and arose because the karstic rock massif has underground fissures, through which the glow flow did not reach the surface vertically, but horizontally.

The Papenkaule has never become a water-filled Maar or crater lake due to its consistency of the soil. Far too porous is the limestone, which was formed by the extinction of countless limestone-forming organisms and other marine animals in a subtropical shallow ocean 380 million years ago

The hollow in the reef is a habitat for rare animals and plants that thrive on calcareous grassland. For hikers on the Eifelsteig or on its partner trail, the Felsenpfad,  the place is above all a place to pause, breathe and find peace.

The volcanic crater of the Papenkaule is freely accessible all year round and fission point 33 along the German Volcano Route.

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At a glance

Opening hours

  • From January 1st to December 31st
    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

    00:00 - 23:59

available all year round!




Vulkankrater Papenkaule
über K33
54568 Gerolstein
Phone: 0049 6591 133100

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