MYTHICAL PLACES: THE HEATHEN-CAVES NEAR GOLDBACH

Heathen caves near Goldbach, steel engraving by Konrad Corrady, ca. 1850

The term ‘heathen caves’ was firstly used in the middle of the 17th century, and the term heathen is here used to describe the fact that the origin of such caves in the Western region of Lake Constance is going back to the pre-Christian period in Germany while nobody knows for sure who did the construction and when. Also the original purpose of these caves is unclear while a lot of legends still exist such as the unproven theory of the local geologist Dr. Schmidle published in the 30s of the 20th century alleging that the heathen caves were erected by the Romans and serving as sanctuaries for their Mithras cult. Roman coins were found near such caves otherwhere in the region, but this implies no real evidence. Unfortunately today there are only some small remainings of these heathen caves existing near Goldbach because starting from the middle of the 19th century until the 50s of the 20th century explosives destroyed them mostly in order to create free space for streets and modern railway connections. The original impression can only be imagined on old pictures such as the steel engraving by Konrad Corrady shown here.

Reconstruction of old village on pile dwellings from the Bronze Age
at Unteruhldingen, Lake Constance, Germany