WELCOME TO LURGROTTE PEGGAU -
AUSTRIAS BIGGEST WATERFLOWING CAVE
Discovery of the cave, 1st of April 1894:
Max Brunello, an Italian Speleologist, discovered the cave. The exploration started from Semriach, as the Peggau entrance was blocked by water (the water level was lowered by 7 metres in 1913 by the construction of a drainage canal). On April 29th 1894 seven cave explorers got trapped in the cave as a result of heavy rainfalls. They couldn't be rescued until 9 days later involving over 1000 helpers in a big rescue operation.
Excavation work on the cave:
The cave has two entrances: Lurgrotte Peggau and Semriach (they are separated by these two businesses: Lurgrotte Peggau is a club, Semriach is private). On February 13th 1935 the cave was crossed for the first time, it took a total of 18 hours for 6 km. In 1957, after 20 years of construction work, the Lurgrotte was ready for guided tours to Semriach, lasting 3-4 hours. But the paths got destroyed again by the worst flood of the century in 1975 (ca. 10m⊃3;/s).
Origin of the Lurgrotte:
The folding open of mountains caused tears, gaps and holes. Through these openings water, following the law of gravity, entered the stone complex. Following the path with least resistance, the water found a curvy and zig zag path. Over millions of years those underground waterways grew, through the eroding power of the water containing particles of sand and stones, into maze like cave systems. There are around 10 000 caves in Austria, 4500 only in Styria, but only 25 caves are open to visitors.
Development of Stalagmites and Stalagtites:
Through gaps and tears water enters into the mountain and takes tiny particles of the stone. On reaching the cave ceiling it starts, with gravity increasing, to droop down. The tiny particles of stone build up on the ceiling.
Guided tours through Lurgrotte Peggau:
Short tours of 1 hour show you round 1 km of the cave. The paths are fitted with electrical lights. It is recommended to bring a jacket, as the cave has a temperature of 10°C and a humidity of 95%. Tours of 5 - 6 hours are available during the winter.
A-8120 Peggau, Lurgrottenstraße 2; Tel: 0043 3127 2580