My photos were taken in the „Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes“ - caverns or grottoes of a former mine near the town Saalfeld, in the German state of Thuringia.
They have long been famous for their countless colorful mineral formations (speleothems) formed over many years by water dripping through relatively soft rock. Since 1993, the Guinees Book of world Records has termed the Feengrotten "the most colorful cave grottoes in the world".
From 16th to 19th century it has been an alum shale mine where mineral-laden water formed colorful stalagmites, stalactites and other shapes over the centuries. Historically, alum was employed in a range of medicinal products, as a food preservative, to clarify water and to finish cloth. In 19th century more effective chemical compounds were developed, and alum ceased to be a profitable mining product. By the 20th century, the mine had been largely forgotten. But in 1910 the old mine was rediscovered and explorers took note of the fantastic mineral deposits that had accumulated over the geologically short period of three centuries.
Here's a list of the minerals which until now were found here:
The palette of earth tones is fascinating and beautiful. I have never heard of these Grottoes before. All the images in the Series have something special but probably my favorite is the last one where the white dominates. Great tour through the underworld.
A fine series of this amazing cavern. The colour shades are fascinating in all photos and the reflections on the water give extra attraction to the photos. Thanks for the informative note too.
Greetings from slightly wintry Espoo,