Mønsted-Kalkgruber the Largest Limestone Mine in the World

Mønsted-Kalkgruber the Largest Limestone Mine in the World

2 minutes to read

Mønsted-Kalkgruber (lime pit) is the largest limestone mine in the world. This fascinating lime cave is situated in northern Jutland, Denmark, at around 20 minutes west from the town of Viborg. 

The Mønsted caves have around 60 kilometres of underground pathways, out of which only 2 kilometres are lit with natural light. The main path of the cave will lead you to an old cave called Nonbos cave, which was the main working site for people in 1840. If you continue walking down the main path, you will eventually reach two lakes. Believe it or not, there is a small improvised cinema next to the larger lake. The cinema cave can host around 70 people. A short multimedia presentation of around 12 minutes with pictures is projected over the cave's walls, depicting the cave’s history. Mønsted is a really fascinating site and place to visit, it feels like a hidden underground world from a sci-fi movie. 

Picture © Credits to hering folkeblad
Picture © Credits to hering folkeblad
Mønsted-Kalkgruber cave
Mønsted-Kalkgruber cave
Kalkværksvej 8, 7850 Viborg, Denmark

At Mønsted you will also come across the lime plant, which is another main attraction. The lime plant was created in 1874, and it was in full use until 1980. Today the site of the former lime plant is used as a museum and explains to its visitors in greater detail the importance and history of the Danish lime industry.

Picture © Credits to visitviborg
Picture © Credits to visitviborg

Visiting the largest limestone mine in the world is a rather unique experience and is accessible only during a limited time of the year. The reason is that, bats use the cave as their home during the winter months, hence this is when the cave is closed for visitors. 

Picture © Credits to MønstedKalkgruber
Picture © Credits to MønstedKalkgruber

I am sure you are curious to know more about the bats! The Mønsted caves are highly populated during the winter months and are home to around 18,000 bats. During the warm summer months, between May and August, the bats are more active and leave the caves to feed on insects. In the autumn the bats return to the cave and stay throughout the entire winter for hibernation. As spring approaches, the bats become more mobile and start flying in the caves, in order to see if the winter has passed; hence this is the reason why the cave is closed to visitors before April. 

In order to avoid any disappointment, plan your visit to Mønsted caves between April and end of October. But be aware that the mine train visits take place every year from the 15th of May until 15th of August only, due to the flying bats. Also, make sure you dress warmly, as the temperature in the caves drops drastically and is usually around 8 degrees Celsius. 

Picture © Credits to visitviborg
Picture © Credits to visitviborg

Cover Picture © Credits to feriehjemmetorum

The author

Masa Mesic

Masa Mesic

My name is Maša, born in Croatia but grew up in Prague. I have a great passion for gastronomy, yoga and languages. Follow my journey, as we travel through Denmark and Czechia.

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