It is believed that long ago lost in the mist of time a monk by the name of Beatus fought an evil dragon in the cave along the lake shores of Thun. The hermit monk was Beatus of Lungern an Irish missionary who presumably came around the 10th century first to the Jura mountains then ventured into the mountains along Lake Thun to evangelize the region. The popular Medieval lore of how the monk defeats the dragon could in this context signifies the triumph of Christianity. An Augustinian monastery was built and it soon became a pilgrimage site. Revered as a Saint, the cult of Saint Beatus becomes widespread throughout the Medieval era and survived the Reformation period. To get a glimpse of his grave and where he once lived and died till a very old age, climb the steps just behind the cave entrance. Here it is the the cavern home of the the legendary Saint Beatus.
Saint Beatus cave is one of Interlaken most impressive attraction. Saint Beatus has certainly chosen the ideal place to live and to spread the teaching of Christianity. Beatenberg the mountain village just above the caves is also the place where the Swiss author Erich von Däniken known mostly for his Best selling Chariots of the gods lives. He was also the creator of the unsuccessful Mystery theme Park in Interlaken today re branded as Jungfrau Park. Saint Beatus caves may be reached by car, buses or by boat from Interlaken or Thun and the walk up to the caves is certainly worth a visit. The idyllic place with wooden bridges and delightful waterfalls is very inspiring.
Apart from once being a hermit’s place, the cave is a treasure trove for speleothems, slow moving water that creates forms known as stalactites and stalagmites. Inside the caves are well sign posted passages where you can explore the caves while enjoying the underworld haven of speleological art. Carved for over a millennia the caves and its fabulous rock formation are theatrically lit uncovering the natural aesthetic beauty of unique shapes. Although some of the caves still remain unexplored, some parts are open to the public. Once inside the caves temperature may drop get so warm clothing is necessary, but the views are certainly worth the visit. Wander along the passages while listening to gushing of the subterranean waterfalls and feel the serenity of the place away from it all. You do feel as if you are thrown into another time lost in a mythical world of Saints and dragons. Here is a view of the cave with its lovely pool surrounded by beautifully formed stalactites and stalagmites.
This is one of the most impressive with rocky limestone formations reflecting on a pool of water enhanced with some dramatic lightning.
More images on the Stalactites caves of Saint Beatus on the shores of Lake Thun in Bernese Oberland.
St. Beatus Caves
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