Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher or printer: Carl v. d Boogaart, Wiesbaden, 1906.
What magical place is this?…..In a German forest, around 1906, two “sentinel” trees guard (or maybe proudly display) a location marked off by a rustic wooden fence: Three people, relaxed in demeanor, pose for the camera on a porch-like space, in front of a doorway. (To what?) The entrance way is covered by a small pointed roof, and seemingly attached, or partially surrounding, is a jungle-gym-like mass of wooden branches. We’re intrigued and charmed.
Of course, we know it’s a destination of some sort from the signs that are posted (and note the graffiti on the tree trunks, most prominently from someone with the initials, “A. A.” in 1869) but we like the mystery and anticipation leading into the discovery, and the stories that weave their way through our minds before that discovery – that get enhanced and embellished, or sometimes change completely, upon enlargement of the photo. In this case, (click to enlarge), the tangle of branches have sorted themselves out from jungle-gym to a rustic railing for a walkway leading up and down a hill, and from a quick search we find that the doorway we see is the entrance to the Leichtweißhöhle Cave. This cave, the word is höhle in German, has a varied history.
Google translation to English from Wikipedia entry with photos:
The cave was forgotten until Wiesbaden gained international renown as a spa and the cave developed into a popular excursion destination. It represented one of the new attractions that were to be offered to visitors to Wiesbaden. The Wiesbaden Beautification Association expanded the cave in 1856. A second entrance was created, a room on the side and a niche padded with moss, which was declared as a place to sleep. The cave was also decorated accordingly, including old weapons and pictures. A romanticization followed . The Schwarzbach coming from the Rabengrund and passing the cave received an artificial waterfall and a wooden bridge was built to cross the stream. A viewing pavilion was built above the cave, and the access paths to the cave were equipped with railings and the cave entrance with a wooden porch. These changes were so extensive that the original state can hardly be recognized today.
In 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the cave with his wife.
With the decline of the Wiesbaden cure, especially after the end of the Second World War , the cave lost its importance and was closed. The outdoor facilities were badly affected by vandalism and lack of maintenance. The cave was often used as a shelter. In 1983 the entrance was completely renewed. Since then, the cave has been regularly opened to visitors every six months.”
Sources: Leichtweißhöhle. n.d. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leichtwei%C3%9Fh%C3%B6hle. (accessed August 30, 2020).
Google translate (accessed August 30, 2020).