Wildkirchli – mystical journey through time

Highlights Eastern Switzerland

Located beneath the towering Ebenalp in the Alpstein region of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, the Wildkirchli comprises three caves. Of these, the Wildkirchli cave, which is home to the St. Michael chapel, holds a revered status as one of the canton’s culturally significant treasures.

Mountain inn Äscher - Wildkirchli

Mountain inn Äscher – Wildkirchli

Path to the Äscher mountain inn

Path to the Äscher mountain inn

In 1904, prehistoric finds of cavemen were made in these caves. The St. Gallen natural scientist Emil Bächler discovered worked stones, tools and bones that can be dated to between 50,000 and 30,000 BC.

These finds prove that Neanderthals lived in the Alpstein mountains at that time and made the Wildkirchli famous worldwide. In addition to these discoveries, traces of cave bears that lived in the caves from 90,000 BC were also found. The finds are exhibited both in a hermit’s hut in the Wildkirchli, which was rebuilt in 1972, and in the Appenzell Museum.

One of the three caves was converted into an altar cave by hermits who lived in the caves from 1658 to 1853. This impressive sanctuary still bears witness to the piety of the hermits and is used for religious services. The hermits lived in another cave during the summer, while the third cave now houses the mountain inn.

The Wildkirchli is a fascinating place that has both historical and spiritual significance. Visitors can explore the caves, enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain landscape and immerse themselves in the rich heritage and history of this unique place.

Mountain inn Äscher

The Äscher Inn is a true gem in the heart of the Alpstein, an imposing mountain range in the Appenzell region. Nestled deep in a rock face, Gasthaus Äscher rises like a majestic eagle’s nest above the idyllic Seealpsee lake. The path to the inn promises not only breathtaking panoramas, but also an unforgettable experience in the midst of unspoiled nature.

The Äscher mountain inn is easily accessible for visitors of all ages via the Ebenalp cable car and a short 15-minute walk through the Wildkirchli cave. A breathtaking excursion destination awaits you, which appeals to mountain hikers as well as company events, club outings and family reunions.

Ebenalp cable car

Ebenalp cable car

When you arrive at Gasthaus Äscher, you will be welcomed with warm hospitality. Enjoy the delicious regional specialties, which are prepared with much love, while you enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and the deep blue Seealpsee. Gasthaus Äscher offers you the opportunity to experience a moment of peace and enjoyment in the midst of spectacular nature.

Whether you are a hiker looking for a leisurely break, a nature enthusiast wanting to explore the beauty of the Alpstein or simply want to get away from it all, Gasthaus Äscher promises you an unforgettable time in a unique setting. Let yourself be enchanted by the magic of this place and take unforgettable memories home with you.

Guardian angel festival in the Wildkirchli

The annual Guardian Angel Festival in the Wildkirchli is a very special event that takes place every second Sunday in July. In the morning at ten o’clock, a sermon is given by a priest or Capuchin from Appenzell, enriched by the wonderful voices of the church choir. The sermon brings spiritual messages and conveys a deep connection with the place and the faith to the visitors.

After the sermon, the singers and members of a yodel choir perform joyful melodies and the unique Appenzell yodel songs. The powerful and harmonious sounds put visitors in a good mood and invite them to sing and clap along. An enchanting atmosphere is created in which the tradition and cultural identity of the region come alive.

During the musical performances, visitors have the option of taking the path to Ebenalp or Gasthaus Äscher. There they can enjoy the picturesque scenery and fortify themselves with delicious food and drink. It is also customary for visitors to shake a leg and experience the cheerful atmosphere in convivial company.

The Schutzengelfest at Wildkirchli is a festival of community, music and celebration. It is an opportunity to honor the unique place and appreciate the beauty of nature while connecting with others amidst music and song. It is a day of joy and gratitude that delights visitors of all ages and creates an unforgettable memory.

Public guided tour of the Wildkirchli

Thanks to the prehistoric finds from the Stone Age, the Wildkirchli caves have gained worldwide recognition. Skeletons of cave bears and stone tools bear witness to the hunters who spent time in this place in prehistoric times.

Immerse yourself in the mysticism of this place with a guided tour and discover its fascinating history. The guided tour is open to individuals, open to the public and free of charge, giving you the opportunity to experience these impressive caves up close.



Hike Ebenalp – Äscher mountain inn – Seealpsee

From the Ebenalp mountain station, a 15-minute walk with panoramic views over the scattered settlements of Appenzellerland leads to Wildkirchli with its prehistoric caves. After visiting the Wildkirchli, the trail leads east along the rock face, over a wooden gallery, to the Äscher mountain inn, spectacularly situated on the rock face. From there, a steep mountain path leads down to the Seealpsee lake.

It is essential to wear hiking boots with good traction and sure-footedness and to be free from vertigo, as the path is exposed in places.

Once you reach Seealpsee, a beautiful beach invites you to swim and barbecue, surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape. It takes about an hour to reach Wasserauen from Seealpsee.

Video Amazing Switzerland. Hiking in Appenzell: Seealpsee-Äscher-Wildkirchli

4K Appenzell's Breathtaking Hiking Trails to Bergasthaus Aecher.

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Video hike Ebenalp Appenzell mountain inn Äscher, Seealpsee

Wanderung Ebenalp Appenzell Berggasthaus Äscher, Seealpsee #6

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