North Rhine-Westphalia: Neanderthal Tower opens in mid-September: replica skull

Where workers found the famous prehistoric Neanderthal bones in 1856, a 22 m high observation tower is currently being built.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Neanderthal Tower opens in mid-September: replica skull

Where workers found the famous prehistoric Neanderthal bones in 1856, a 22 m high observation tower is currently being built. A gigantic replica of a skull crowns the building. Opening in mid-September.

Mettmann (dpa / lnw) - After construction delays due to a lack of material, work on the 22-meter-high observation tower at the site of the discovery of the prehistoric bones at the Neanderthal Museum near Mettmann is now making good progress. In the meantime, an opening date for the "Höhlenblick Tower" has also been set: the celebration will take place on September 16, said a museum spokeswoman.

Last week a large crane placed a nine meter long dome weighing around six tons on the roof of the tower. It was modeled on the calotte of the prehistoric human skull found at the site in 1856. Museum director Bärbel Auffermann had praised the "worldwide unique" construction: It gives the visitors on the top platform the impression of being in a cave at the site of the discovery.

The site where the prehistoric man was found in the so-called Feldhofer Grotto had disappeared due to decades of heavy lime mining and the terrain plateau had sunk significantly. On the uppermost platform of the steel construction, however, visitors will again be at the height of the former cave. According to the plans, they should in future enjoy the same view that the Neanderthals once had.

Telescopes are to be attached to the platform, which will show Ice Age scenes with projections. Workers discovered the Neanderthal bones. The originals are now on display in the LVR Museum in Bonn; the Neanderthal Museum shows a replica. 150,000 to 170,000 visitors come to the museum in normal years. The observation tower should be an "additional major attraction" for the museum, said the museum spokeswoman.

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