Geotope Taufstein

Today the Taufstein is the highest peak of the Vogelsberg volcanic region. The rocks of the baptismal font represent a former basaltic lava flow. The rock melt was relatively low in silicic acid (SiO2), which is why this rock is called basanite.

What does this mean?

The interesting thing about this is that lava - i.e. liquid rock - was already subject to gravity at the time of active volcanism in the Vogelsberg: even then, lava flowed downhill. This in turn leads to the conclusion that there must have been a higher point (e.g. a volcanic vent). This point could have been a few to several hundred meters higher.

The secret of the past

It is no longer possible to say anything more about this today, since tectonic movements of the earth's crust (lowering of central areas of the Vogelsberg) and the forces of erosion have dramatically changed the Vogelsberg in the past 18 million years. Another possibility could have been a violent volcanic explosion that simply blew large areas away. Evidence of this can be found in the surrounding area.


Stone run at the Taufstein

The Taufstein is surrounded by a slagheap in the north and west, which is easily visible from the paths up to the Bismarck Tower.

Especially the change between warm and cold periods during the past millions of years contributed significantly to the formation of the slagheap. Strong chemical and biological weathering during the warm periods alternated mainly with physical weathering during the cold periods, so that the rocks broke and fragments of different sizes were formed. The region was not covered by glaciers during the cold seasons. However, the soil froze repeatedly - permafrost. During thawing, soil flow increased (solifluction). This means that when the soil thaws, it starts to move over large areas and also transports rock material with it. In addition, the mainly fine-grained material was transported away by precipitation and watercourses, leaving only larger blocks.

Location, reachability and accessibility

The geotope is located about 800 meters northeast of the Hoherodskopf. Several trails lead to the Bismarck Tower, including the Hoehenrundweg.

The geotope is located within a nature reserve. Please stay on the marked paths!

  • GPS N 50°30'57.0'' E 9°14'15.3''
  • UTM 32 U 516153/5595476


  • Ehrenberg, K.-H. & Hickethier, H. (1985). Die Basaltbasis im Vogelsberg. Schollenbau und Hinweise zur Entwicklung der vulkanischen Abfolge. Geol. Jb. Hessen (113), 97–135.
  • Reischmann, T. & Schraft, A. (2009). Der Vogelsberg: Geotope im größten Vulkangebiet Mitteleuropas. Hessisches Landesamt für Naturschutz, Umwelt und Geologie. Wiesbaden.