Altmühltaler Kalksteine e.V.

Quarrying and Processing of Solnhofen Stone

Solnhofener Platten

Solnhofen stone is a homogenous, dense and hard type of limestone that is often referred to as Solnhofen slate due to its extraordinarily even cleavability.

As in the past 200 years, Solnhofen Stone is  still quarried by hand. The cleft surfaces are often marked with fernlike "dendrites" that, together with cloud like coloration, create the appearance of a million year old landscape. However, these imprints are actually not of organic origin. These brown and black illustrations resembling prehistoric flora are formed by iron and manganese sedimentations between the layers. Preparatory work to remove covering soil is done by excavators and wheel loaders. Further, mechanization and automization are hardly possible in an efficient way. The stone needs careful treatment when it comes to pre-selection, cleavage and pre- formatting in the quarry. The final processing of cutting, honing, brushing or polishing is done in the factories. Due to the extraordinary density of the Solnhofen Stone, filling or grouting of the stone is not necessary. Solnhofen stone is offered with quarry rough, brushed, slightly honed, fine honed and polished surface. Panels in limited formats and thicknesses are used as wall cladding, flooring, stair treads and window sills. Very special is the use of the stone for lithography in art.  

Solnhofen, Winterdach
Solnhofener Platten
Steinbearbeitung, Schablone