Messel Pit World Heritage Site

  • Welterbe Grube Messel©PM-STUDIOS-Pfingstmann-und-Mayer-GbR
  • Welterbe Grube Messel©PM-STUDIOS-Pfingstmann-und-Mayer-GbR
  • Welterbe Grube Messel©Wencker, WGM
  • The Messel Pit fossil deposit has been Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. It provides a unique insight into the early evolution of mammals and documents the history of the earth's development 48 million years ago, when explosive changes characterised the animal and plant world following the extinction of the dinosaurs.


    Numerous fossils from the Eocene period have been recovered from the Maar volcanic lake, which was formed 48 million years ago, and new finds are added every year. In addition to the high number and diversity of animal and plant fossils, the unique preservation of full-body skeletons, skin and fur shadows, feathers and stomach contents is also of particular interest in the Messel Pit.


    The pit has a diameter of approx. 1000 metres and is about 60 metres deep. The Messel Pit, a former open-cast oil shale mine, can be visited as part of a guided tour. Visitors to this site will be amazed at the variety of topics covered, which is also reflected in the museum exhibition right on the edge of the pit, which can be explored during opening hours. The topics covered include industrial history, landscape, volcanism, rainforest and evolution. The highlight is probably our treasure chamber with original fossils of prehistoric horses, crocodiles and the like.




    Partner of the DARMSTADT CARD:

    2 for 1: two regular tickets for the price of one



    15 March - 15 November: Monday - Sunday: 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

    16 November - 14 March: Wednesday - Sunday: 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

    open on public holidays, except 24-26 December; 31 December and 1 January

    Back to overview


    Roßdörfer Str.108

    64409 Messel

    +49 6159 717590

    Opening Hours

    Daily: 10:00-17:00

    Social Media


    Darmstadt Shop Luisencenter
    Luisenplatz 5
    64283 Darmstadt 
    Tel.: +49 6151 - 1345-13
    Fax: +49 6151 - 1347-5858


    Opening hours:

    Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm


    infopoint Mathildenhöhe

    Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

    (The Infopoint is located on the Mathildenhöhe in Olbrichweg, on the north side of the exhibition building (rear), between the Wedding Tower and the Darmstadt h_da University of Applied Sciences.)

    Shopping with the "Darmstadt Gutschein"

    The vouchers worth 10, 25, 50 or 100 euros can be bought online and in the Darmstadt Shop and can be redeemed in about 60 shops and restaurants in Darmstadt.