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Solnhofen is particularly famous for its quarries, which contain fossils from the 150-million-year-old White Jurassic (Upper Jurassic). The most well-known finds, which are also significant for evolutionary biology, are the twelve specimens of the “primeval bird” Archeopteryx from Solnhofen and the surrounding area.
The Mayor-Müller Museum in the Solnhofen town hall, designed according to the most modern aspects, shows a rich selection of petrified animals and plants from the Jurassic period. The most valuable pieces are the originals of the 6th and 9th primeval bird (gen. Archeopteryx).
Solnhofen enjoys a worldwide reputation as a supplier of the only suitable stones for lithographic printing. The particularly fine limestone (the so-called “lithographic slate”) from the quarries was used by the inventor of lithography, Alois Senefelder, as printing material around 1798.
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