Summer fun – Cave Exploring
Take a break from the sun in the chilly underground
The Czech Republic is known for its vast amount of caves and underground areas. Created as long as millions of years ago, these areas are mysterious and some still unexplored. Each cave has something exciting to offer so make sure to add these to your bucket list.
Koněprusy Caves – Longest Cave System
Perhaps the best known caves in the Czech Republic are the Koněprusy caves, located about 30 kilometers Southwest of Prague. The caves boast “bottomless canyons”, vertical cliffs and fascinating dripstone formations. These caves are known for being the longest known cave system in Bohemia which makes them the subject of various myths and legends.
When you explore the caves you can see various shapes and patterns, including a million-year-old rose that was created long ago when Bohemia had a tropical climate . Visitors can expect to find bats lurking in the shadows – but there have also been animal and human bones discovered in the caves.
Bozkov Dolomite Caves – Crystal Clear Water
Located Northeast of Prague by the Polish border, the Bozkovské dolomitové caves were discovered by miners in the 1940s. They are located by Bozkov village in Krkonoše and their surrounding area is protected and great for hikes. One of the highlights of the caves is an underground lake with breathtaking crystal-clear water with a blue-greenish color. There are also plenty of stalactites and stalagmites as well as quartz ledges for visitors to admire.
Chýnov Cave – Beautiful Circular Formations
These mysterious caves are over 1,200 meters long but have not been fully explored yet. Only 220 meters of the cave are accessible to visitors and the caves are about 41 meters deep. They are popular for exploration by speleo-divers because of the many water-filled areas. These caves are known for their unique circular shapes found in the walls: these are created due to marble facets and dark amphibolite materials that make up the cave.
Zbrasov Aragonite Caves – Best Geyster Stalagmites
The Zbrasov Aragonite Caves can be found in the very east of the Czech Republic not far from Ostrava. This cave system is unique because it is created by the combination of atmospheric water as well as hot mineral water: it is known for their geyster-stalagmites and donut shaped sinter ball coatings.
These caves happen to be the warmest underground space in the Czech Republic with 14°C. Part of the reason for the warmth is explained by the carbon dioxide that is permanently filling the cave’s bottom levels. The deepest area measures so far is located 442.5 meters below ground however the very bottom has not been reached yet.
Javoricko Caves – The Best Helictites (gravity defying formations)
Located not far from the Zbrasov Aragonite Caves this massive cave system consists of over 3.5 kilometers of corridors. 788 meters of these are accessible for the public including two large spaces known as the Detritus Cave and the Cave of Giants. The 60 meter deep cave has not been fully investigated yet but is home to beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and helictites including a large 2 meter long structure known as the curtain.
Mladec Caves – Home to Early Stone Age People’s Skeletons
In the same area as the Javoricko and Zbrasov caves, the Mladec Caves are located nearby a nature reserve around the Morava River and Litovel town. This cave has been considered a significant paleonthological and archeological places in the Czech Republic. Cave formations weren’t the only exciting findings – the bones of Early Stone Age people and skeletons of Pleistocene vertebrates have been found here.
Na Pomezí Caves – The Largest Cave System
About 30 kilometers Southwest of Prague, near Koněprusy Caves, you can also explore Na Pomezí – just 2 kilometers from Lipová-lázně village. This is the largest cave system in the Czech Republic made out of marble (crystal limestone). More than half a kilometer of the system is accessible to visitors who can enjoy crust formations, cascades and large stalactites.
Na Špičáku Caves – The Oldest Caves
First mentioned in 1430 by Anthonius Wale, the Na Špičáku Caves are the oldest cave system in central Europe. The walls contain epigraphs from as early as 1519 when the caves served as hiding places. It has been open to the public since 1884 and features an underground maze containing marine sediments as old as 380 million years.
Punkva Caves – A Deep Abyss with a Heartbreaking Story
The Punkva Caves are located north of Brno, an extension of one of the longest cave systems in the Czech Republic known as the Amateur Cave (with 35 kilometer long corridors). The 138.7 meter deep abyss is known as Macocha or Step Mother. You can take a boat trip to explore the caves and the bottom of the abyss.
According to legend, a widower lived in a nearby village with a young son named Janíček. He got remarried and his new wife gave birth to a second son who was always sick. Janíček was always healthy so he was hated by his step mother. She believed that if he died, her own son would get better – so she instructed Janíček to pick berries on the edge of the abyss and pushed him down. He managed to catch tree branches and called for help until he was saved. When the step mother returned home, she found her son dead and in a craze she took his body and jumped into the abyss with it.
Balcarka Caves – Colorful Cave Formations
Located close to Punkva, the Balcarka Caves are also part of Moravian Karst and have a beautiful colorful and varied stalactites and stalagmites. The two most popular spots are called the “Gallery” and the “Natural corridor” – they are known to be the most beautiful sights in the area. Even here there were prehistoric skeletons, tools and fireplaces found that date back to the Early Stone Age.
Kateřinská Cave – Largest Underground Space
Also located in Moravian Karst, this cave is known for its large “main hall” accessible through an entrance corridor. This space is 95 x 44 x 20 meter in size and is accessible to the public. One of the chimneys of the cave contained a mass amount of cave bear skeletons.
Sloup Sosuvka Caves – Best Acoustics (and deepest underground abyss)
The last popular cave that’s located north of Brno, Sloup Sosuvka is a two-story complex of domes, corridors and chasms contained various animal carcasses including bears, lions and hyenas. This cave has great acoustics and is occasionally used as a chamber for music concerts. It is also the home to the deepest underground abyss in the Czech Republic – 80 meters in depth the Nagel chasm has two platform-bridges for visitors to look down into the depths.
Na Turoldu Cave – Largest Jurassic Limestone Cave System
Known for being the largest Jurassic limestone cave system in the Czech Republic, Na Turoldu is located south of Brno by the Austrian border. It was created by underground water and has beautiful white walls that are decorated with formations more similar to coral-reefs and stone foam. Visitors can also enjoy clusters of calcite crystals among the holes, cavities and tiny growths.
Výpustek Cave – Secret Command Post and Fallout Shelter
Northeast of Brno, Výpustek Cave was popular for the activities of both Czechoslovak and German armies. Known as the last ‘socialist secret bunker’ the caves have a rich history and visitors can learn about the stories of its use in the 60s.
More Summer fun in Prague:
Summer fun: Geocaching
Summer fun: 4 hiking trips not to miss
Summer fun: Canoeing near Prague
Summer Swimming: Outside of Prague
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