|Location:||South of Sloup, between Sloup and Šošùvka. Northeast of Blansko, north of Brno.|
MAR Tue-Sun 10, 12, 13.
APR Tue-Sun 9-15, hourly on the hour.
MAY to AUG daily 8:20-16.
SEP Mon-Fri 9-16, Sat, Sun 9-14, hourly on the hour.
OCT Tue-Sun 9, 10, 12, 13:30, 14.
OCT Tue-Sun 10, 12, 13.
Adults CZK 120, Children (6-15) CZK 60, Children (0-5) free, Students CZK 60, Disabled CZK 60, Seniors CZK 80.
Short tour: Adults CZK 90, Children (6-15) CZK 50, Children (0-5) free, Students CZK 50, Disabled CZK 50, Seniors CZK 70.
Photography Permit CZK 30, Video Permit CZK 100.
|Classification:||Karst cave, Devonian limestone.|
Long tour: D=100min, L=1,760m
Short tour: D=60min, L=890m
K. Valoch (1988):
Die Erforschung der Kulna-Höhle 1961-1976,
Mit Beitr. v. Jan Jelinek, W G Mook, Rudolf Musil, u.a. Bonn, Habelt, 1988.
318 S., zahlr. Abb., Tab., 30 cm (Anthropos, c. 24, NS 16) Ln
|Address:||Sloupsko-Šošůvské jeskyně, Miluše Hasoňová, 67913 Sloup v Moravském Krasu, Tel: +420-516-435335. E-mail:|
|Last update:||$Date: 2012/08/21 19:08:35 $|
|1748||J A Nagel discovered the low level series at the Stepped Abyss.|
|1750||archaeolgists found numerous complete skeletons of extinct animals including cave bear and cave lion.|
|1775||Count Karel Salm cut sections from a large stalagmite to be used as table tops in the Count's Castles.|
|1879||Elizabeth Cave discovered by V Sedlak.|
|26-JUL-1881||cave opened to the public with electric arc lighting.|
|1900||Prof Karel Absolon discovered the Nagel Abyss.|
|1910||Black Abyss discovered.|
|1961-1976||continuous archaeological excavations in the Kulna Cave.|
|1997||the AOPK CR spent 10 million CZK on the preservation of the cave.|
This cave is part of the Punkva River Cave System in the Sloup Valley. Most of the cave passages have been formed on the limestone, quartz/silica boundaries. Before we enter the subterranean labyrinth it is worth taking a moment to look at the most interesting karst phenomena on the surface. First of all there is the Hrebenac Rock Comb, an isolated stack-like remnant of the ancient fault across the valley. Above is the monumental entrance portal of the upper levels of the Sloup Caves.
Nicová Cave. This cavity has been known for centuries. Its name is derived from the local nickname given to the white pulpy coatings or moonmilk on the walls and the speleothems, in Czech nickaminek meaning the nothing stone. Thus the cave is known as Nicova jeskyne or the Nothing Cave. This moonmilk formation is an amorphous variety of CaCO3. Numerous pit like depressions can be seen in the floor of the Nivová Cave. These pits were excavated by ancient treasure hunters for bones of extinct Pleistocene animals. These bones have been used for centuries as a miracle drugs. Thanks to this profitable activity, in 1879 other caves in the system were discovered by V Sedlak. The bronze tablets in the Nicová Cave commemorate two prominent cave explorers who took part in scientifically important discoveries in the Morvian Karst.
Elizabeth Cave. This cavity is part of the gigantic palaeoponor caverns of the Sloupsky potok Brook, which flowed through these caverns many years ago, and descended into the system of subterranean cavities below. There is a debris cone near the entrance which is where one of the bone hunters fell in 1879 and discovered the Elizabeth Cave. An interesting feature of the Dripstone Gallery are the crumbly moonmilk coatings on the older speleothems. Dominating speleothems in this cave include a 4 m high Waterfall and The Elizabeth Column. The other formations include The Small Theatre, The Grove and The Bells which are hidden in the background. An abyss filled with debris and unexplored is situated in the lowest part of the cave. A large drapery The Elephants's Ear hangs from the ceiling above. It is claimed that the Elizabeth Cave was the first show cave in Central Europe to have electric arc lighting. The opening ceremony of the illuminated cave took place on St Anna's holiday in 1881. Concerts are often given in the cave because of its church-like acoustics.
The Cut-Stone Gallery. This gallery has been known for centuries. In 1775, Count Karel Salm, the owner of the demesne, cut sections from a large stalagmite. These were polished and used as table tops in the Count's Castles at Rájec and Svitavou. The continuation of this cave is known as The Gothic Gallery. In 1750 archaeolgists found numerous complete skeletons of extinct animals including cave bear and cave lion.
The Stepped Abyss. The 70 m deep Stepped Abyss is a monumental cavity which has always been accessible. In 1748 J A Nagel, the principal mathematician and physicist of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franciscus the Second, discovered the low level series at this point. Here the Sloupsky potak, the largest tributary of the Punkva River flows. The upper series is used for Speleotherapy for children with respiratory diseases.
The perpendicular abyss and the lateral abyss. The mouth of the Perpendicular Abyss is situated in the floor. This large vertical shaft connects the upper series to the lower series. The Lateral Abyss, the mouth of which can be seen in the opposite rock wall, leads into the Perpendicular Abyss. Both clefts are 64 m deep. A large flat area of ceiling above the Perpendicular Abyss is decorated with interesting speleothems called Chorose, meaning Sponges. These are probably the remnants of large stalactites which have fallen from the ceiling.
Ascending the stairs into the Palacky Caves visitors arrive at the Nagel Abyss, discovered by Prof Karel Absolon in 1900. This area can be seen from both the Upper and Lower Sightseeing Bridges. Both platforms are situated on the wall of the abyss. Special mention must be made of the Snezka or Snow Pile on the right and left the Mandarin.
The Lower Sightseeing Bridge in the Nagel Abyss. The Nagel Abyss is the deepest shaft in the Moravian Karst. On the opposite rock wall is the Bocek Window. This is the entrance to flood passage. The river bed of the Sloupsky potok Brook reappears again at a depth of 71m.
Beam Gallery. Returning to the Stepped Abyss, a detour is made to the Beam Gallery. The reasons for the beams, which form the roof of this gallery is unclear. It has been suggested that either they are the remnants of a platform which was used as a hiding place for war bounty or as a platform, from which stalactites were collected. This pastime was very popular in the 19th century when there was a romantic craze to collect stalactites for the palaces of the nobility. The way on is through the Gallery of the Silver Rock. This name is derived from the silver greyish crystalline flowstone coatings that sparkle magically due to the reflection of the light from the facets of the microcrystals during times of drought.
The Gallery at the Silver Brook - Kulna Cave Branch. Here there is a man made tunnel that connects to the Kulna Cave or Cow Shed. You can see the entrance to this cave on the way back to the cave park. This is an 80 m long tunnel like cave with two entrances. It is a world renown archaeological location where archaeologists from the Moravian Land Museum excavated the bones of Neanderthal Man. Just after the Kulna Branch Passage there is a famous inscription, that of J A Nagel 1748. A short distance from here is the Handing Over Place, which separated the tourist traffic from the Sloup Caves from that of the Sosuvka Caves. The Sosovka Caves were discovered and opened up to the public over a period of time by the Brouseks, a father and son team who owned both the cave and the nearby restaurant.
The Three Greats. This chamber was named after the three dominating speleothems ie The Snow Pile, The Waterfall and The Castle Site. Here, the explorers took great trouble to not to despoil the cave. All the excavated material was removed from the cave by hand. Next is the Black Abyss which was discovered in 1910. The bottom of this pothole marks the last sighting in the system of the subterranean Sloupsky potok Brook before it enters Amateurs Cave.
Brousek's Fairy Tale Hall. This chamber was named by the discoverers because of the beautiful and unique speleothems. The most interesting formations in this chamber are the rare hemispherical stalactites called the Wasp's Globes. However, the speleothems which make this cave unique in the whole of the Moravian Karst is the forest of tall thin stalagmites called The Candlesticks. This Hall is located at the junction of several passage which are no longer open to the public due to the high concentration of the radioactive gas Radon. The tourist route now doubles back on itself towards the exit.
The Chapel. This chamber has been given this symbolic name to reflect the humility and respect of man for the works of nature as visitors slowly depart from the underworld. The speleothems are fittingly called Our Lady with Child and The Preacher on the Pulpit with a Canopy. This brings to an end the underground tour.
Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.
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