|Location:||Near Gabrovo. 4 km south-west of Dryanovo, near the Dryanovo monastery. West of Dryanovo Monastery in Andaka river valley. An easy walk.|
|Open:||All year daily 7-12, 13-18. |
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=3,500 m, T=11 °C.|
|Guided tours:||L=1,200 m.|
J. K. Kozlowski, ed. (1982):
Excavation in the Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria),
Panstwowe wydawnictwo naukove,
Final report. Warszawa. Polish Scientific Publishers. 172 pp.
Jean-Jacques Hublin et al. (2020): Initial Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature. Published online May 11, 2020. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2259-z. online
H. Fewlass et al. (2020): A 14C chronology for the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition at Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature Ecology & Evolution. Published online May 11, 2020. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-1136-3. online
|Address:||Batcho Kiro, Dryanovo, The Dryanovo monastery, Tel: +359-676-23-32.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1890||first scientific exploration.|
|1938||opened to the public.|
|1940||renamed Bacho Kiro.|
Bacho Kiro cave has four levels. After a low entrance, several large caverns follow, connected by 20 m high passages, all with only very few speleothems. The highlight is the huge hall Haidushko Sboriste (Hall of the Rebels' Gathering). The cave was named after Bacho Kiro, a man who was an important figure during the Bulgarian National Revival, a sort of Bulgarian renaissance which took more than a century and finally lead to independence. He founded the People's Cultural Club at Byala Cherkva in December 1869. In 1870, he set up a theatrical company and staged revolutionary plays. In 1876 during the April Uprising, a revolution against the Ottoman rule, 101 members of his Cultural Club followed him to the battle in nearby Dryanovo Monastery.
This cave, or at least its entrance region, was visited by paleolithic man. The remains of cave bear, deer, wild horse, rhinoceros, as well as well-formed flint knives and bone spikes were discovered by an English archaeological team. These pieces are now in the British Museum in London.
Bacho Kiro is often referred to as the oldest show cave of Bulgaria. Actually Bulgaria has rather young show caves, several were opened in the mid 20th century, more were opened in the 21st century with the accession of the country to the European Union. And while it was true until 2010, when the Lepenitza Cave was reopened, it is now the second-oldest show cave. Lepenitza Cave was opened to the public only a few years earlier, but it was closed to the public for more than half a century.
Nearby are many other sights, like the waterfall, a karst spring and the newly opened Dryanovo Eco Trail. The attractive nature trail follows the gorge of the Dryanovo River for 3 km. There are several platforms for bird and game observations as well as picnic areas.
The newest discoveries in the cave were published in 2020. A tooth and six bone fragments plus numerous stone tools were found and dated to be between 46,000 and 44,000 years old. These are the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens in Europe and some 5,000 years older than previous findings. This means that Europe was reached by Homo sapiens much earlier than previously thought and Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthanesis lived together much longer.