From Madan south to Sharenka.
Rhodope Crystal Exhibition: All year daily 9-17.
Rhodope Crystal Exhibition: Adults BGN 2.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||A=876 m asl.|
Пещера "Шаренка", 4916 Мадан - кв. Шаренка.
Sharenka Cave, 4916 Madan.
Експозиция „Родопски кристал“, ул. "Явор" 1, Мадан.
Rhodope Crystal Exhibition, Yavor Street 1, Madan, Tel: +359-308-98220, Tel: +359-895-509047.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1984||Rhodope Crystal Hall established.|
|2008||opened as a show cave.|
Пещера Шаренка (Sharenka Cave) is a karst cave in the marble of the Rhodopes, and contains cave sediments which were once mined. The nearby Gorubso mines at Madan extracted lead-zinc ores, so this was probably the ore which was mined at the cave. The mine is closed and there is no show mine, but in 1984 a mineral collection named Експозиция „Родопски кристал“ (Rhodope Crystal Exhibition) was opened in Madan. It shows about 600 exceptional mineral specimens and most are local ores. According to archaeological remains the cave was visited during the Bronze Age (16-12 century BC). The people mined the ores in the cave sediments, which were much easier to mine than those in the mother lode. This was in some way placer mining.
The show cave is often called a mine, mining exhibition or a cave museum (пещера-музей) which is because of the Bronze Age mining. The cave was developed as a show cave in 2008, by a joint project between the municipalities of Madan and Keramoti, which is located 75 km to the south in Greece, at the coast of the Mediterranean. At this time it was equipped with 10 life-size wax figures, which are showing the Thracian miners mining and processing the ore. There are also displays of pottery and other remains excavated in the cave. But it seems the wax figures were not really suited for a stay in the damp cave air, the cave was closed some years ago for renovation and is still closed.
The cave is located at the road from Madan to the small town Sharenka, which is located higher up the hill. The road follows the main valley south, which then turns west and becomes a steep gorge. At the first hairneedle pin is a parking lot from which a 300 m long trail through the gorge to the cave starts. Its also possible to follow the road to drive to the cave.