Motorway A2/E772 Sofia-Lovetč, 120 km from Sofia, exit Brestniza, turnoff in Brestniza center signposted.
3.7 km from Brestniza center.
10 minutes level walk to the cave.
APR to SEP daily 9-19.
OCT to MAR daily 9-17.
Last tour 30 minutes before closing.
Adults BGN 4, Children (7-18) BGN 2, Children (0-6) free, Seniors (61+) BGN 3, Disabled BGN 3.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=210 m, VR=40 m, A=520 m asl, T=7-11 °C, H=90-98 %.|
|Guided tours:||L=400 m, D=40 min, H=8-32 m, Ar=3,500 m².|
|Photography:||not allowed, sometimes allowed by guide|
|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.
|1883||first explored by the renowned Bulgarian geologist and mineralogist Professor Georgi Nikolov Zlatarszki.|
|1893||explored by the Czech brothers Karel and Herman Škorpil.|
|20-21-AUG-1932||first speleological exploration and survey by D. Papazov and N. Atanasov.|
|10-13-JUL-1935||speleological exploration and survey by A. Stefanov and N. Atanasov.|
|1949||explored by the scientific research caving brigade "T. Pavlov" (a caving club obviously).|
|10-OCT-1962||declared a natural landmark by Decree № 2810.|
|1967||opened to the public.|
|1968||detailed geomorphological studies by geographer Vladimir Jordanov Popov from the BAS Geographical Institute.|
|2004||renovated and reopened to the public.|
The Съева дупка (Sueva Dupka, Soybean Hole) was named after two brothers, Сейо (Seyu, Seio, Seiyo) and Съю (Sae, Suyu, Sue), who used it as a hiding place during the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria. When the cave was developed for tourists, workers found animal bones, pottery, and Roman coins. The coins showed the image of the Roman emperor Antoninus. As far as we know there was never an archaeological excavation though. During the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria the cave was used by the locals as a hideout.
Sаeva Dupka is famous for its speleothems, including stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, karst lakes, rock curtains, and helictites. The largest stalactite in it has a circumference of 60 m. The tour shows five chambers of the cave named Купена (Kupena, Haystack), Срутището (Srutishte, Collapse), Харамана (Haramana, Threshing Floor), Белият замък (Belya Zamak, White Palace), and Космос (Kosmos, Space). The cave is only 200 m long and completely developed as a show cave. The tour goes in and returns on the same trail, so the total length of the tour is 400 m. A cave river flows through the cave for about 70 m. Srutishte has numerous broken stalactites and stalagmites, hence the name. This is generally though to be a result of the great earthquake of 1893. Harmana chamber is quite huge, some 60 m long, and has an excellent acoustics. It has been used for numerous concerts, with large choirs like the choir of the miners from Donbas and the children's choir of the Bulgarian national radio, and famous performers like Emil Dimitrov and Lili Ivanova. It is also known as Концертна зала (Concert Hall). Kosmos was named after stalagmites resembling space rockets, and the White Castle because of a huge castle-shaped stalagmite.
The cave is frequented by numerous bats and is an important bat protection site. Eight species are regularly observed, greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), Geoffroy's bat (Myotis emarginatus), greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), lesser mouse-eared bat (Myotis blythii), Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii), Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri), and Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii). Most are endangered in Europe and under nature protection.
The bats are a good excuse for not allowing photography, the official policy seems to be to forbid any photography for undisclosed reasons. However, visitors report that their guide allowed taking pictures, others say the guide allowed taking pictures ony without flash, so the bats are not disturbed. On the other hand they do not respect the EU bat protection law, which demands that caves with bats must be closed to visitors between NOV and MAR.
The hill in which the cave is located is karstified and has numerous dolines of impressive size, some are around 100 m in diameter. There are three shallow dolines which are filled with sediments and swampy, and right above the parking lot are two collapse doline which are 100 m long and 60 m wide. They have vertical walls made of limestone, which were used a few years ago to create a via ferrata, the first in Bulgaria. Ледницата (lednicata) is a climbing park with ropes, platforms, and bridges in trees and at the cliff face. There is an open air cinema, a shooting range, a climbing wall, and a mineral shop. And it seems they offer cave trekking into an undeveloped cave in the area.