Propast Macocha

Macocha Gorge - Macocha Abyss

Useful Information

a view into the abyss from the top balcony.
Location: North of Brünn. Near the Skalni mlyn Hotel in the Pusty zleb (deserted valley).
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: n/a.
Dimension: L=174 m, W=76 m, D=135 m.
Guided tours: n/a
Skalní Mlýn - Informační centrum, 67825 Blansko, Tel: +420-516-413575, Tel: +420-516-410024, Fax: +420-506-415379. E-mail: contact
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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Propast Macocha (Macocha Abyss) is a huge doline, which is about 135m deep. Its rim is developed with a parking lot, two outlooks and some trails. And as most tourists do not leave the well-developed part of the rim, more adventurous visitors can see a less crowded corner of the abyss after a view steps.

This doline is part of the cave system ShowcavePunkevní jeskyně. The tour shows the abyss from the ground. But the visit to the rim is also possible and has nothing to do with a cave visit. Visits to the doline are much older than the show cave.

The name of the abyss has its origin from a legend:

an 18th century engraving of Macocha Abyss.

In the village of Vilemovice once lived a farmer called Hálek, who was a widower with a son. He married a second time and his little son got a stepmother.

In time, the woman gave birth to her own child and wanted to get rid of the stepson. The older stepson was due to inherit the whole prosperous farm sometime in the future as was the custom in the land. One day, farmer Hálek went to a market in a nearby town and took his younger son along. His wife said to her stepson: "Come to the forest with me and help me gather some strawberries." So she took him to a place where the villagers did not dare to go. There was a large black hole in the ground, and no one knew how deep it was. She ordered the boy to go right to the edge of the abyss where the strawberries were most plentiful. And when he was carefully picking the berries, looking at the ground, she pushed him as hard as she could. The boy disappeared in the abyss crying with fear and horror. The stepmother ran away not looking right or left.

However, the boy was spared from death by being caught on extending tree branches. Wood cutters, working nearby, heard the desperate cries, and saved the boy. Upon hearing the tales of the wood cutters, the village people of Vilemovice threw the stepmother over the abyss. Since that day the abyss has been called Macocha, the Czech word for stepmother.

Another version tells, that she somehow kept hearing the boy's desperate voice, it did not stop and she started panicking. She fully realized what she had done and was overtaken with fear of God's wrath, and so she lost her way in the deep forest and came back to the abyss. Covering her eyes, she jumped into the darkness. Meanwhile, her husband and son returned home. A terrible storm started, and the farmer realized that something bad must have happened. Despite the rain, wind, and thunder he started searching for missing wife and son. Close to the abyss, he heard faint crying. Looking down he saw his son clinging desperately to some branches and shrubs below the edge. He ran back to the village as fast as he could, gathered a few neighbors with ropes and ladders and managed to get his son out of the abyss just as he was losing his grip. The boy just cried and cried and could not answer when they asked him where his stepmother – or Macocha – is. Without words, he pointed to the abyss. And since then everyone has called it Macocha, as a reminder of a cruel foolish woman who died because of her greed.

Local 17th century legend.

There are several similar versions of this story, another one is told on the ShowcavePunkevní jeskyně page by Tony Oldham.

Propast Macocha Gallery