Szt. István Barlang

Cave Saint Istvan - St. Stephen Cave

Useful Information

Location: Lillafüred, Bükk mountains in north-east hungary. 500 m from Hotel Palota on the road towards Eger. Upper car park at Lillafüred is 50 m from the cave, car park next at Lake Hámori is 600 m from the cave
Open: 15-APR to 15-OCT daily 9-17.
16-OCT to 14-APR daily 9-14.
Fee: Adults HUF 750, Children (6-16) HUF 500, Children (3-5) HUF 150, Children (0-2) free, Seniors HUF 500.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave. Middle-Upper Triassic limestone, Fehérkoi Limestone Formation
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,350 m, VR=94 m, A=318 m asl., H=90-98%.
Guided tours: L=460 m, D=45 min. V=60,000/a [2000]
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.


~1900 discovered by a dog and called Kutya-barlang (Dog's Cave).
1913 first explored by Ottokar Kadic.
1927 developed as a show cave.
1928 opened to the public.
1931 55 m long tunnel built to allow easier access, electric light installed.
1962 cave fauna examined.
1974 cave flooded the last time.


Szt. István Barlang (Saint Istvan Cave) was discovered by a dog, who accidentally fell into a pit. He barked and howled for days until finally two young guys heard the sound. They followed the barks, found the pit, organized a rope and rescued the poor dog. So the cave was first called Kutya-barlang (Dog's Cave). This story happened around 1900, the exact date is not handed down.

The first scientist who explored the cave was Ottokar Kadic (*1876-✝1957), often called the father of the Hungarian speleology. In 1911, he explored the cave and discovered most of it, from the entrance to the Nagy-terem (Big Hall). He made a survey and named the cave passages and halls.

The cave was developed in 1927. At this time the Hotel Palota was built and tourism started at Lillafüred. So the natural beauties were developed for the visitors. At the end of Ottokar Kadics survey, a passage filled with clay was cleaned and additional passages discovered.

Szt. István Barlang drains the area called Nagyfennsík (big plateau). In several ponors the water of brooks flows underground into the cave system. The most important ponors are located at Szent-István-lápa and in the eastern part of Létrás. The cave is generally dry, the water flows in a deeper level, but during heavy rains the young cave system below is too small, and the water flows through the show cave. In 1974, it reached a depth of 2 m.

The cave is also interesting for its cave life. There are numerous bats, which use the cave to sleep or hibernate. But more interesting was in 1962 the finding of a little blind cave bug. It is named Duvalius gebhardti and only 3.5 to 4.1mm long.