Pestera Ponicova

Ponicova Cave - Ponykovaerhöhle

Useful Information

Location: Danube, south of Decebal.
(44.595532, 22.255504)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: mo
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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1692 during the fight at Veterani Cave used for an


Pestera Ponicova (Ponicova Cave) is an extraordinary and very popular through cave. It is entered from a valley which runs parallel to the Danube to the south-west from the village Dubova. From the village Dubova follow the DN57 south, at the sign of the town a single lane gravel road on the left side follows the valley downstream. Park your car and follow the river, after an 800m walk (15 minutes) you will reach the upper entrance of the cave, which swallows the small brook. It flows through the cave and into the Danube on the other side. Visitors walk and climb through this nice, almost horizontal cave with numerous speleothems until they reach the other end. The cave is located in a limestone cliff above one of the most dramatic gorges of the Danube called Porțile de Fier (Iron Gates). On the other side of the river lies Serbia.

The border formed by the Danube was during the Turkish wars the border to Serbia, which was occupied by the Turks. In 1692 the nearby Peştera Veterani was fortified and the place of a battle. When the fight was almost lost, a daring surprise attack by the Austrian Oberhauptmann Michl was successfull. They actually walked through the valley and the Ponykovaerhöhle (Ponicova Cave) to the Danube, where they attacked the Turks from the side. The situation of the crew of the Veterani Cave improved only temporarily. The imperial garrison was finally forced to surrender to superior forces.

The cave is visited by many people and is not dangerous. Nevertheless, it is a wild cave and not developed in any way. Good walking shoes or rubber boots are recommended, also a helmet with headlamp and additional lamps. Bring clothes to change, a towel and a plastic bag for the dirty clothes.

The cave is quite famous in Pomania because several scenes were filmed here for some popular Romanian films like „Cum mi-am petrecut sfârşitul lumii“ (How I Spent the End of the World), „Duios Anastasia trecea“ (Duios Anastasia Passed), and „Cutia de viteze“ (Gearbox). It also has a different history from the Cold War times: the cave connects DN 57 with the Danube and was thus a good hiding place for those who wanted to run by swimming to Serbia.