Bogorodsky mountains, Kamsko-Ustinsky district, Republic of Tatarstan, Russland, 422839.
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Yur'yevskaya Peshchera, Republic of Tatarstan, Russland, 422839.|
|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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|1986||declared a Natural Monument.|
Юрьевская пещера (Yur'yevskaya Peshchera, St. George's Cave) is the longest naturally occurring cave in the Volga region. It is located in a gypsum cliff face above the Volga river. The cave is actually rather spacious, and because it's a gypsum cave devoid of stalactites and stalagmites. It is visited by the locals with a lamp and walking shoes, and actually it is not very difficult. The cave is horizontal and spacious, few palaces where visitors must stoop. Nevertheless, a visit is a cave tour, and you should respect the caving rules. Helmet, headlamp, not going alone, leaving a return time and so forth. Fortunately the cave is quite popular and on weekends or during summer holiday you are actually never alone.
The cave is located in a small nature reserve, along the western shore of the wide Volga river, right where it meets Kama river and forms a huge lake. The reserve is famout for its white gypsum cliffs along the river, which are alos used by climbers. It's about 4.5 km north of the center of Kamskoye Ustye. About 4 km from town after a turn to the left, there is a sort of parking lot and single lane dirt road to a second parking lot. The cave is even signposted. From the second parking lot is about 200 m (5 minutes) walk to the cave entrance and the outlook from the cliff.
About 250 m northwest along the cliff is a second cave called Гипсовые Штольни (Gipsovyye Shtol'ni, Gypsum Galleries). It seems these tunnels were once used to mine gypsum from the river. There are still some signs inside, warning about blasting operations. Some passages were backfilled and are closed by iron gates. The mine is located at the level of the river and some passages are flooded with shallow water. It is said to be quite spectacular during winter, when the water freezes and forms all kinds of ice structures. Its also said that the flooded passages are then covered by ice and it is possible to do ice skating.