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Na Turoldu Cave

Characteristics / History

HISTORY, DISCOVERING AND OPENING UP

So far the oldest known report of the cave on the Turold Hill dates from the year 1669, when a medical book called “Tartaro – Mastix Moraviae” written in Latin by Jan Ferdinand Hertod of Todtenfeld was published. The author describes the discovery of Mikulov stonemasons who had taken out of the mountain's depths an extremely large thigh-bone of a prehistoric unicorn or fossilized ivory.

A concise description of the cave can be found in the 2nd volume of the 2nd part of a large topography of Moravia called “Die Markgrafschaft Mahren topographisch, statistisch und historisch geschildert” from the years 1835–1842. The author Gregor Wolny, a member of the Benedictine Congregation and professor at the Lyceum in Brno, includes the cave among the natural unique places of Moravia.

According to the extant reports from the beginning of the 20th century the cave had to be descended by rope and the bones of prehistoric animals lay right on the surface. A future curator of the Museum in Mikulov– Dr. Karel Jüttner – participated in geological and archaeological research at that time. He is the author of a number of archaeological findings which allow us to date different settlements of the cave. Despite all the efforts of environmentalists, archaeologists and geologists to protect it, around the year 1916 the cave was devastated by limestone quarrying.

Subsequently, in 1934, after the limestone quarrying in a big two-storey quarry had ended, only small fragments remained from former exceptionally large underground spaces rich in archaeological content of sediments and a particularly important cave system. The Turold Hill was declared a nature reserve on 10 May 1946 by district authorities in Mikulov. But it was too late.

In 1949 in Mikulov an amateur team of the Speleological Club Brno formed and began to explore preserved cave fragments of the caves in the Turold quarry. On 27 October 1951 a group led by Benedikt Závada managed to enter the first large spaces through the southern wall of the quarry. During 1952–1954 they gradually discovered and explored 470 metres of corridors.

After some simple terrain adjustments such as providing wooden stairs and electric light, the 240 m long cave was made available to the public in 1958. Nine years later, however, it was closed again because its main initiator and administrator Antonín Holan had fallen seriously ill.

Then for a long time the cave was left unsupervised and with a frequently broken door it was slowly being devastated. Uninvited visitors destroyed the wiring system, scrawled on the walls and destroyed the stalactite and stalagmite decoration. In 1974 the possibility of public use of the cave was reconsidered. A work team led by Pavel Samuel provided the cave with a massive door and sealed it. Mainly as a basis for future project documentation and to make the cave accessible, they carried out new research and measuring of the cave and the surroundings. Another 250 metres of corridors were discovered during these surveys. At that time the whole space of the former quarry was cleared of rubbish, dumps were removed, the area was suitably recultivated and a nature trail circuit with information panels was built.

In 1975, under the patronage of the State Institute for the Care for Monuments in Prague, a new group of volunteer speleologists was established. It became the basic unit of the Czech Speleological Society, 6–13 the South Moravian Karst in 1976.

In 2004, with financial support of sponsors, mainly the Municipal Office of the town of Mikulov, the cave explorers managed to make a 280 m long trail accessible. Since 2005, the Na Turoldu Cave has been in the care of the state nature conservation centre. Originally it was the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic and later, since 2006, the Cave Administration of the Czech Republic, an allowance organization of the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic. The cave tour coincides with the restored nature trail with exposition of rock blocks – a geological park in the area of the recultivated Na Turoldu quarry.

From 1976 to 2007, in total 2,800 m of underground spaces in the Na Turoldu Cave and the related cave Liščí díra (Fox Hole) were explored, mapped and documented.It is the largest cave system in the Mesozoic limestones of the Czech Republic.

SURVEY OF DISCOVERIES

1669

Mikulov stonemasons

Discoveries of bones in Turold corridors.

1835

Gregor Wolny

Concise description of Turold's Cave.

1910–1916

Dr. Karel Juttner

Archaeological research of Turold's Cave.

1916

Destruction of Turold's Cave due to quarrying.

1951

Benedikt Závada

Discovery of the first parts of the Na Turoldu Cave.

1952–1954

team of Benedikt Závada

470 m of corridors, Balvanitý dóm (Boulder Dome), Netopýří dóm (Bat Dome), Jezerní dóm (Lake Dome), Stará krápníková síň (Old Stalactite Hall), Pohádková síň (Fairytale Hall).

1974

Pavel Samuel et al.

250 m of new corridors discovered during exploration and mapping.

1976–1988

team of Josef Fornál

580 m of corridors discovered. Horní patra (Upper Floors), Bludiště (Labyrinth), Májové síně (May Halls), Velikonoční síně (Easter Halls), Písčitá síň (Sandy Hall). The total length of the system is 1,300 m.

1999

Marian Budoš, Petr Kos

Řícené dómy (Broken-down Domes).

2000

Czech Speleological Society, ZO 6-13, 6-12, 6-15

Fakírské chodby (Fakir Corridors).

2001

Jiří Kolařík, Jana Batrlová

Učitelčin dóm (Schoolmistress Dome).

2001

Jiří Kolařík, Jaroslav Rakušan

Tunelová chodba (Tunnel Corridor), Síňka tradic (Hall of Fame), Dóm fantazie (Fantasy Dome).

19/10/2002

Jiří Kolařík, Jaroslav Rakušan, Vojtěch Pazderka

Interconnection of the LiščídíraCave and the Na Turoldu Cave.

2002

Czech Speleological Society, ZO 6-12, 6-15

Aragonitová propástka (Aragonite Shaft), Černá chodba (Black Corridor), Pohřebiště krápníků (Burying Place of Stalactites).

2003

Jiří Kolařík, Vojtěch Pazderka, Zdeněk Frgala

Propástka (Shaft), Obdélníkový dóm (Rectangular Dome), Nízký dóm (Low Dome), Divadelní dóm (Theatre Dome), Odpočinkový dóm (Resting Dome).

2003

Jiří Kolařík, Zdeněk Frgala

The Damocles' Cave, the Kedlubna Cave.

2004–2006

Czech Speleological Society, ZO ČSS 6-13 the South Moravian Karst Mikulov

150 metres of corridors, U Vítězného oblouku (Arch of Triumph), Jehličkový sál (Needle Hall), Síň U dvou teplých a jedné studené (Hall of Two Warm and One Cold) and others.

2007

Jiří Kolařík, Radim Dvořák, Vojtěch Pazderka

The Zámecká Cave.