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Výzkumný ústav vodohospodářský T. G. Masaryka www.vuv.cz
Výzkumný ústav Silva Taroucy pro krajinu a okrasné zahradnictví, v.v.i. www.vukoz.cz

Catherine (Kateřinská) Cave

Guided Tours

CHARACTERISTICS

  • 40 min / Tour duration
  • 580 m / Tour length
  • 7-8 °C (46 °F) / Air temperature

TOUR OF CATHERINE (KATEŘINSKÁ) CAVE - map

The cave tour begins in a huge natural “gothic” portal, which is a significant paleontological and archaeological site. An old legend related to a shepherdess called Catherine (Kateřina) says that she entered the cave through this portal when she was looking for her lost sheep. But she lost her way in the underground and has never found her way back. A 60m long passage leads from here to the largest cave space open to the public in the Czech Republic - the Main Dome. The natural underground cathedral known since time immemorial is 96 m long, 44 m wide and 20 m high. It is known for its perfect acoustics and therefore it is occasionally used for the music concerts. The acoustics of this dome is demonstrated to the public with a short but impressive example of reproduced music. Several passages and chimneys lead from the Main Dome. The most important of them is called the Bear Chimney, communicating with the surface through so far unexplored spaces. The mass discovery of whole bear skeletons in 1936 by Prof. Karel Absolon placed it among the most important paleontological sites in the Czech Republic. From the Main Dome the tour continues to the New Catherine Cave discovered in 1909. Right at the beginning of that part, one of the most beautiful sights of the Moravian Karst appears – dozens of thin high stalagmites and sinter columns are grouped in the so called Bamboo Forest. Unique natural monuments are completed with dripstone formations called the Pheasant, Two Owls and Sheep on the Rock. To the right of the pavement can be seen the remarkable stony cave-in – the Calvary - with several dominant stalagmites. Around the Minaret and the so called Small Bamboo Forest the pavement leads to another big space – the Dome of Chaos. The larger number of boulders on its bottom shows evidence of mighty breakdowns in ancient times, maybe even due to an earthquake. Most of the stalactite and stalagmite decoration is buried under debris; only the part along the walls was preserved. However, new stalagmites have already grown on ruined boulders here. The Venetian Candlestick is the most beautiful one. The passages that have not been made accessible yet continue in several height levels from the Dome of Chaos to the so called  Dante's Inferno – a giant karst crevasse leading towards the Macocha Abyss and quite filled up with a treacherous and very dangerous cave-in of stone blocks. So far nobody has been able to get through it to other supposed areas. When returning from the Dome of Chaos, tourists can admire the symbol of the Catherines´s Cave - the Witch - formation lit by color lights.

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