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Koněprusy Caves

Characteristics

KONĚPRUSY CAVES

  • are located in the south-western part of the Bohemian Karts (Karlstejn Upland), 6 km south from Beroun, on the Zlatý kůň (Golden Horse) hill (475.34 meters above sea level);
  • they were discovered during a detonation in the Zlaty konik quarry on 14 September 1950 [the fourteenth of September nineteen fifty];
  • they consist of a three-floor complex of corridors, domes and abysses in the Devonian limestone strata in the geological area known as Barrandien;
  • the corridors and domes discovered so far with a length of 2050 m and a height range (denivelation) exceeding 70 m are the largest and one of the deepest Karst cave systems in Bohemia;
  • they represent a unique geomorphological phenomenon, finding site of fossils and mineralogical location of word significance;
  • the caves have relatively rich and various dripstone decoration representing all five generations of the cave decoration in the Bohemian Karst, including small crystallic and coral aggregates, straws, stalactites and stalagmites, sinter dikes with cave pearls and massive sinter waterfalls, floor crusts and the largest stalagmite in Bohemia; the Koneprusy rosettes with presence of opal are unique in the whole world;
  • they represent a significant paleontological finding site of bone remains of vertebrate and other mostly extinct animals inhabiting the central Bohemian region since the Tertiary period (e.g. bears, wooly rhinoceros, cave lions, Bovinae, horses, wolfs, monkeys, etc.);
  • the caves are an archeological location with findings of human bone remains and tools from the young Paleolithic period;
  • in the Middle Ages they were used as a secret workshop of money forgers, as is documented by findings of copper sheet cuttings, semi-finished counterfeit coins and remains of the coin plate and tools;
  • they represent a unique geomorphological phenomenon, finding site of fossils and mineralogical location of word significance;
  • they belong to the most valuable biotopes in the Bohemian Karst for strictly protected species of bats and horse-shoe bats including up to 10 species, namely the great mouse-eared bat and the lesser horse-shoe bat, which forms the largest known colony in the Bohemian Karts; the caves are also inhabited by several invertebrate species, such as the Tissue moth (Triphosa dubitata) or more rare Herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix);
  • part of the middle and top floors have been open to the public since 1959 [nineteen fifty nine]; the tour for visitors is 620 meters long and takes about 1 hour;
  • the average air temperature is 10.5 °C and the relative humidity reaches up to 100 %;
  • they are located in the territory of the national natural landmark Zlatý kůň in the protected landscape area Bohemian Karst and they are also included in the network of European significant locations NATURA 2000;
  • annually, the caves are visited by about 100 thousand visitors.