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Koněprusy Caves

Characteristics / Protection and Research

  • All of the caves as well as surface karst features of the Bohemian Karst are protected under Section 10 of Act No 114/1992 Coll. on the protection of nature and the landscape; some are also included in specially protected areas.
  • The Bohemian Karst PLA was promulgated through the decree of the Ministry of Culture of CSR, reference number: 4.947/72-II/2, dated 12 April 1972; the protected area covers 12,823 ha.
  • The Koněprusy Caves (KoC) are located in a specially protected area of Golden Horse NNM (formerly: 'Protected Product of Nature') proclaimed as such in 1972.
  • Since 2006, the Koněprusy Caves, along with all other publicly accessible caves in the Czech Republic, have been under the management and expert care of Cave Administration of the Czech Republic, a state co-funded organisation controlled by the Ministry of the Environment.
  • The caves are used for the public purposes as well as for technical field trips. As any intense level of tourism could seriously harm the sensitive cave ecosystem, a rigorous system of regulating visitor traffic is essential, which includes maintaining the prescribed number of visitors per group as well as the frequency of entries. A somewhat unusual way of using the caves is sometimes chosen by individuals with an especially close relationship to the caves.
  • The inclusion of the Koněprusy Caves in the environmental sector resulted in increased attention to the protection of the cave system. Lamp-flora has been eliminated on an ongoing basis; handrails have been replaced with similar structures made of stainless steel. Other actions undertaken in the caves include the gradual replacement of the structures sealing the entrances; a process commenced of removing fungal coatings in the caves and, to some extent, debris produced as part of making the area accessible to visitors.
  • The caves receive about 100,000 visitors annually.
  • The cave system and its immediate surroundings have also serve as the backdrop to television adverts and scenes in television programmes and films.
  • Thanks to their location, the Koněprusy Caves are among the oldest dripstone-decorated cave systems in the Bohemian Karst. Since the decorations included in this cave system have developed in an unbroken sequence, the caves are used as an exemplary site for studying such features. The cave fills make it possible to review the development of the climate, landscape, and life of the distant past.
  • The caves are situated in the immediate vicinity of active quarries. In agreement with the mining enterprise, effects of blasting on the stability of the parental rock massif, free cave-in blocks, and the dripstone decorations are monitored throughout the cave system.