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Zbrašov Aragonite Caves

Characteristics

HRANICE KARST

It represents a body of Early Paleozoic limestones that is several tens of square kilometers large and several hundreds of meters thick in the Maleník Massif in the surroundings of the town of Hranice. Its larger part is buried under layers of younger sediments and only individual limestone islets emerge on the surface. Its karstification, together with formation of caves and abysses, was caused by surface and atmospheric waters and was also significantly influenced by powerful springs of hot mineral water emerging along geological faults from great depths. Finally a unique thermal karst with the deepest abyss and the largest aragonite caves in the Czech Republic was created by these processes.

ZBRAŠOV ARAGONITE CAVES

  • They are situated under Zbrašov Hill in the left bank of the Bečva River in the spa of Teplice nad Bečvou;

  • They comprise a complicated complex of corridors, domes, chimneys and fissures at several height levels;

  • They are the only caves of hydrothermal origin in the Czech Republic;

  • They are decorated by unique karst fillings – “onyx” coatings on the walls, crystalline aggregates of aragonite and “geyser” stalagmites;

  • They contain “gas lakes” – spaces permanently filled with high concentrations of carbon dioxide;

  • They are the warmest caves in the Czech Republic – the underground air temperature is 14–16 °C, relative air humidity ca. 90 %;

  • They were discovered by the brothers Josef and Čeněk Chromý in 1912–13. After they dug the fissure with a seepage of warm air, they descended through a 42 m deep abyss to the underground area;

  • Their total length is 1,240 m with a difference in elevation (denivelation) of 55 m;

  • The guided tour route is 375 m long and the cave tour takes 60 minutes. In 2003 they were declared a national natural monument.