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Baradla Barlang – Baradla Cave EarthCache

Hidden : 08/26/2008
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Geocache Description:

The Baradla Cave System is the Hungarian part of the 25 km long Baradla-Domica Cave System that is a typical and the largest subterranean hydrological system of the karst plateau in the territory of Hungary and Slovakia.

The name of Aggtelek was made famous, both in Hungary and abroad, by one of the most extensive cave systems in Europe. Most of the Aggtelek cave system is located within Hungary, but its western branch extends to the Slovak Republic, continuing in the cave systems of Domica and the Gömör-Torna karstland. The border station 1 km away from the entrance to Baradla Cave makes it possible to go and have a look at the Slovakian Domica Cave as well. The karst hills were formed about 500 million years ago.

The first Hungarian scientific cave descriptions were dated in the late 18th century. At the beginning the Baradla Cave of Aggtelek was the main subject of exploration.
The first map of the Baradla Cave was made in 1794. In spite of the fact the cave was inhabited and fully discovered by prehistoric man, its larger part was unknown in the early 19th century, until 1825 when I. Vass reached the far end of the cave. After his discovery the Baradla Cave remained a subject of exploration for further 150 years. For example in 1934 H. Kessler got across the syphons of the Styx, the stream of the cave and found the passage to the Domica Cave that is in Slovakia.

There are Neolithic finds such as soot and remains of fire places in the Baradla Cave even in the inner parts, many kilometers away from the entrance. Archaeologists disputed that people in the Neolithic Age had adequate lighting instruments that made reaching remote parts of the cave possible. In 1960 some cavers spent three days in the cave and walked all over its main passage using only tallow and resin torches of the same kind that Neolithic man had. Their torches were made according to the finds found in the cave. They proved that Neolithic man could move far away from the entrance of the cave and could spend a couple of days in the darkness.

Other areas
The first descent of Hungary's deepest potholes on the Alsó-hegy Plateau was made in 1927. The rope ladders used were unfit for discovering the deeper parts of the Vecsembükk Pothole deepest on the Plateau. Only the entrance shaft of this pothole was known until 1969 when the lower shafts were discovered.

Most of the hydrothermal caves in Budapest were discovered in the 1930s. The known lengths of these maze-type caves are increasing still year by year. E. g. the known length of the Pálvölgyi Cave was 1 km in 1980 and it is 12 km now.
In the 1950s cave exploration in Hungary advanced rapidly. A large number of considerable caves were discovered, mostly on the Aggtelek Karst and in the Bükk. The Béke Cave of Jósvafő was discovered in 1952 and is the largest and most remarkable among them. The existence of this cave had been proved by water tracing before its exploration started.

The appearance of single rope techniques (SRT) in the late 70s and early 80s stimulated the exploration of deeper caves, potholes and greater shaft-systems, such as the Szabópallag Pothole on the Alsó-hegy Plateau or the Fekete Cave in the Bükk Mountains, lasting so far.

Baradla Barlang is the largest cave of Hungary. It has three entrances: the natural entrance near Aggtelek and two artificial entrances. One artificial entrance is near Jósvafõ and the other one between Aggtelek and Jósvafõ, near Vörös-tó (Red Lake).

The Aggtelek branch of the cave shows the Concert Hall. This huge chamber is used for concerts for many years. This part of the cave offers speleothems in extraordinary colours, blackish stalactites protruding from a red and green coloured ceiling.

The Jósvafõ branch has the Giant's Hall. This chamber is used for a musical experience during the tour.

But the highlight is the through trip from one show cave to the others. Mainly a huge tunnel with few side passages, this tour is intended for the abvebturous tourist. The tour is 7km long, but very easy, no crawls, no narrow parts, no climbing. Just wear wellingtongs because of the cave loam. The long tour includes even a picknick half way, bring a sandwich, picknick tables are provided. Before reaching the concrete trail on the other side, the boots are washed, otherwise the trips would bring dirt on the paths.
The cave extends across the political boundary to the Slovak Republic, about 5.000m of this system lies beneath Slovakian territory. A part of the same cave system is a third show cave, under the name Jaskyna Domica on the other side of the border. This traverse is today, after the end of the cold war, not a problem any more. The remnants of the metal gates which once formed an underground border line are visible but defunct. The tour is impressive, but following stream passages, climbing through gours and dolly tubs, is strenuous and includes getting wet. This tours is possible after appointment, but it requires the physical ability and appropriate gear like wellingtons, caver's overall, helmet, water proof lamps, and gloves.
archaeological excavation showed that this cave was once visited by stone-age man.

To log your cache you need to:
1. Attach a photo of you with your GPS device in front of the cave entrance to the log. (Lone wolves may attach the photo of GPS showing the coordinates)
Send me an email through my profile with answers to these questions:
1.Measure a temperature in the cave.
2.Name 3entris to the cave.
3.Measure a altitude of the entry to the cave.
4.Name a cave creek witch joins Domica cave,Baradla cave.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)