St. Istvan Cave
The cave was formed in the Triassic period and is about 710 m long. It was discovered in 1913. According to local legend, a dog fell into a 15 meter deep shaft, which was the cave's only natural opening. People found the cave when they rescued the dog. Cavers began to explore the cave in 1927. Another entrance was made for the tourists, and in 1931 the cave was opened to the public.
During World War II, the cave was damaged, with many of the stalagmites and stalactites were broken by people seeking refuge from air raids. The lighting was repaired only in 1955, and the cave was opened to public again.
The cave is still being explored, but only a part can be visited. Its deepest known area is named Hell. The most beautiful dripstone structures are the Mammut's Mouth, Fairyland, Column Hall and Concert Hall. Due to water filling the cave in 1958 and 1974, the inner caverns are presumably connected with water drains. The Great Hall holds several sights: the cauldron-like dent known as the Erosion Booth (Eróziós-fülke) and the Mammoth Teeth (Mamut-fogsor) indicate that the cave evolved as a result of running water. On the steep Corridor of Steps (Lépcsos-folyosó) 72 steps lead to the Outlook Tower (Kilátó), from where the 15 metre deep and 20 metre high King Béla Chasm (Béla király-hasadék) can be seen. The effort of climbing the steps pays off with the sight of The Organ, another dripstone group. Soon we enter the Cave's largest cavity, the 20 metre long and 5 metre wide Cupola Hall with its abundance of beautiful dripstones. On the left side 'statues' of fairyland Hansel and Gretel, an Owl, a Fairyland Castle, and King Matthias on a Horse await us, or whatever your imagination conjures up. Reaching the middle of the Hall we come to the Fossilised or Frozen Waterfall.
Passing among further stalactites and stalagmites, we come to the section richest in dripstone formations, the Hall of Columns (Oszlopok csarnoka). On the left is a small, motionless, crystal clear lake into which visitors throw coins in the hope of returning. After the columns, the tour continues through the Theatre Hall (Színház-terem), the Mine Driftway (Bányatáró), the Narrow Hall (Keskeny-terem), and finally to the Back Hall (Hátsó-csarnok), from where it returns to the exit.
Because of the lighting, moss has appeared in the cave. This problem was solved by installing a different kind of lighting. The air in the cave is very clear and has a high humidity. Patients with respiratory illnesses are treated here.
April 1. - September 30. : every day 09.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (last tour 5 p.m.)
Oktober 1. - March 31 : every day 09.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. (last tour 2 p.m.)
Duration of the tour : about 30 minutes
Tour group size: min. 10 persons
Information: Tel. : (+36) 46/334-130
In order to log this earthcache you don't need to visit the cave, just do the following steps:
1. Take a picture of yourself at the entrance of the cave with your GPS and post it with your log !
2. What is the difference between stalactite and stalagmite?
3. When was the Triassic Period?
4. In what type of rock was the cave formed? (From the info board at the entrance!!! See SPOILER photo)
Email to us the last three answers, please do not post them with your log.
Logs without picture will be deleted !!