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Crimean Cave Excursions

Crimean Caves
Materials for the article were arranged by Oleg Lavrentyev; article translated by Dina Guliyeva

The Crimean Mountains are the oldest mountains in the world. From times immemorial, earthquakes, flood and other disasters favored the formation of karstic hollows in the mountains and some of these hollows further turned into huge caves.

Among the 800 explored caves, fifty are given a status of natural monuments. One of the richest places (according to the number of caves) in the Crimea is Shater-gora (Chatyrdag), the second highest mountain chain in the Crimea. Its massif lays separately from other mountains and rises high above the whole Crimea peninsula. Here you can find 200 caves, which depths can be 3 feet, 28feet, 56 feet or 656 feet! Only professional speleologists can penetrate into most of these caves, using specific skills and equipment. The caves named "Khod Konem" (the 4-th category of complexity, 738,19 feet deep) and "Bezdonniy Kolodets"(639,76 feet deep) are regarded the most difficult to go through.

Some caves, on the contrary, are easily accessible for unskilled tourists. Unfortunately, many of them have turned into examples of human vandalism, because of garbage and inscriptions left on the walls by numerous visitors. All the stalactites and mountain sugarines were broken off and taken away by souvenir-hungry tourists who did not know that the stone beads would be destroyed in very short term in rural conditions...

Another case is the caves of Chatyrdag, which are specifically equipped to arrange cabe excursions for tourist groups. During the whole season, buses bring visitors from all parts of the Crimea to two caves of Chatyrdag î º the Emin-Bair-Khosar cave and the Mramornaja (Marble) cave. Each of them is interesting in its unique way and, undoubtedly, is worth visiting. Just about them we are going to tell...

The cave "Mramornaya" (Marble cave). It is the most famous among the caves of Chatir-dag, the excursions to this cave have been organized for a long time. You are offered to make a fascinating trip along the well-lightened and rigged halls of the cave under the direction of efficient guide, during the whole excursion you can admire very different figures. Indeed, one can not believe that all these amazing figures, fretted columns, fanciful crystals were made of just water and time without human participation...But a man can destroy in a flash everything which was being made by nature throughout centuries – you can not touch anything in the cave, cause human bacteria are dangerous for this striking beauty.

If it seems that it is not enough for you, you can make an extreme 3-hour excursion to unequipped halls of the cave. Special suits and lanterns will be given to you and you can closely look at strange and fanciful labyrinths... We recommend you this excursion. You will not regret that you have spent time there!

The cave "Emin-Bair-Khosar". This cave was opened in XIX century, but the first speleological excursion took place only in the Soviet times, in 1927.
In 1960-s, active exploration of the cave begun. The popularity of its competitor (the
Marble cave) was the reason why the passes for tourists were opened in Emin-Bair-Khosar. Electricity was soon brought there, and first excursion routes started to attract tourists right away.

Emin-Bair-Khosar cave strikes with its huge halls... It is traditional to single out 3 floors in the cave - the upper (top) floor, middle floor and ground floor; the length of the cave is 1,24 miles, the depth is 410,1 feet. On entering the cave, visitors are amazed at the variety and beauty of intricate stalactites, stalagmites, columns, various crystals...

The remnants of animals of boulder-period were found in the cave and it was decided to make a small museum of paleontological and geological finds that were found in different caves of the Crimea.

Different halls of the cave also have their names. For example, the hall where the paleontological museum is situated, is called Tigroviy (Tiger Hall). The name appeared when the remains of, not a tiger, but cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) were found there! But speleologists took them as the remains of saber-toothed tiger. The mistake was soon found out, but the name of the hall remained.

One more beautiful hall is called Shapka Monomakha (Hat of Monomakh), it was named after the unusual stalagmite (a cylindrical mass of calcium carbonate projecting upwards from the floor of a limestone cave) of fanciful form. It really resembles to grand regal hat. The stalagmite really jumps to the eye thanks to its white-red color – it is covered with so-called “moon milk” – specific matter (substance), which reasons of appearing and extension have not been discovered yet.

The cave “Kizil-Koba”- Krasnie Pechsheri (Red Caves). It is a huge labyrinth of multilevel limestone caves, which is more than 8,08 miles long and 83,89 miles deep. The most beautiful are Indian and Japanese halls with amazing dripstones, like the Academic, which is nearly 26,25 feet high. A part of the cave is equipped and illuminated to make it accessible for tourists, and is very convenient for excursionists regardless of age. But the most interesting treasures of Kizil-Koba are protected by powerful Underground River of the cave. The bravest men are proposed a scuba to sneak past the siphons (so-called halls which are filled fully with water and to visit the more fascinating halls –which height is 98 - 131 feet, decorated with uncommon stalactites and stalagmites.

Kizil-Koba is also of great value as the archaeological monument. Settlement lived in Iron Age in the hole of Kizil-Koba (so-called kizil-kobinskaj culture), further occupied entire steppe regions of the Crimea and the Northern Black Sea region.

If you are looking for great, uncommon adventures, fascinating caves of the Crimea are waiting for you!!!!!


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