Jeskyně Balcarka

Balcarka Cave


Useful Information

Location: Near the village of Ostrov u Macochy.
Open: MAR Tue-Sun 9, 12, 14.
APR Tue-Sun 9-16, hourly on the hour.
MAY to AUG daily 8:20-16.
SEP daily 9-16, hourly on the hour.
OCT Tue-Sun 9, 11, 12, 13, 14.
NOV Tue-Sun 9, 12, 14.
[2010]
Fee: Adults CZK 90, Children (6-15) CZK 50, Children (0-5) free, Students CZK 50, Disabled CZK 50, Seniors CZK 70.
Photography Permit CZK 30, Video Permit CZK 100.
[2010]
Classification:  Karst cave, Devonian limestone.
Light: electric, LED.
Dimension: 8,7°C.
Guided tours: L=600m, D=45min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Jeskyně Balcarka, Eva Hebelková, 67914 Ostrov u Macochy, Tel: +420-516-444330. E-mail: contact
Skalní Mlýn - Informační centrum, 67825 Blansko, Tel: +420-516-413575, Tel: +420-516-410024, Fax: +420-506-415379. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:53:04 $

History

 
1923main part discovered.
1924opened to the public.
1937new (upper) level discovered.
2009new electric light using LED.

Description

The Balcarka Cave comprises of a very complicated system of fissures the genesis of which has been considerably influenced by the geological structure of the area. The cave system has been formed at the geological boundary between the limestone beds and the prevailingly silicate rocks, ie the slate, siltstone and greywacke formations. The main part of the cave was discovered in 1923 and opened to the public in 1924. The opening ceremony was performed by Josef Samalik, a native of the nearby village of Ostrov u Macochy. A former member of the Czechoslovak Parliament, he was a leading light in the discovery and opening up of this cave to the public.

The entrance to Balcarka Cave has been known for centuries. The entrance passages were inhabited by man from the Old Stone Age to Medieval times. Below the stairs are some interesting coconut like speleothems. A short walk leads to the Wilson Rotunda, an unusual chamber with a ceiling which looks like a plastic relief map. Following this is The Great Chamber or Velky Dom, this is the largest chamber in the cave measuring 65 m x 15 m x 10m. The first part is called the Foch Dom. It was named in honour of the great First World War hero French, Marshall Foch. A combination of erosion and tectonic movement has formed a large pile of breakdown in this chamber. The almost transparent speleothems appear to be composed of ice and further on is to be found a large stalagmite called The Pagoda. The next section, a small round trip in a side passage, was named by the original explorers The Belgian Cave of Van Mooseveld. Returning to the Foch Dom some charming sinter lakes are encountered, which are decorated by speleothem formations at water level. These are known as The Water Lilies.

After going through a mined tunnel, one climbs the stairs up to the caves of the Upper Level. These caves were only discovered in 1937 and contain the best stalactite display in the whole cave. A further mined tunnel leads to the Masaryk Jubilee Domes. In former political times it was forbidden to mention the name of Masaryk. Instead, these caves were called the Gallery of Nature. These chambers were discovered in January 1935 on the 85th birthday of President T G Masaryk. The marvellous multicoloured speleothems are the result of trace minerals in the rock, ie iron oxide etc. All known varieties of shapes are represented from straw stalactites to massive columns.

Moving on, the visitor arrives in the Dome of Destruction or Dom Zkazy. Here is another example of a boulder ruckle. The entire chamber has a gloomy atmosphere despite the presence of such speleothems as: the Ears of May, The Child, the Cactuses and even the Nest with Egg. Finally it is possible to look down on the Wilson Rotunda, whilst up a flight of visitors enter the so called Cave of the Opposite Direction with its petrified Buddha.

The path then leads to the Stojan Chapel. This was discovered on the 22nd February 1924 by the explorers Samalik and Jedlicka who entered this chamber from the surface via the so called Chimney of Discovery. The warm air ascending through the chimney melted the snow on the surface showing the explorers where to dig.

Cinderella Cave is the strange name given to the next chamber. It was discovered on 16th June 1923 and the name was coined by the explorers because of the greyish coloured speleothems, a stark contrast the marvellous brightly colour speleothems in the rest of the cave. Visitors now leave the cave by the second entrance.


Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.


In 2009 the Velky Dom (Great Chamber) was renovated with a completely new light system This system is based on LED technology and was installed by the german company Cave Lighting which is specialized in LED lights. The specialists of Cave Lighting are also cavers, so they are able to install the light with knowledge about the special requirements of caves. The new lights have between three and twelve Watts, which will reduce the amount of electricity and on the other side the light and heat which damages the cave.


See also


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