Romualdova Špilja

Romuald's Cave


Useful Information

Location: Limski Kanal, between Porec and Rovinj. On the road Sv. Lovrec - Bale (E751), huge parking lot signposted. 350m walk (10min) to the cave.
Open: MAY Sun 10-17.
JUN Mon-Sat 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19.
SEP Mon-Sat 10-18.
OCT Sun 10-17.
[2008]
Fee: yes [2006]
Classification: Jurassic limestones.
Light: carbide lamps
Dimension: L=105m, T=14-17°C, A=120m asl.
Guided tours: L=210m, D=30min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Mirko Malez (1962): Romualdo Cave, a new significant pleistocene site in Istria, Bull. scientifique 7, 6
Mirko Malez (1968): Tragovi paleolita u Romualdovoj pećini kod Rovinja u Istri, Acta et diss VI
Address: Romualdova Špilja, Speleološko društvo Istra (Caving Club Istra), Pazin, Tel: +385-52-622460, Cell: +385-91-5121528. 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: 2015/11/20 13:19:14 $

History

 
1961-1962archaeological excavations by palaeontologist Mirko Malez.
1970scave closed with an iron door to protect it.
2001start of development by members of the caving club Rovinj.

Description

Rommualdova Špilja (Romualds Cave) is a famous cave as it was the home to a local Saint, and it is the youngest show cave of Istria. But it has been a popular cave since the Palaeoloithic era, which is documented by numerous human remains found inside the cave. There are three meters of sediments, where fire places, flint and bone tools, human bones and various animal bones were found. There were bones of cave bear, cave hyena, and many other, all together 41 different animals. The most important findings were stone tools from the Upper Palaeoloithic (about 20,000 years BP). On the plateau above the cave a neolithic village was excavated, some remains were found in the caves. During Bronze age the village became even bigger, but then it vanished.

The cave is connected with the live of Saint Romuald (950-1027), who lived in the area between 1002 and 1005. First he founded a monastery above the fjord on the plateau. Then he decided to live as an hermit in a cave, and moved to a small cave below the monastery. But when he leaned that many people visited him in his cave he decided to look for a more remote cave, which was this one named after him. After a few years he left the cave in 1005 an returned to Italy. But his cave had become a symbol and a sort of pilgrimage destination. As a result the cave was plundered and various times tomb raiders got into the cave.

Cave visitors are equipped with helmets and carbide lamps, the cave has no electric light. There is only a single horizontal passage which is rather spacey all the time. Some care is necessary because of the five pits from the 1961/62 excavation. There are two nice formations with massive stalagmites, but the rest of the speleothems is destroyed. The walls are covered by graffiti, the oldest made by pilgrims are of historic interest, younger artworks are generally considered destructive.