Jaskinia Radochowska

Radochowska Cave - Reyersdorfer Tropsteinhöhle - Radochowska Jaskinia Naciekowa


Useful Information

Location: Northwest of Radochów, on the other side of the alvary Mountain. Lądek Zdój, Kłodzko Basin, Góry Złote, Golden Mts. 2 km north of road no. 392 and abandoned railway station Radochów. 1,300m/20 min walk from the car park to the cave.
(50.358611, 16.819167)
Open: 15-APR to SEP daily 10-18, last entry 17:20.
[2021]
Fee: Adults PLN 25, Children (6-16) PLN 20, Children (0-5) free, Seniors PLN 20, Students PLN 20.
Groups (40+): Adults PLN 18.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: helmet with headlamp provided
Dimension: L=502 m, T=9 °C, A=460 m asl.
Guided tours: D=40 min, MinAge=3.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Tomasz Bartuś (2012): Jaskinia Radochowska. The Radochów Cave, Katalog obiektów geoturystycznych w obrębie pomników i rezerwatów przyrody nieożywionej. The Catalogue of Geoturist Sites in nature reserves and monuments. (pp.63-66) Edition: 1, Chapter: Jaskinia Radochowska. The Radochów Cave. Publisher: AGH Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza w Krakowie, Wydział Geologii, Geofizyki i Ochrony Środowiska, Katedra Geologii Ogólnej i Geoturystyki, Editors: Tadeusz Słomka. researchgate
Address: Jaskinia Radochowska, Radochów, 57-540 Lądek-Zdrój, Tel: +48-604-337-846. E-mail:
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.

History

1757 first written mention by Kahlo.
1881 described by Aleksander Ostrowicz in his tourist guidebook.
1933-1939 development of the cave by the retired miner Heinrich Peregrin.
1933-1935 F. Pax studies fauna, HJ Stammer describes aquatic fauna.
1934 cave description and first photos by G. Dittrich.
1935 palaeontological excavation by G. Frenzel
1936 palaeontological excavation by L. Zotz
1990s grounds leased by Academic Mountain Club "Halny" as a camping site near the cave.

Description

Jaskinia Radochowska (Cave of Radochów) is named after the nearby village Radochów. The cave is almost horizontal, not very well developed and visited by the light of torches. The cave consists of three parallel passages and a fourth one which crosses and connects them. Originally the cave had three entrances, but one of them collapsed. The cave is known for centuries and has been praised as a tourist attraction numerous times. Here is one example:

The entrance to the caves is inconvenient; there are two spacious caves with numerous stalactitic deposits. Crystal clear water constantly comes from these deposits. Although these stalactites are immature and the cave cannot even be compared with other caves of this type, for example those in Adelsberg, it is still worth to visit for those who did not have the possibility to see bigger caves. It might also be useful to mention that the cave, as many other caves of this type, is wet, the water is constantly coming down from its roof so visiting it in elegant outfit is not practical.


Text by Aleksander Ostrowicz (1881).

During the early years the cave was not gated and the visitors caused numerous damages. Today no speleothems remain. It is disputable how many speleothems the cave once had, nevertheless it was originally called Tropfsteinhöhle (dripstone cave). Between World War I and II the retired miner Heinrich Peregrin became caretaker of the cave. He had a house in a nearby clearing and started to develop the cave by removing the cave sediments to create a trail. He also created an exhibition in his house with the things he discovered during this work. According to his notes the cave was visited by some 2000 people every year.

During World War II the cave became the hideout of a group of members of national socialist saboteurs called "Werwolf". In November five members were captured in the cave. This story is somewhat legendary, there are actually no reliable sources, and it is probably just a legend. Undisputed is the fact that the caretaker left the cave in 1947. The cave was once more open and subject to vandalism, in the 1950s the building at the entrance was burned down. The whereabouts of the exhibition is unknown, they are most likely destroyed. It stayed like this for 50 years until finally the site was leased by . They are operating a camping site, but also looked after the cave and closed it. The organized tours for groups after appointment. However, today it seems to be operated as a real show cave, with regular open hours. But still it has no electric light, visitors are equipped with helmets with headlamps.

The cave was formed under phreatic conditions, all corridors were filled completely by water flowing under considerable pressure. The water followed tectonic fractures and joint fissures, dissolving the limestone and widening the passages. The result are typical forms like scallops at the wall and the circular profile of many passages. The orientation along fissures resulted in the spectacular rectangular orientation of the passages.

Radochowska Cave is a cave bear site, but of much lesser fame than nearby Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia (Bears' Cave). There were much lesser bones in the cave, but a speciality were cave bear skulls placed at the foot of the walls, surrounded by stones and covered by a rock slab. This is pretty similar to a funeral and was interpreted as some kind of bear cult. Such discoveries are really rare and all have been destroyed over the centuries by trespassers, vandals and ignorant scientists. As a result the question if there once was a cave bear cult is impossible to answer with this sparse evidence. Others bones were from cave hyena, wild horse, and hairy rhinoceros.

This part of Góry Złote (Golden Mountains) belongs to the Lądek-Śnieżnik crystalline unit. It is composed of Old Palaeozoic and Lower Cambrian, crystalline rocks. The Strontian Series are mica schists and plagioclase paragneisses interlayered by quartzites, marbles and amphibolites. The gneiss complex is composed of coarse-crystalline augen gneisses, so called Śnieżnik gneisses, and fne-crystalline magmatic gneisses, so called Gierałtów gneisses. Obviously such crystalline rocks are insoluble, and the karstification is restricted to the three marble lenses. The cave was formed by contact karst, water flowing on the surface of the crystalline rocks and going underground at the contact to the soluble marble.

Because of the unsuitable geology, caves are quite rare in the Sudetes. This is actually one of the biggest and best studied caves in the Sudetes. Quite impressive is the number of troglobiotic fauna found in the cave. Also five species of bats live in the cave, greater mouse-eared bat (Mytis myotis), Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii), brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), and Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus).

The speleological explorations of the cave is actually quite insufficient. The maps were mostly sketches and not based on a detailed survey. The length of the cave given is 265 m, but the newer number given by the show cave owners is 502m