Pestera Vintului

Peștera Vântului - Cave of the Wind


Useful Information

Location: In the Pădurea Craiului Mountains on the left bank of Crișul Repede River. East of Șuncuiuș (Suncuius), 23 km west of Ciucea and 10 km south of the DN1, near Oradea, Bihor.
Highway 1 (European road E60) half way between Oradea and Cluj. At Topa de Criş, DC 173 1 km to Vadu Crişului, DJ 108I 6 km to Şuncuiuş. From Șuncuiuș towards Bălnaca turn off at railway barrier.
(46.9392, 22.5436)
Open: with reservation only.
[2020]
Fee:  
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyBlowhole
Light:  
Dimension: L=50,000 m, VR=170 m. [2019] A=350 m asl, T=11.8 °C.
Guided tours: L=730 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Szilágyi Árpád, Emil Komíves, Nagy István, Varga Alfonz, Kerekes Károly (1979).
Address: Clubul Speologilor Amatori din Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, str. Bogdan Peticeicu Hasdeu nr.102, jud. Cluj, Tel: 0264-597634 E-mail: 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

07-APR-1957 cave discovered by engineer Bela Bagameri, first 500 m explored.
1966 Clubul Speologilor Amatori din Cluj (Circle of Amateur Speleologists from Cluj) founded to explore, survey, and protect the cave.
1967 after 10 years more than 15,000 m explored.
1969 first map of the cave created.
1972 documentary about the cave made on a 8 day expedition with cavers and film crew of TVR.
1978 Photo book Pestera Vantului published by Dr. Dan Coman and Valentin Craciun.
1978 cave becomes longest cave of Romania.
1979 first first geomorphological description written by Szilágyi Árpád, Emil Komíves, Nagy István, Varga Alfonz and Kerekes Károly.
1989 cave exceeds 40 km.
1993 entrance constructed.
1996 filming of a documentary by Ugron Gabor.
1996 begin of resurvey with modern equipment.
2003 opened for cave trekking.
2004 custody of the cave officially given to the
2017 opened to the public.

Description

This huge cave system extends over 50 km of passages in three levels, and is the longest cave of Romania. The cave is renowned for its speleothems. It was closed and only accessible to cavers for many years, but lately it was developed as a show cave. The first 730 m of the cave are now open for the public. There is a new footbridge across the river which allows access. This cave of special touristic interest, as the area is at the entrance to Romania from Hungary, and thus a main route for tourists.

The cave is called Peștera Vântului (Cave of the Wind) because of the wind blowing in and out of the cave. Because of the strange Romanian characters it is often printed Pestera Vintului. This cave is often called a "wind cave", but the actual term for this behaviour is blowhole. Wind caves on the other hand are caves formed by wind. When the cave was discovered in 1957, the entrance was artificially widened, which decreased the wind but intensified the exchange between inside and outside. The result was a change in the cave climate which caused problems for speleothems and cave animals. To make the entrance as air tight as possible, a concrete entrance building was erected.

The cave was discovered by engineer Bagameri Bela in 1957 who explored the cave until 1991. He was joined by other cavers from Cluj and they founded the non-profit Clubul Speologilor Amatori din Cluj (Circle of Amateur Speleologists from Cluj) or CSA. The CSA explored the cave for many decades, and made it the longest cave of Romania. Since 2003 they offer cave tours and in 2004 they officially received custody of the Wind Cave. As the survey of the early days was somewhat inaccurate, they resurveyed the whole cave with modern equipment.

Since 2003 the CSA offered tours of the cave. However, tours were on the cave trekking side and only possible after prior arrangement.

The cave system is located in a formation of 200 m thick Triassic limestone which is about 200Ma old. The limestone contains lenses of dolomite. They are covered by a layer of quartzite or quartz rich sandstones interbedded with lenses of clay which are mined. The orogeny of the caused cracks in both the limestone and the covering sandstone, which allows rain water to enter.

The cave is located in the Muntilor Padurea Craiului (King's Forest Mountains) in the Defileul Crisului Repede (Crisului Repede valley). There are several other caves in the same karst area, for example the Pestera Ungurului (Hungarian Cave) which is known for its bat colonies, especially Greater horseshoe Bat (Rinolophus ferrumequinum) and Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rinolophus hipposideros). And there is the Pestera de la Vadu Crisului (Vadu Crisului Cave) which is a show cave for a long time. On the way to the cave is the karst spring Poiana Frânturii which is also worth a visit. The project of opening the cave to tourists also includes nine other small caves located nearby. They were connected with trails and explanatory sings were erected.