Zindan Mağarası

Aksu Zindan Mağarası


Useful Information

Location: 2km northeast Aksu, Isparta.
(37.811765, 31.084988)
Open: APR to SEP daily 9-18.
[2020]
Fee: Adults TRL 8, Students TRL 6, Locals TRL 6, Disabled TRL 6.
Groups (10+): Adults TRL 6.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=765m, VR=16m, A=1300m asl.
Guided tours: self guided, L=1530m, D=1h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Zindan Mağarası, Zindan Cave Aksu / Isparta, Tel: +90-246-341-22-04.
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

1965 explored by M. Başar who estimated a length of 1150m without making a survey.
1968 M. Bakalowicz explores and surveys the cave. The plan is realistic but he gives a length of 850m and a height difference of 25.
1977 statue of the God Eurymedon found in front of the cave.
1987-1988 explored by the Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Müdürlüğü (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration).
15-JUN-1988 registered as a Natural and Archeology Site.
08-JAN-2003 by decision of Isparta Provincial Permanent Council the cave is managed by the Aksu Kaymakamlığı Köylere Hizmet Götürme Birliği (Aksu District Governorate Union for Delivering Service to Villages) and developed as a show cave.

Description

Zindan Mağarası (Dungeon Cave) has the Eurymedon Sanctuary from the early Hellenistic period in front of its entrance. It has mosaics with the head of Eurymedon. When ist was constructed in the 2nd century it had no ceiling, but it was completely rebuilt during the Roman time. It is a remains of the ancient city Timbriada, the main goddess of the city was Kybele, at this time she was also known as Meter Theon Vegeinon. Eurymedon and Kybele were depicted together on city coins. The area around the cave was excavated, and in 1977 a statue of the God Eurymedon found in front of the cave. It is now on display in the Isparta museum.

The cave has a single passage which is 765m long and completely developed with trails and electric light. Visitors reaching the end have to return the same trail back to the entrance. The river cave has many canyon like parts and also some rimstone pools. The cave river has more water in winter and spring, but has very little water in late summer. The water emerges from a spring at the end of the passage. After flowing down the main passage for about 350m it vanishes in several sinkholes. The cave is home to bat colonies all year round.

The area around Zindan Cave is heavily karstified and has numerous caves. It is said to be the most important karst area in Turkey. It has between 100m and 300m thick layers of rather pure limestone of Cretaceous and Jurassic age. The limestones have fracture systems in north-south and east-west direction, and as a result many caves, including Zndan Cave, have passages in those main direction and 90° bends.

The cave was explored twice in the 1960s but only one produced a map, and both were not very accurate in surveying. The cave was fully explored in 1987 and 1988 by the Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Müdürlüğü (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration). The Jeoloji Etüdleri Dairesi Başkanlığınca (Department of Geological Studies) explored caves in the area and published the report Isparta-Beyşehir Yöresinde Mağara Araştırmaları (Cave Research in Isparta-Beyşehir Region).