Moravsky Kras, or Karst, as it is also called, is a cave system in the Czech Republic with a total length of about 25 km, one of the largest in Europe. The natural complex is located in the eastern part of the country, north of Brno, near the town of Blansko. In total, there are more than 1,100 caves in the Moravian beauty, but only 5 of them are accessible to tourists. In fact, this is quite a lot: it takes at least two days to fully become acquainted with the halls and corridors open to the public. During the excursions, guests will inspect the abysses of the lake and the river, see the giant stalactites and stalagmites, learn everything about the work of the secret underground plant, and if they are lucky, they will get to the chamber music concert.
How to get there
History of Moravian Beauty Studies
The first brave souls descended into the caves of the Moravian Krasus at the beginning of the 17th century, when the spacious halls of Vypustek were explored. The rest of the sites available today to tourists, were first passed through a century. About any scientific expeditions, of course, there was no talk yet, but the simplest measurements of the dimensions of the caves were done. Cavers began a systematic study of the Moravian Karst in the twentieth century, when the Macocha Abyss and the Punkva caves leading into it were passed. Since then, research has not ceased, and in 1956 the system of caves was declared a state reserve.
For tourists who came to Moravsky Kras, excursion routes through the Punkva caves with the Macocha Abyss, the Stolbsko-Šošuvska subsystem, the single Katerina and Balzark caves have been developed. In the last decade, the Cave of Releases has become available, previously given to the needs of the military.
Punkva caves and the Macocha Abyss
The system got its name from the Punkwe River, which flows along the bottom of the Macocha Abyss, the deepest in Central Europe. Its depth is 138 m, and its width is 76 m. It is possible to get into it through Punkva caves, located 2 km from Rocky Mlyn, the main information point of the Moravian Karst. At the entrance guests are greeted by the Front Hall with the Stalactite Sentinel. After inspecting the strange figures, the guide leads the group through a dry siphon corridor to the Clay Halls and the Middle Cathedral, along the upper vaults of which passes the impregnable Crystal Corridor. After the Rear Cathedral, the dry part of the route is completed, and the Wet Road begins, which is crossed by boat. Guests swim through the underground lakes to the Fairy Tale Cathedral with picturesque natural sculptures and continue their journey through Punkva.
You can also look into the Macochu Abyss on your own without joining the group. First you need to use the services of the cable car and get to the viewing Upper Bridge on a rock at the abyss. Even better, the bottom from the Lower Bridge is viewed from a height of 92 m – from there you can even see thickets of rare golden grass, blooming from May to July with purple bells. Both bridges were built in the 19th century, when the tourism potential of the Moravian Krasa became obvious, – Upper in 1882, Lower – in 1899. The river forms two underground lakes, a smaller one, at a depth of 13 m, can be seen from the bridge, a lake of 30 meters depth is hidden in the traces of the landslide that formed Macochou.
In Balzark, located in the northern part of the Moravian Beauty, nature created the most spectacular stalactites. In addition, many stone age artifacts were found here – flint and bone weapons, tools created about 15,000 years ago. The entrance to the cave is the Great Portal that leads to the Wilson Rotunda. From the Big Cathedral guests go up to the Gallery. In the Cathedral of Doom, a stalactite waterfall awaits them. The terrible name is associated with the collapse of the cave ceiling, as a result of which beautiful figures appeared. In the Research Cathedral, the walls are covered with a milky bloom formed by the action of cave microorganisms.
Half a kilometer to the east of the Rocky Mlyn is the Catherine Cave, famous for its stalagmites. Its main cathedral, the largest in the Moravian beauty, is so large that it hosts musical concerts. Then the Bamboo Forest begins – a cluster of large stalagmites. The name Catherine Cave got its name in memory of the young shepherd. The girl wandered into a cave in search of a lost lamb, wandered for a long time in difficult passages and died of cold and fatigue. For single tourists, the entrance to the Catherine Cave was ordered to avoid repeating the terrible fate of the shepherd, because it is very easy to deviate from the route without an experienced guide.