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The Bull Rock Cave (jeskyně Býčí skála) is located in the Josefov area of the Křtiny Valley in the middle part of the Moravian Karst.
With the exception of the Days of Open Doors, the Bull Rock Cave is not open to the public.
ZO ČSS 6-01 Býčí skála
| 11.5.2012 15:41 |
The Bull Rock Cave (jeskyně Býčí skála) is located in the Josefov area of the Křtiny Valley in the central part of the Moravian Karst. It represents approximately a half of the total length of the Jedovnice Creek cave system. The system is ca. 15 km long, second longest in the Czech Republic. It is located under the Rudice Plateau, 60 - 220 m beneath the surface. The 3.8 km long (straight length) Rudické propadání is the ponor cave. The Bull Rock Cave is the resurgence (emergence) cave. It consists of several distinguished units, each of them bearing its own name. The first section of the cave, the Old Bull Rock Cave, represents a paleo-resurgence passage of the underground Jedovnice Creek. However, during extraordinary floods it also serves as an active karst spring.
The Bull Rock Cave is frequently called "the most memorable cave of the Moravian Karst", mostly on the account of its prehistory. The Southern Branch yielded evidence of Paleolithic (Magdalenian) settlements. The entrance part, called the Hall (also Entrance Hall, Hallstatt Hall, Předsíň in Czech), is the site of the famous "Hallstatt burial". The burial was discovered by Jindřich (Heinrich) Wankel, M.D., in 1872.
The cave is also a well-known paleontological station. In addition, it belongs to the best studied caves in the Moravian Karst as far as cave biology is concerned. More than 2000 bats regularly winterize in the cave, making it one of the largest such places in the Czech Republic. The bibliography of the Bull Rock Cave begins in 1663 and is probably the most extensive of all caves in the Moravian Karst.
Systematic speleological exploration of the Bull Rock Cave began in 1902. It was carried out by members of the Verein der deutschen Touristen in Brünn, Gruppe für Höhlenforschung (VDT-GfH, a German caving group in Brno). In 1912, the cavers focused their attention on the key problem - the then terminal point of the cave, the Šenkův (Šenk's) siphon. In 1920 their effort was crowned with a success - the overcoming of the siphon and the discovery of the New Bull Rock Cave with the underground Jedovnice Creek. Since 1947, namely from 1973 to 1985, Czech cavers gradually discovered the underground stream of the Jedovnice Creek between the New Bull Rock Cave and the Rudické propadání. They also have discovered the underground course of the creek between the Bull Rock Cave, the Bar (Barová) Cave and the springs in Josefov.
Please note: with the exception of the Days of Open Doors, the Bull Rock Cave is not open to the public.
Welcome. You are entering the Bull Rock Cave. It consists of underground passages, rooms and halls (domes). You can easily visit about 750 metres (1500 m including the return trip) of the visitor trail, which is a 90 minute walk. The path is not suited for large groups of visitors, so take care. There are muddy places and water puddles on the trail, some parts have a low ceiling and some are only poorly lit. The temperature is 9°C, the humidity is high. Please, follow the guide, listen to the instructions and do not leave the main trail. Thank you and enjoy your visit.
1 The Entrance Hall (Hallstatt)
Here one of the most famous archeological discoveries in central Europe was made by Dr. J. Wankel. Here he excavated one of the most important cult and burial centres of the Hallstatt people (Pre-Celtic inhabitants of central and Alpine regions of Europe). Over 40 skeletons, hundreds of jewels made of amber, glass, bronze, gold and other materials, along with weapons, metallurgical and smith tools, pottery and offerings, were scattered on the floor of this hall. Most of them are now on display in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna (Wien), Austria.
During WWII, German Nazi occupants attempted to convert the Hall into an underground factory, probably for manufacturing fighter plane engines. In 1944 they destroyed the original sedimentary complex along with portions of the walls and the ceiling. The concrete floor in the rear part of the Hall is another remainder of their activities. Because of these damages, no further research and discoveries are feasible.
2 Pagan Chimney
This chimney is about 35 m high. It leads to a system of shafts and low passages called the Bruna Cave. It was thus named in 1902 by the discoverers, members of the VDT, a German caving group from Brno. The proper name was "Brunagrotte" or "Brünenhöhle", meaning "Brno Cave".
The ceiling of this room where you are standing and the adjoining passages are one of the most important places in our cave as far as hibernating bats are concerned. More than 2000 bats of 8 species use the cave as a regular wintering site. The number of wintering bats still increases, despite the well known White Nose Syndrome that kills thousands of bats in North America. The cave is part of a National Natural Reservation and all bats here are strictly protected. What you can now see inside are only strugglers, mostly males; females have just moved to their summer breeding roosts.
3 Southern Branch (Junction)
Further important archeological finds were made here. Inside the room to your right, Magdalenian hunters (12,000 years B.P.) had their seasonal shelter. They left cuts (scratches) on round stones found on the cave floor, but no drawings on the walls. The oldest cave wall drawing in Bohemia is, by coincidence, also found here - in the passage that you see branching off this room. The age of the drawing is about 5,000 years B.P., that is, from the times of the first agricultural inhabitants.
4 Dragonback Ridges
This passage derives its name from large, dragonback ridge-shaped ceiling projections. The little lake is fed by rainwater from the nearby chimney. It is called „Miraculous Water". It is miraculously cold and dirty....This place is also an important wintering site for the bats, especially for horseshoe bats. They leave the cave in March, so you can't see them now.
5 Giant Chimney
... is the most impressive chimney along your trail. It is about 90 m high and leads to two upper cave levels (horizons). One of them, called the „Rock palace", is now equipped with ladders and is accessible to physically able visitors except for the bat wintering season. The uppermost parts of the chimney remain, for the most part, unexplored.
6 Map of the Republic
...is a particularly shaped dripstone (stagmalite, sinter) formation. Sadly, stalactites, stalagmites, draperies and other speleothems are rare in this cave. Some are visible from the trail. The Map is the largest of them. The hole in the formation looks similar to the geographical shape of the former Czechoslovak Republic (now two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Behind the dripstone curtain is a large room that was discovered by means of hydraulic mining. This technology employs water to loosen and scatter muddy sediments and pump them away. It is used to discover new parts of caves where digging is not possible. Other dripstone forms are also visible on the ceiling.
7 Šenk's Siphon (Sump)
This siphon, also called Býčí jezero (the Bull Lake) was the terminal point of the cave until 1920. Many explorers attempted to penetrate this siphon. In 1912, probably the first speleo-diving in the world took place here. The diver, Günther Nouackh, P. Eng., used then-modern diving equipment, but did not succeed. After WWI, German explorers, supervised by G. Nouackh and A. Šenk, a local forester, pumped out the water and discovered a new section of the cave, the New Bull Rock Cave.
You are not the only VIP-visitors here J. In 1804, the Holy Roman emperor Franz II. with his wife Maria Theresia and the Duke of Lichtenstein visited this cave and were properly impressed. The lighting and guiding service, however, were a little different.....
The cave behind this siphon (now emptied) is a busy working place so please be cautious.
8 Jedovnický Creek (underground)
The present shape of the cave is the result of powerful corrosion and erosion caused by the water of this creek. After the last glacial (ice age, about 10,000 years B.P.) the creek removed a great deal of the sedimentary content and thus, opened these corridors. On the left side you can see the „Canyons" - high and narrow passages through which the creek flows towards the outflow siphon and further to the springs. There are several promising places worth further exploration. We hope they will lead us to new discoveries.
9 Great Hall
...is more than 100 m long, 35 m wide and 40 m high. There are several chimneys in this hall (you can see some of the openings above your head) that are now the subject of intense exploration. Until 1982, the cave ended here. The Inflow siphon was eventually swam-through by experienced cave divers who subsequently discovered and explored about 3.5 km long main corridor leading to the final siphon between this cave and the cave system of the Rudické propadání. During the years 1975-1984 and 1988-1989 two tunnels were driven through the rock roofs of the siphons so the entire Býčí skála Cave became completely accessible. The visitors are not allowed beyond this point except for special occasions.
This hall is the turning point, now you will follow the guide back to the entrance. Thank you for your attention and enjoy the rest of your visit to the Moravian Karst.
ZO ČSS 6-01 Býčí skála, the local organization of the Czech Speleological Society.
Diskuse "Býčí skála Cave Visitor's Guide"
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