Lovers of this type of natural cavities, which in Spain are many (since we also have real jewels), have here one of their greatest exponents in the Czech Republic
How to get from Olomouc to Javoricko Caves
Dawn in the beautiful Olomouc and that magic spell that has the historical center of the city begins. Today, however, our goal is in the surroundings of the region where there are a number of attractions that I was not going to miss. I was especially excited about two visits that are very close to each other ... Javoricko Caves and Bouzov Palace
Reach Javoricko Caves from Olomouc It is relatively simple by rental car or own and they are just 5 minutes from Bouzov Castle, which is an excellent part-time plan. However, public transport is still scarce so you should check the Olomouc tourist office for any excursion or organized departure if necessary.
It wasn't even 10 in the morning, about 35 minutes after leaving Olomouc, when I was already climbing with my companions to the entrance of the caves (on this trip I don't have a rental car although you already know that we like those Keys very much routes and Czech Republic lends a lot). However, it is mandatory to pass by the Memorial of the victims as well as remains of the houses of the town that was burned down during World War II in 1945, a tragic episode where 38 men lost their lives for those who now watch this sanctuary
About 10 minutes (and some stairs) take us to an easily identifiable building under the ticket sale to access the underground labyrinth system of the Javoricko caves
Javoricko Caves: schedules, prices and routes
A small poster in Czech gives us an idea of the degree of authenticity that the caves still have, far from mass tourism from other places in Europe. The schedule, prices and routes that allow planning the visit are indicated.
CAVES OF JAVORICKO CAVES:
Between January and March, in addition to November, are only open from 10 to 13 from Monday to Friday, no possibility of weekends.
The month of April and the month of October, the schedules are of 9 to 15 except Mondays that remains closed
The high season, between May and September (included), the entrance is extended from 9 to 17 except Mondays that is closed
Finally, if it is December, forget about approaching, as the caves take advantage of their restoration tasks and remain closed to the public
The prices depend on the chosen route and is that the Cave Administration of the Czech Republic (to which the Javoricko Cave belongs) has also thought of children and the elderly, as well as who only wants to take a partial impression, offering a route of 360 m (about 40 minutes) and another route of 790 m (about 1 hour) with prices ranging from 60 to 110 kc for the first (children, senior or adults) and between 70 to 130 kc for the long (children, senior or adults), being valid the Olomouc Card It offers an additional discount. Add a plus those who, like me, want to record and take pictures. Total 130 kc + 40 kc = 170 kc (just over 6 euros)
Martin Koudelka, the cave director since last year, is our guide today, so detail will not be missing.
The door leading to the interior of the mound next to us opens. It is time to enter one of the most beautiful karst systems in the whole country.
The room of the Giants, beyond the limits
The caves of Javoricko or Javorícské come from the Devonian limestones but it is a underground system composed of a maze of galleries, halls and chasms that remained hidden from the world until 1938 on this plateau north of the Moravian Karst. At older, there are many speleologists and important authorities who bet in successive years to discover all its immensity and this is reflected by the commemorative plaques as you enter.
The finding really was the result of a mixture of curiosity and chance, and was initially limited to the oldest room we will see during the visit, but now in 1873 there was the first written evidence of its existence. Today, and as we see his first room, the route would be impossible if he had not adapted so well to the visitor, since we are in an underground world of difficult terrain to move forward
Amazed, we begin to dazzle what will be our route (although there are more than 3.5 km of tunnels and labyrinths discovered), full of numerous extensive spaces of natural decoration that man can never reproduce
But what I couldn't imagine, before the visit, was that room of 60 meters, with a height and width that borders 20 meters and that defies the limits of physics with stalactites and stalagmites of dimensions that really impress and those that make you rub your eyes a couple of times in the so-called Hall of the Giants.
An extensive waterfall of incredible colors, figures that look like real giants (and those that have peculiar names) and formations that have nothing to do with more fragile ones, leave with their mouths open as we go up stairs and artificial platforms enabled to not generate impact
It is at this point that we also discover its winged inhabitants. It is a kind of small bats that hibernate until spring arrives and leave in search of their main food, insects that start to inhabit nearby forests from 5ºC.
Types of bats in Javoricko Cave:
Although up to 18 species of bats have been found in Javoricko, they are theRhinolophus hipposideros The most abundant. It is the smallest bat in Europe, with a body between 37 and 47 mm, weight of 3-9 g and pointed ears, having a brown color. They are known to be in decline due to the loss of natural shelters, climate change, insecticides and human interference, which have been incorporated into the Natura 2000 program
As soon as the hibernation is over, the attics of nearby houses and buildings are your favorite as a new shelter and to raise before returning to a new winter
We are facing the largest known colony in the Czech Republic, with more than 5,500 copies, scattered around the different caverns. You have to be very respectful because approaching them could make our body heat wake them up and generate a caloric expenditure that would lead them to die
This "house" of Giants is one of those places that returns you to those years of youth when we all dream of being explorers.
What should the one who discovered all this feel? Ufs, just think about it ...
The Hall of Fantasy, the curtain and the end of the short route
A smaller room invites us to dream. Is the call "Fantasy room" with its 2 candles, its castle and a lot of imagination that Martin gives him for names, haha. What I had never seen is a formation similar to the so-called "curtain" (I imagine it will exist in other caverns, but I have never noticed). Here is unique, a unique element created by the vagaries of nature
This maze of natural magic is really divided into 3 heights, separated 60 meters at some points. We always go to the highest part but in some moments Martin refers to certain chasms or holes that communicate with others.
Here also ends the short route, ideal for families with children and the elderly, and that returns to the surface by firing our fellow bats, more gathered in some areas than in others (but don't ask me why)
We are in the call "Sacred Hole", the oldest part and from where it was first discovered. This is also seen because there are no stalactites left, there are dark marks produced by the candles of the first explorers as well as a very thin wall that broke and that led to finding the next underground floor. Curiously it was from that floor that he climbed back to the Dome of the Giants.
And what about "sacred"? It comes from the thought that spirits and witches lived here and this led the local clergyman to consecrate him before continuing his prospecting. You know, beliefs of the past, that everything was explained "in another way" more esoteric.
Visit of the new area of the Javoricko caves
The long route takes us to the so-called new area that was not known until the 50s while all the previous ones were the result of the work of the Svec brothers and their investigations between the years 1936-45. In fact, this is where we are, it's called Peace Room in honor of the memorial for the 38 dead during World War II previously seen in the town.
We are facing the "Samson columns" (the little names have imagination) and here there is a particular phenomenon, as we begin to seegrowing stalactites against the laws of gravity or also scenic calls
A last artificial path leads to the "Dome of the Sink" which separates into 2 paths, one towards a world of caves that is not accessible during the visit but can be accessed with a specialized caver and previous reservation, with falls of up to 120 meters in the "Dome of Olomouc" and another towards the "Chamber of the Discoverers "where a rather steep artificial tunnel leads to the surface and it takes us away from a great abyss called "Black Abyss"
The cave system in the Czech Republic is really exciting. A little further south, a few kilometers from here, the Moravian karst leaves about 1100 caverns and canyons in about 92 km² where you can also find the famous caves of Punkva, Balcarka, Kateřinská, and Sloupsko-šošůvské…
… But both that, as the Castle of Bouzov visits the next hours and a few kilometers from here, will be objects of future stories. Who is encouraged to enter this underground palace near Olomouc which are the Javoricko caves?