Devetashka cave

... from Katerina in Get to know Bulgaria! Visits 444 5 August, 2020

Devetashka cave (also known as Maarata or Oknata) is located near the village of Devetaki, Lovech municipality, on the right bank of the Osam river and is among the most remarkable caves in Bulgaria. Its total length is 2,442 meters, height - 60 meters, and its entrance hall is the largest not only in Bulgaria, but in all of Southeast Europe. You will surely see how impressive it is when you step into it. It has an area of 25,000 square meters and is illuminated by seven different openings in the arch.

According to archeological excavations in the Devetashka Cave, traces of human presence have been found from around 70,000 BC. (during the Old Stone Age). It is believed that it has been inhabited in almost all historical epochs, and the most interesting remains found there are from the Neolithic period.

In the period from 1952 to 1990, the cave was a classified military site of the Ministry of Defense and 15 large oil storage tanks were installed in it. After being cleared by them, in 1996 the cave was declared a natural landmark.

Today the cave is inhabited by at least 45 species of animals, and this number does not include some species of birds. It is among the three most important underground habitats of bats in Europe. Their colonies reach up to 60,000 individuals. The sounds of bats, as well as the chirping of different species of birds against the background of the waters in the cave, which originate from 14 different springs, depict a picture of a small oasis.

Devetashka cave is easily accessible, as there are many signposts to guide you to its location. There is a large parking lot next to it, and near it is the place to buy tickets for the visit. From there it is 200-300 meters to the cave itself, passing a bridge over the Osam river . Curiously, the bridge was built specifically during the filming of the Hollywood production "The Expendables 2", which involves a large number of action actors.

If you are in the area, 25 km from Devetashka cave is Big Garvanitsa cave, between the villages of Gorsko Slivovo and Karpachevo. It is a vertical cave with a depth of over 60 meters and a length of 275 meters. Going down the almost vertical stairs, it is as if you are going to the "underground kingdom". It may seem scary to some, but it was a fun and extreme experience for us.

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