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CZ - Chýnov Cave: Is It Really Oldest Cave?

Published: 4.11.2010
Chýnov Cave, known as "Painted Cave" is placed in Pacova hora, not far from the community of Chýnov, in an altitude of 539 metres above sea level.

Up to the present time discovered more-stage subterranean system is formed with several levels of corridors and halls, which are connected each other with steep corridors and chimneys.

The cave was created by erosion activity of subterranean flow inside stratta of rough-grain crystalic limestones, which have different composition, features and colours. The cave is open for public just since 1868 and belongs to the oldest accessible caves in the Czech Republic.

The cave system follows tectonic construction of the whole massif. The corridors in north-south direction are of the same inclination with limestone stratta. They are crossing with transverse breaks which are steep and go through floors of horizontal spaces, leading from west up to the east. Although the cave is ranked among karst caves, the classical sintre and stalagtite decoration is missing. You can find there erosive abd rusty formation, created by means of flowing water and chemical dissolution of mineral sediments of stones. All such formations were established by means of washing out of boulders, taken away in river bed.


Decoration elements:

- erosive and rusty formations of different colour shades of mineral stones

- the ribs, edges and channels are changeable from morphological point of view

- whitre sintre covers

- small sediments in chimneys

- stalactites as well as stalagmites in Parallel and Malovec corridor are added especially with cracks contacts of limestones with non-karst mineral stones.


Upper floor is formed with Entrance Corridor (entrance to the cave), False Entrance and Steep Corridor.

In the second floor, you can find „Lepivý Corridor“, Communication Corridor and Parallel Corridors.

The third floor present Slavníkovci Corridor and Malovecka Corridor.

The lowest, permanently inundated floor, is creating Twist, Cascade Corridors and Homole Lakes. So, the lowest placed stage belongs to most extensive part of the whole system.

Subterranean torrent flows in this level, or the space is completely inundated. The water ascents from siphon, 45 metres deep, situated at the east section of the cave. Consequently, this water spring is disappearing at the western section of the system in draining siphon.

Interesting facts:

- the cave was discovered on 14th July 1863 in Juza-farmer´s quarry

- since 1726, there were constructed there many small farmers´ ovens, used for lime burning(nevertheless, the limestone mining could be derived from historical sources just since 15th century). The name Pacova hora or Pecova hora is derived from this reality.

- new Chýnov Cave was uncovered in a quarry and shortly afterthat destroyed by excavation in 1962

- a lime of the first quality from Chýnov Cave was used, first of all, by stucco-workers for ostentatious rough-castings in Prague and Vienna

- more than 60 described minerals (such as: opal, cyanide, talc, titanite and others) were found in Pacova hora (Chýnov Cave), and one third of them was discovered directly in the cave

- stalactites in the cave do not exceed 10 cm length

- the greatest preserved stalagmite is 157 cm long and is deposited in Soběslav, Blatské Museum

- total length of cave system exceeds 1200 metres

- the length of route, open for public, is 220 metres long

- the temperature in the cave is moving between 5-8 °C.

- the cave serves as winter relax zone of bats: it is the greatest known winter relax place for great bats, folded bats, water bats of long-eared bats


Text: Tereza Flašková

Source: Jeskyně (Edice Chráněná území), RNDr. Jaroslav Hromas a kolektiv

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš


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