Spelaeology


Spelaeology activities are done in caves with different degrees of accessibility and in pits deep between 20 and 150 metres, especially rich in chalk formations and very well preserved.

The locations where people can exlore caves in Gorj county are the following: spelaeological perimeters Galbenul/Oltet, Sohodol/Balta Valley, Pades.

• Pit 1: minus 20 metres deep, biggest vertical 20 m, horizontal length 60 metres.

• Pit 2: minus 119 metres deep, biggest vertical 37 m, parallel vertical development 80 m on 5 layers extremely rich in chalk formations.

• Pit 3: minus 93 metres deep, perfectly vertical, biggest vertical in Romania.

• Pit 4: minus 125 metres deep, verticals of 20 – 60 m, largest stalagmite in Romania, 26 metres.

• Pit 5: minus 149 metres deep, the largest accessible vertical cave in România.

• Floriilor Cave

• Lazului Cave

• Martel Cave

Sohodolului Gorges – complex reservation, 20 ha, on a 10 km length, of landscape and floristic interest;

Corcoaiei Gorges – complex reservation, 10 ha, on a length of 300 m;

Olteţului Gorges – floristic reservation, stretches on 20 ha. These chalk dug gorges also have small caves that harbour 400 species of plants, some of which are unique. Oltetului Gorges stretch on a 1,5 km length but are extremely attractive, with vertical rock walls, only 4.5 metres apart in the lower part and 10-20 metres in the upper section.

Oltetului Gorges are crossed by a forest road that was du in stone on several portions, creating a sort of roof over the road and increasing their uniqueness and beauty. Polovragi Cave is found there and it is a result of an ancient subterranial course of Oltet river, which dissolved the calcium carbonate along the way. As a result of the research done by ”Focul Viu” Spelaeological Group from Bucharest, in 1974 the total length of known galleries had reached 9000 metres. Mapped and noted are only 3200m, only the previously known galleries. The cave is dug by water in the left flank of Oltet Gorges, and the entrance is approximately 200 m from the entrance of the gorges, at a height of 20 metres from Oltet shoreline. The cave is very accessible and electrified. In the past, it provided shelter and refuge to outlaws. Apparently in 1821, Tudor Vladimirescu`s panduri stored in the cave the weapons they brought from Sibiu. The legend tells that Polovragi Cave was the home of Geto-Dac god Zalmoxis, and closeby are found the remains of a Dac fortress.

Galbenului Gorges, unlike Oltet Gorges have walls that are much farther apart, with detritus portions.

Women`s Cave is located on the right side of Galbenului Gorges, at an atitude of 751 metres in Parang Mountain, and a length of 3.566 metres, on four different levels. Women`s Cave is the first electrified cave in Romania. The name was given by the locals because of the fact that during some fights nearby, the men left to battle while the women and children took shelter in the cave.

There are a series of stalagmite and stalactite formations in the cave that received different names depending on their unique shapes: Pipe Organ, Small Dome, Altar Chamber, Altar Veil, Pulpit, Great Chandelier, Santa Claus, Odalisque, Bustard, Injured Eagle, and thanks to iron oxide drippings that coloured the place in an rusty shade, another shape is called Bloody Rock. In the main gallery there is an area where the floor of the cave has a number of basins that are sometimes, especially in spring, filled with water. They are named the Great Basins. From Turk Chamber there is another gallery to the right, Bears Gallery, where numerous fossils and skeleton remains were found, over 100 cave bear (Ursus Spelaeus – extinct species) skulls, as well as a number of other skeleton remains: hyenas, lions, foxes, chamois, wolves, boars, fossils that stand witness to the climate changes of geological eras far gone.
The cave is on the territory of Baia de Fier commune (altitude 560 metres). Historical documents state that this is the place iron was extracted from, hence the name of the settlement.

Gura Plaiului Cave – spelaeological reservation, 1 ha, with a legth of 150 metres, entrance through a vertical cave, nature monument, not accessible to the public, not open to the public presently;
Closani Cave – spelaeological reservation, 1 ha, formed in the chalk rocks of Motru, without adequate improvements, it is not part of the touristic routes;
Cioaca cu Brebenei Cave – 10,2 ha, with unique shapes, not adequate for touristic visitation, and not included in any routes.