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Dambovicioara Cave

Located in the South side of Piatra Craiului Mountain, Rucar-Dambovicioara area, the cave has a spectacular, varied karst relief. The rivers descending in Fagaras, Piatra Craiului and Leaota Mountains errodated deep and narrow valleys in the limestone's, giving birth, on a relatively small area, to the biggest gorges resort from Romania (see the map).
This type of rock, extended in the area, allowed the development of all kind of erosion formations, both underground and surface. Dambovicioara Cave is the most famous cave of many small and medium sized caves. The cave is located at approximate 1 Kilometer in the North side of the village with the same name, accessible for visits, placed right to the road crossing the gorge.

With a length of over 250 meters, the cave has the aspect of a gallery slightly forked, its route being ratherish ascendant (see the sketch); the cage can be easily crossed due to its approximately 2 meters ceiling, higher than common human height.

The interior of the cave is accessible for visitors- you can feel here a light stream that shows the presence of a communication with the exterior. The temperature varies between 10-12 C, and the humidity is appropriate. The characteristic fauna for this carst formation is relatively poor: until now there were not discovered cave species, but instead there were found remains of the Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus).

The underground hole was formed by limestone erosion of "Pestera" Creek, that runs now nearby the entrance.

The locals knew about the existence of the cave before 1579, also the year of its documentary certification, in the days of Mihnea Turcitul. Later on, in 1767, J. Fridvalsky mentions the cave in his scientific work Mineralogia magni Principatus Transilvaniae, Dambovicioara Cave being the first carst formation in Muntenia (Walachia) ever mentioned in a specialty study. Recent researches discovered a new gallery, not allowed for visiting yet.

Although the cave does not meet speological requirements ( many of the stalactites and stalagmites formations, which in the old times were the treasure of this authentic "nature museum" being destroyed by ill-wishers), Dambovicioara Cave has touristic potential by its own placement in an area dominated by Piatra Craiului Mountain, where nature shows its wonderful landscapes represented by the beautiful karst formations, by the unusual presence of the black goats and vultures, by the fresh air, the clear Dambovicioara Water and its feeders.

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