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Dobšinská Ice Cave

Listed under Caving in Poprad, Slovakia.

  • Photo of Dobšinská Ice Cave
  • Photo of Dobšinská Ice Cave
Photo of Dobšinská Ice Cave
Photo by flickr user CxOxS
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Discovered by the engineer E. Ruffinyi, Dobšinská Ice Cave reaches a length of 1232m. With the entrance situated in the northern slope of the Duča hill, Slovensky Raj, at a height of 969m, cold air falls down into the depths and warm air cannot find a way into the cave. This leads to the cave temperature being perennially at 0oC and has led to the formation of fantastical ice monuments being created over the centuries.

Since 2000 the cave has been on the world heritage list, making it one of the most important caves in the world, yet remains hardly known by people outside of Slovakia. A cave tour is available, but due to the temperatures inside the cave warm clothing and firm footwear would be advisable. Also a mandatory rest before entering the cave allows for better acclimatization.

There are several magnificent parts to Dobšinská Ice Cave – the Great and Small Halls, Ruffiny’s Corridor and Collapsed Dome are icy kingdoms below the ground, while there are also non-glaciated parts to the cave.

Interestingly, up until 1946 it was permitted to ice skate within the cave all year round, with the well known Czechoslovak figure skater Karol Divin and a company of military speed skaters training here during the 1950s.

Written by  John Johnston.

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