Jaskinia Raj

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Jaskinia Raj
Jaskiniaraj.jpg
Location Gmina Chęciny, powiat kielecki, województwo świętokrzyskie, Polska
Depth 9.5 m (-1.5 m, +8 m)
Length 240 m
Discovery Józef Kopeć
Feliks Wawrzeńczyk
(1963)
Entrances 2
Access public with guide, max 15 visitors in group
(nature reserve)

Jaskinia Raj (pronounced Yaskeenya Rye and translated as Paradise Cave) is a horizontal limestone cave in Poland located in the hill Malik, to the south of Kielce, Świętokrzyskie Voivodship.

It is part of the Szlak czerwony.svg "Red tourist trail Chęciny - Kielce" in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Holy Cross Mountains).

Description[edit]

The cave has a length of 240 m and vertical range of 9.5 m; however, only 180 m and 2 entrances is open to visitors. Despite its small size, it is regarded as one of Poland's most beautiful caves. Its corridors lead through five chambers ornamented with stalactites, stalagmites and columns of rock created over thousands of years. A maximum of fifteen people are admitted every fifteen minutes to the cave under a guide's protection. This is to maintain an internal temperature of eight to ten degrees Celsius to preserve the cave's historical value. The cave's humidity is above 95 percent. Before the entrance there is an exhibition of archeological and paleontological findings from the cave that include prehistoric tools (the cave was inhabited by Neanderthals) and animal bones. It is illuminated by an optical fiber.

History[edit]

The cave was discovered in 1963 by Józef Kopeć and Feliks Wawrzeńczak, students of a local technical school. It was opened to the public in 1972. The five chambers of the cave were formed during the Devonian era, approximately 350 million years ago. Inside, there are traces of occupancy by Neanderthal men dating back 50 to 60 thousand years. There were signs of cave bears, woolly rhinoceros, and mammoths having previously inhabited the cave as well.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°49′22″N 20°30′12″E / 50.8229°N 20.5034°E / 50.8229; 20.5034