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Ledenika (Леденика) is a cave in the Northwestern parts of the Balkan Mountains, 16km away from the Bulgarian city of Vratsa, its entrance being at 830m above sea level. It features an abundance of galleries and impressive karst formations including stalactites and stalagmites, dating back a thousand years. The cave is about 300m long and contains ten separate halls. The biggest one is the Concert Hall. The way to it is through the Passage of Sinners. Only those whose heart is pure can pass through it [Citation Needed]. Once the cave was full of water but now only a small lake has remained - the Lake of Wishes. The legend says that if you dip your hand in the ice-cold water of the lake and make a wish, the wish will come true.
The first hall (the lowest part of the cave) is the Antechamber. In winter and springtime this hall enchants with its ice crystal decoration that the cave is named after (“led” in Bulgarian means “ice”). For a few metres – through the Plaznyata Passage – you need to walk with your head down – up until the tiny almost round hall – and then through another narrow passage into the big Concert Hall. Everything here is majestic and unique – the Crocodile, the Giant’s head, the Falcon, Santa Claus, the Witch’s house etc. From the big hall – through the iron bridge, the Big and Small Precipices and the Pelmets Passage – you arrive in the beautiful White Hall. In here you can see the Mother-in-law’s Tongue, the Giant’s Wife, the Elephant and the Bathing Lass. The highest point of the cave is called the Seventh Sky – accessible only to the most enthusiastic tourists.
The temperature in the cave varies from –7°С to –15°С, and 8°С in the interior. The air humidity is 92%. Not many animals can be seen other than bats, cave beetles, wood-lice, spiders and the unique “Ledenicus” or “Light-hater” insects. Little vegetation is adapted to the cave: only poorly developed lichens and mosses.
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