Magura Cave

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Drawings in the Magura Cave.

The Magura Cave (Bulgarian: Магурата) (from Romanian magura, "hill") is located in north-western Bulgaria close to the village of Rabisha, 18 kilometres from the town of Belogradchik in Vidin Province. The total length of the 15 million year old cave is 2.5 km (1.6 mi).[1] The largest inland lake in the country, Rabisha Lake, is located in the vicinity of the cave and the whole region has been declared a natural landmark.

Bones from different prehistoric species like cave bear or cave hyena have been discovered in the Magura Cave.

Cave paintings dating from the late Neolithic, Epipaleolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the cave's walls. The drawings may represent religious ceremonies, deities and hunting scenes, and are unique for the Balkan peninsula. One grouping from the late Neolithic has been interpreted as a solar calendar, the earliest such representation yet discovered in Europe.[2] The medium used to create the art was bat guano.[3] More than 750 images have been identified. Access to the area of the paintings is restricted in an effort to preserve them.[4]

In 1984 the site was placed on the Tentative List for consideration as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[5]


  1. ^ Kassabova, Kapka (2008). Bulgaria. New Holland. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-84537-564-5. 
  2. ^ Tomova, Iva; Lazarkevich, Irina; Tomova, Anna; Kambourova, Margarita; Vasileva-Tonkova, Evgenia (1 January 2013). "Diversity and biosynthetic potential of culturable aerobic heterotrophic bacteria isolated from Magura Cave, Bulgaria". International Journal of Speleology 42 (1): 65–76. doi:10.5038/1827-806X.42.1.8. 
  3. ^ Bahn, Paul G. (1998). The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0521454735. 
  4. ^ "Bulgaria Magura Cave Paintings Exhibited for First Time". March 18, 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Magoura Cave with drawings from the bronze age". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 

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Coordinates: 43°43′06″N 22°36′01″E / 43.71845°N 22.60025°E / 43.71845; 22.60025