|Grotte di Frasassi
View of the caves
|Location|| Frasassi, Genga
(AN, Marche, Italy)
|Show cave opened||1974|
|Show cave length||5,000 m|
The Frasassi Caves (Italian: Grotte di Frasassi) are a remarkable karst cave system in the municipality of Genga, Italy, in the province of Ancona, Marche. They are among the most famous show caves in Italy.
The caves, discovered by a group of Ancona speleologists in 1971, are situated 7 kilometres (4 miles) south of Genga, near the civil parish of San Vittore and the Genga-San Vittore railway station (Rome-Ancona line).
Near the entrance to the caves are two sanctuary-chapels: one is the 1029 Santuario di Santa Maria infra Saxa (Sanctuary of Holy Mary under the Rock) and the second is an 1828 Neoclassical architecture formal temple, known as Tempietto del Valadier.
The Frassisi cave system includes a number of named chambers, including the following:
- Grotta delle Nottole, or "Cave of the Bats", named for the large colony of bats that lives within.
- Grotta Grande del Ventro, or "Great Cave of the Wind," discovered in 1971, with approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) of passageways.
- Sala delle Candeline, or "Room of the Candles," named for its plentiful stalagmites that resemble candles.
- Sala dell'Infinito, or "Room of the Infinite," a tall chamber with massive speleothem columns supporting the roof.
The cave has been used to conduct experiments in chronobiology. Among the cavers that have spent considerable amount of time inside the cave is the Italian sociologist Maurizio Montalbini, who died in 2009.
Frasassi is partnered with several sister caves around the world:
- Grand Roc (Les Eyzies — Aquitaine, France)
- Wieliczka Salt Mine (Wieliczka — Lesser Poland, Poland)
- Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson — Arizona, United States)
- List of caves
- List of caves in Italy
- Bochnia Salt Mine, southern Poland, central Europe
- Wieliczka Salt Mine, near Kraków in Poland, central Europe
- Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona, the United States
- Grand Roc in Savoie, France, southern Europe
- Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, in Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia, South America
- Chełm Chalk Tunnels, Poland, central Europe
- (in Italian) History of Frasassi
- (in Italian) Info on anconanetwork.it
- Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 149. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
- Sister caves on frasassi.com Archived 2009-08-31 at the Wayback Machine.
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