Prometheus Cave Natural Monument

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Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
Kumistavi Cave
2014 Imeretia, Jaskinia Prometeusza (16).jpg
Prometheus Cave also known as Kumistavi Cave.
Map showing the location of Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
Map showing the location of Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
Map showing the location of Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
Map showing the location of Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
Nearest cityKutaisi
Coordinates42°22′36″N 42°36′02″E / 42.37667°N 42.60056°E / 42.37667; 42.60056Coordinates: 42°22′36″N 42°36′02″E / 42.37667°N 42.60056°E / 42.37667; 42.60056
Area0.47 km2 (0.18 sq mi)
Established2007
WebsitePrometheus Cave Natural Monument

Prometheus Cave Natural Monument (Georgian: პრომეთეს მღვიმე) also known as Kumistavi Cave (Georgian: ყუმისთავის მღვიმე) and Tsqaltubo Cave (Georgian: ღლიანის მღვიმე) is a karst cave located in Tsqaltubo Municipality in Imereti region of Georgia. [1] The total length of the cave is about 11 km, of which 1060 m are open to visitors. Cave has total of 22 halls of which six are currently open to tourists.[2]

History[edit]

The cave was discovered and studied by Georgian speleologists (consisted of the leader Mr. Jumber Jishkariani and the members: Tamaz Kobulashvili, Amiran Jamrishvili, Vakhtang Kapanadze, Kote Nizharadze) in the early 80's of the 20th century. It is part of a large cave system, united by one underground river. Currently, about 30 km of the river is investigated, which is about half the length of the entire cave system. In 1985 the conversion of the cave into a sightseeing tourist destination began. By 1989, a pedestrian route was laid in the cave for about 1 kilometer, stairs and paths were built, and a 150-meter tunnel was punched out at the exit and the construction of ground-floor buildings began. The cave was equipped with temporary lighting and small groups of tourists started to visit cave.

In 1990, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the lack of funds, the project has been closed. For several years a local citizen was protecting cave from vandals. Now at the entrance of the cave a monument to him and his dog is installed.

In 2007, 17 years after the closure of the project, the Georgian authorities returned to the idea of the conversion of the cave into a tourist destination once again. President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who visited cave in 2010, gave an impetus to cave transformation into a tourist object, and suggested new name — Prometheus Cave, since the legendary antique protagonist Prometheus was chained to the mountains approximately in this area. ( Local legend makes Prometheus enchained to the bluffs of Khvamli, being perpetually tortured by a raven.[3]) In a year cave was refurnished and reopened to visitors on May 26, 2011.

Prometheus Cave visitors center.

References[edit]