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Magura Cave is situated near village of
Rabisha and 18 km from Belogradchik in the North West Bulgaria. It is one of
the largest and most interesting underground systems in
Bulgaria. It consists of the main gallery and three side tunnels
at an overall length of 2500 meters in length. Magura Cave was
formed at least 15 millions years ago and the process of
geologic erosion continues to this day.
Magura Cave is famous
for its prehistoric cave art and remains of the human occupation since late Epipaleolithic Age and Neolithic Age.
It depicts various scenes from lives of ancient people including
hunters on hunting trails, people dancing, various animals and
other things that were important for the residents of the Magura
Cave. Additionally archeologists who dug in the area discovered
one of the oldest solar calendars ever to be discovered in
Bulgaria and overall Europe. Apparently ancient people held five
important festivals over a course of a year that ancients
believed lasted 366 days. Given the age of the Magura Cave
finding it is amazing that they managed to keep such a good
record of the astronomical progression of the year.
Judging by animal remains cave hyenas
and cave bears frequently stayed in Magura Cave for shelter and security.
Humans it seems had a different idea of who is to own this nice piece of
property. They managed to establish a permanent settlement and depict scenes
from their daily lives as well as religious ceremonies. The cave was
abandoned in favor of more comfortable living in houses, but we have
evidence that people often ventured and explored the cave in the Roman times
as well as medieval. It takes about 5 hours to explore 3 km (2 mi) of the
total length. Temperature here stays at 12 C or 56 F all year round so you
might want to take some warm cloths with you. This unique microclimate
allows parts of the cave to be used as a storage for local wines. Magura's
largest room is used occasionally for concerts.