Location: Świętokrzyskie Voivodship Map
Tel. 041 346 5518
Price: 10zł (3 USD)
Open: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun
Mar, Apr & Sep-Nov
Jaskinia Raj Paradise Cave is a natural underground system of caverns situated in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship of Poland. This geological formation formed 350 million years ago during Devonian Era. Archeological digs proved a presence of wooly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and cave bears. Neanderthals men used to live here 60,000 years ago. Rock slide closed its main entrance and it was re- discovered only in 1963 by Józef Kopeć and Feliks Wawrzeńczak. The cave is not very big. It measures 240 m in length and depth of 9.5 m, however its stalagmites and stalactites make it one of the most beautiful in the region. There is a museum outside that shows findings from the last Ice Age.
The Raj Cave is located inside a small Malik hill,
about 270 m above sea level. It is a small cave with horizontal
development, the total length of its corridors is 240 meters.
The length of the tourist route is 180 m; the tour takes about 45 minutes. Electric lighting is installed here. The tour takes place under the guidance of a guide in groups of up to 15 people. The cave can be visited from January 15 to November 15; On Mondays, Easter, August 31 and November 1 the cave is closed.
The entrance to Raj Cave leads through the entrance pavilion, which houses ticket offices, a cafe and a small museum. The museum exhibition presents the geology, history and archaeological and paleontological finds excavated during the exploration of the cave by teams of scientists.
The entrance to the cave leads through an artificially dug sidewalk 21 meters long. Inside the cave there is a constant temperature, which is about 9 ° C, and humidity is about 95%. The route leads through the Initial Chamber, the Złomisk Chamber, again through the artificially dug pavement to the Column Hall. After crossing the bridge, the route leads through the richest Stalactite Hall through the High Hall and the Entrance Chamber to the museum pavilion and exit.
In the cave itself, you can see rich and diverse stalactite forms, sometimes with original shapes, such as stalactites, stalagmites, stalactite columns, draperies, cave pearls, necroses, lakes and "rice fields". A total of 47,518 infiltrative forms were counted, including 47,173 stalactites. The highest stalagmite measures 77 cm, while the thickest has 6.27 m of base circumference. The highest stalactite column (stalagnate) is 1.95 m high.
In the winter season, Raj Cave is a place of hibernation for bats, mainly the big bat. In total, 9 species of these flying mammals were counted here.
Next to the cave there is a red tourist trail - red tourist trail from Chęciny to Kielce.
In 2014, Raj Cave was visited by 94,000 persons against 95,118 in 2013.
The cave was formed in limestone rocks
that formed at the bottom of the shallow sea about 360 million years
ago (Middle Devonian). The formation of the cave took place in
several stages, mainly at the end of the Tertiary and in the
About 50,000 years ago the cave was inhabited by a Neanderthal man. Flint tools found in different layers of cave sediments indicate that the cave is inhabited by Neanderthals twice, representing the Mustier culture. It is one of the northernmost positions of this culture in Europe. No human remains were found in the cave settlements, but the presence of teeth and bones of large mammals, such as cave and brown bear, mammoth, cave hyena, woolly rhinoceros, musk ox, bison, reindeer, horse, polar fox were found. Numerous remains of small vertebrates, mainly rodents, were also found.
Over the last thousands of years, the entrance to the cave has been completely filled up (which probably protected the cave's stalactite).
For modern people it was discovered in 1963 during the extraction of stone for construction purposes on the slope of the Malik hill. Teenagers from nearby Sitówka got inside through the crack, which caused a number of damage to the formations. After that, the entrance to the cave was filled in to avoid accidents. In 1964, during the summer field practice, four students of the Geological Technical School from Kraków (Bohdan Bałdun, Zbigniew Bochajewski, Włodzimierz Łucki and Wojciech Pucek) entered the cave. A few days later they returned there with their teacher Mirosław Boczarowa. Each time the entrance to the cave was masked to prevent its devastation. The discoverers informed Ryszard Gradziński of the Speleological Section of the Polish Society of Naturalists about the discovery of the cave. Nicolaus Copernicus. Because of the unusual natural values and in contrast with the existing caves called Hell, it was named by the discoverers of Paradise. In October 1964, the students, together with the teacher and R. Gradziński, again explored the cave, and then the first photographic documentation and plan of the cave were carried out.
After visiting the cave in January 1965 by members of the board of the Speleological Section, it was notified to the State Council for Nature Conservation and the Provincial Nature Conservator. In issue 3 of "Przegląd Geologiczny" an article by Mirosława Boczarowa appeared. The discovery of a new cave in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. After the information about the exact location of the cave appeared in the Kielce press, uncontrolled sightseeing and further damage occurred. At that time, the Świętokrzyski Institute of the Geological Institute ordered closing the entrance slot with a grate. In 1966, the decision was made to make the cave available for organized tourist traffic. A lot of mining work was done to secure and make the cave accessible to visitors. In the place of the former entrance, an adit was built leading to the cave and protecting the microclimate inside. Sidewalks and ventilation shaft were made. On October 5, 1968, the cave was declared a nature reserve.
In the years 1967–1972, during mining, construction and installation works leading to the preparation of the object for visitors, archaeological, paleontological and geological research was also carried out (including dripstone).
Since 1972, the cave is open to the public.