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Kungur Ice Cave : An Underground Wonderland

Located in the south-east of the Perm Krai (region) of Russia, the town of Kungur has a number of fascinating features which attract visitors from all over Russia, as well as beyond its borders. Kungur has some superb examples of historic architecture, some of which dates back to the 18th century, and the surrounding countryside is a nature-lover’s dream come true. One of the most remarkable natural wonders of Kungur is the Kungur Ice Cave, which is considered to be among the best caves systems found in Russia.

The Kungur Ice Cave is located on the right bank of the beautiful Sylva River. Although it is believed that only a relatively small portion of the cave system has been explored, the passages stretch for over 6,000 meters underground, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of this underground wonderland. Visitors have access to several dozen grottoes, the largest of which is called the Druzhba Grotto, meaning Friendship Grotto. This magnificent grotto was given this name in honor of the representatives of the International Geological Congress who explored the cave in 1937. Druzhba Grotto boasts a lake covering an area of more than 750 square meters.

Each of the more than 100 grottos is adorned with icicles of stalactites hanging down from the cave ceiling and columns of stalagmites rising up from the cave floor. Some of these have joined to form a complete column from floor to ceiling. There are many such formations, and no two are alike. Additionally limestone bearing water has, over millions of years, created an incredible variety of interesting shapes, some as delicate and intricate as a snow flake. There are more than 60 underground lakes in the cave system and twice a year, in spring and fall, the Kungur Ice Cave is closed to tourists because it is flooded with water from the Sylva River.

Caves are commonly found in the whole area of the Ural Mountains, but speleologists (scientists who study caves) agree that few compare to the awe-inspiring Kungur Ice Cave. If you travel to Russia and have the opportunity to do so, don’t miss out on exploring the magnificent Kungur Ice Cave.

 



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