Date updated: 04/26/2023
Belianska jaskyňa (cave) is the only cave open to the public in the High Tatras and it has a fascinating history.
History of Belianska Cave
The cave was formed over millions of years. The origins of the cave can be traced back to the formation of the Vysoké Tatry mountains themselves. The region was once covered by a large plateau called Kobylí vrch that was slowly disintegrating due to the movement of tectonic plates. As the land began to shift and change, water began to seep into cracks and crevices in the limestone rock, slowly eroding it and creating small cavities.
Over time, these small cavities became larger and larger as more and more water seeped through them, creating a vast network of underground tunnels and caves. The process of cave formation was further accelerated by the slow but constant pressure of the flowing water, which contributed to the erosion of the rock and the formation of large spaces.
As the landscape continued to change, so did the cave system. During the Quaternary Ice Age, the region experienced several periods of glaciation, resulting in significant changes to the landscape. However, the caves themselves were hardly affected by the glaciers and their unique features and structures remained intact.
It is known that people have been using Belianska jaskyňa as a dwelling place since prehistoric times. However, the first official exploration of the cave began only in 1881, thanks to gold prospectors Johan Britz and Julius Husz, who were working in the mountains. The cave was opened to tourists in 1882. In 1896, Belianska Cave became the second illuminated cave in Slovakia after Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa and became even more accessible to tourists.
Today the Belianska jaskyňa (cave) is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse of the fascinating geology and natural history of the High Tatras Mountains (Vysoké Tatry). It is a testament to the power of water and the incredible transformation that can take place over millions of years.
The way to the cave
The road leading to the Belianska cave begins in the village of Tatranská Kotlina. To get to the entrance of the cave, you have to hike about 1,000 metres, with an altitude difference of 122 metres. The ascent takes about 25 minutes.
This forest path is not just a path to a cave, but is also a beautiful nature trail in itself. A variety of vegetation, springs, streams and wildlife can be seen around the trail. In spring, you can find many flowers and enjoy their scent, and in autumn you can admire the beautiful autumn leaves.
The trail is designed for visitors of all ages and fitness levels and can be the perfect place for a nature holiday. Climbing the trail provides an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding nature and the delightful scenery that opens up on the way to Belianska Cave.
The entrance to the cave is 890 metres above sea level. The Belianska cave is 3,829 metres long and has an elevation difference of 168 metres, but only a section of 1,370 metres is accessible to tourists. The tour takes about 70 minutes. The route requires climbing 874 stairs. The cave is open to tourists all year round, except January 1 and Mondays.
During a tour of the cave, tourists can enjoy the magnificent shapes and sizes of the underground rock formations, dripstones, stalactites and stalagmites that leave an indelible impression. The temperature in the cave is around 6 degrees Celsius throughout the year, so tourists are advised to dress warmly.
The cave tour goes through several rooms: the Entrance Hall (Vstupná dvorana), the High Grotto (Vysoký dóm), the Palm Hall (Palmová sieň), the Robbers' Hall (Zbojnícka komora), the Great Grotto (Veľký dóm) and the Music Hall (Hudobná sieň).
The therapeutic effects of Belianska Cave
Belianska Cave is also known for its therapeutic properties, thanks to the special microclimatic environment inside the cave. This unique atmosphere can help treat many illnesses, including respiratory diseases and allergies.
Inside the cave there are numerous crystals and minerals that create a special microclimatic environment rich in negative ions. These ions help to reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, which can lead to relief of symptoms of bronchial asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions.
For example, Sanatórium Tatranská Kotlina offers a procedure called speleotherapy, which includes breathing exercises inside a cave.
A visit to Belianska Cave is an unforgettable journey into the underground world, where tourists can enjoy the beauty of underground formations and feel the power and majesty of nature.