Speleology

spaleology in macedonia

When the English writer John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was wri ting his complex fantasy story “Lord of the Rings” in the remote 1937, he couldn’t imagine that the system of caves behind Deeping Wall in the Helm’s Deep valley really existed somewhere on the Earth. Cave Pesna with its system of 10 km long corridors where the reflection of light, when illuminated, and colors exploding in front of your eyes bring a total new dimension of existence, an existence which can be only paralleled by the magic world of the “Lord of the Rings”. You will be fascinated by the cave’s 30 meters high entrance, considered to be Europe’s largest, and furthermore by the clear white waters of the subterranean River Pesna. The explorations have shown that River Pesna is in fact River Krapska which sinks in forming several small lakes and waterfalls in the largest, but insufficiently explored, cave system in Macedonia. There are numerous caves in the region, but so far, only a few of them meet the standards of safe speleology but still the ones which are active will give you the miracle of feeling the womb of Mother Earth. Among all the caves, one particular cave attracts a special attention, the Gipsum mine-cave, near the city of Debar. The glittering scenery of giant crystals enchants everyone’s heart and can be seen in no other place on the continent. The cave-mine is located in the arms of the mountain Deshad and knows all its secrets. The mine itself dates back to the Roman period. These days it is not used to exploit gypsum anymore, but its future is to be used as a tourist attraction. The “Wizards Wall” cave-mine, as we like to call it is five hundred and twenty meters long and at times up to thirty meters wide. Its dept varies between ninety and two hundred meters under the ground. It has three forms of crystallized gypsum, alabaster and selenite crystal and anhibrit or Marienglass – Virgin glass. The purity of the gypsum crystals, according to the crystal purity scale is four nines (99,99). Thermal waters which are present in the cave contribute to the purity of the crystals, and the only cave which can be compared, concerning the quality and translucency of the crystals is to be found in Mexicos Chihuahuan Desert. There are number of caves, trapped under the ground for hundreds of thousands of years, waiting to be “discovered” in their mystical, extraordinary beauty and authenticity is declared a monument of nature. The state makes all the efforts to declare it a world natural heritage site, under the protection of UNESCO.