Piatra Altarului (Altar’s Stone Cave)

Piatra Altarului  (Altar’s Stone Cave)
Platoul Padis

Geomorphological elements

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Sometimes you see in certain movies scenes various caves in which the hero carries out his action and you ask yourself: “Do this kind of places even exist in reality and if not, where did the people who worked on the film get the inspiration to create them?”.


This only demonstrates how little we know about our country, because much more beautiful places than those created on the film sets are right here under our noses.


The Altar Stone Cave, discovered only a little over 25 years ago, is the hidden treasure of Bihor Mountains, located on Padis Plateau.


The Altar Stone Cave is divided into four impressive rooms, one more beautiful than the other. In one of the halls, called the Palace, which has a height of not less than 30 meters, the limestone has formed a true natural cathedral which you can hardly believe it was not built by man, with columns all around, guarding it.


In another gallery, the Paradise, a river such as the milk flows smoothly from one of the limestone walls.


If you can hardly believe what you have read so far, wait to see what another part of the cave hides – the Geode Hall. Underneath the water, clearer than crystal, calcite flowers can be seen, so beautiful that even the most skilled jeweller could not create. This makes the Altar Stone Cave a true natural wonder worldwide, as the phenomenon is rarely met in the world.


The fourth room is called the Bears Altar, due to the numerous skeletons of the cave bears, which apparently were master of the cave during the last glacial period.


The cave is so special that many renowned speleologists say it is among the three most beautiful caves in Europe, even photographs capturing the interior of the cave were exposed at the UN headquarters in New York. Moreover, images with this speleological jewel can be seen in many famous documentaries.


The Altar Cave is not properly arranged, but it can be visited by tourists, being included in the A category natural reserves. If, however, you obtain approval from the Polytechnic Speleology Club of Cluj and from the Romanian Academy, you can step into this magical universe only accompanied by one of the four guides who are in charge with the cave.

Images from Piatra Altarului (Altar’s Stone Cave)

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