Athos cave

One of the amazing wonders that are so generous nature Abkhazia - known worldwide Athos Cave. Millions of years it hid its secrets in the depths of the Iberian mountains and recently opened, just half a century ago - in 1961. And in 1975 on an artificial tunnel, carried out to the cave, I took the first train "underground cave" with tourists.

Athos cave

The area in front of the administrative building. In the distance you can see the New Athos Monastery

Athos cave

Athos Cave - a huge karst cavity volume of about 1 million cubic meters. m., which competes in size with the most eminent world dungeons. For many hundreds of meters stretch huge halls and meanders curly fancy gallery.

A little history

It has long attracted the attention of local residents a big failure on the side of the Iberian mountains. A huge pit, the steep walls of which were lost in the darkness, was called bottomless pits. Long was the brave who dared to descend into its black mouth. The first attempt was made by a resident of New Athos Givi Smir. In 1961, a special expedition was organized to study the mysterious bottomless pits.

Overcoming all obstacles mysterious failure, adventurers descended to the bottom. In one of the small holes I feel a strong air draft, and cavers alternately squeezed ahead. The darkness swallowed the light of lanterns, spoke about the tremendous, unprecedented even under the volume of the Earth. So the mystery of the Bottomless pit was uncovered and openly under the ground is a miracle - New Athos Cave.

Just as much as 11 cave rooms, although not all the tourists to see - almost half of them are closed to visitors. The tour route includes halls Anakopiya, caving, Narta, Deer corallite gallery Aphertsa, gallery and hall Ayuhaa Apsny. Here amazing acoustics - In the hall of Moscow time music concerts are held from time to time. Geliktitovy hall is used for scientific purposes. plan of the cave:

Athos cave

Railway in New Athos cave is open July 4, 1975. Designed to deliver tourists to the cave inside Apsarskoy (the Iberian) mountains during the holiday season (May to November). It has a length of 3.1 km and 3 stations: "Entrance gate", "Hall Apsny" and "Hall Anakopiya".

Suitable train "Tourist", in the subway, but a small, up to 90 people. All sit. It begins a journey to the underworld:

Athos cave

In the steel door closed tour group - and you find yourself in a hall "Abkhazia". The lights, the voices of tourists subside. Stretch long seconds of silence. Before you open the huge size of the cavity, an immense, no matter what do not like the underworld: no sound, no movement, no gust of wind.

"Apsny" Hall not cave glittering festive decoration, but it is beautiful in its own way. Here, the cave looks like a calm, full of grandeur of the mighty giant, steeped in thousand-year sleep. Simple and pale paint room - coarse gray limestone, brown clay:

Athos cave

All viewing platforms are equipped with control panels not numerous lighting and microphones. Well here is the first inspection point with views of the lake Anakopiya. The lake - 1000 square meters, depth - 26 m, water temperature - 10 degrees Celsius. By the way, before the opening of the cave and its arrangement, the level of the lake was much higher - on the border of brown and gray, that is, all viewing the Zali were under water. However, especially for tourists "at the bottom" of the hall dug drainage gallery, which also can be seen far below.

Athos cave

Nearby is the second lake, is essentially a continuation of the first. This blue lake of 1,250 square meters. The lake - it's not sand, and clay. The only natural input to which originally entered the cavity, can be seen here, in the ceiling of the hall "Anakopiya". On this output surface adjacent to the village Escher, a deep dip:

Athos cave

wandering formations "human skull":

Athos cave

The largest room New Athos Cave - Hall Speleologists. Its length - 260 meters, height - 50 meters, width - 75 meters. All this makes this hall the third largest in Abkhazia:

Athos cave

It was not easy to build a track excursion. Get on the bottom of the room - hence jeopardize the periodic flooding. Conduct its cornice on the steep west wall - then rely on dubious strength pitted karst processes limestone cliffs. third way has been found. Above the cave harsh ravines, to a height of 18 meters soared overpass 120 meters length:

Athos cave

Water is now no one can see the bottom of the underground lake:

Athos cave

The path to the side of the hall Narta:

Athos cave

Hall of caving and 120-meter underground overpass:

Athos cave

Hall of Narta. Huge stone bag covered powerful clay layers. At the lowest point of the room, at around 36 meters above sea level, lies the third and last "living" cave lake. The slightly turbid water of the lake clay particles cozy feel colony translucent crustaceans, the largest of which grow up to two centimeters in length:

Athos cave Athos cave

Deer Grotto lower ends, spartan simple, harsh part of the New Athos cave:

Athos cave

The course increases, and now from all sides you are surrounded by unusual colored stone cave. It seems that the cave was brighter: the walls have moved, changed the color: a view no longer falls into the dark void, and all the stops more and more often on some underground outlandish. That's a whole colony of orange stalagmites, are arranged on the talus of the wall. Korralitovaya gallery:

Athos cave

This is a powerful underground gorge, as if cut through the mountains in the interior of a giant sword blow, stretches from north to south for more than a hundred meters. Sheer ten-meter height of the wall, a flat horizontal ceiling, uneven, littered with boulders floor again give the impression of a severe simplicity and rigor. Hall Ayuhaa:

Athos cave

along a dark yellow walls Ayuhaa hall along its length stretched at different levels almost black horizontal stripes. Coming closer, it is easy to see that each such band - a hole in the rock, filled with clay particles. A thin metal rod immersed in the clay to its full length. Such cracks in the limestone are separated older - the lower layers of limestone - from younger - upper. But those and others have formed hundreds of millions of years ago. Once there was a raging river channel. Hall Ayuhaa:

Athos cave

Do not devoid of harsh Hall Ayuhaa and jewelry, the most attractive of them - stocky stalagmites. They consist of a translucent, orange and red calcite. They are hundreds of these neat smooth gnomes, they lined the walls, ran down the slopes, nestled close to the sightseeing track - accompany you to the musical hall Iberia. Hall Ayuhaa:

Athos cave

stalagmite in the Hall Ayuhaa:

Athos cave

Hall of Iberia and the canyon in the side of the hall Anakopiya:

Athos cave

Canyon in the side of the hall Anakopiya:

Athos cave

Fantastic sinter:

Athos cave

To the right of the trail - 3-meter stalagmite "Patriarch":

Athos cave

A few more steps - and you find yourself in at the white stone palace - Hall Anakopiya! Sloping floor of yellowish, light gray and white limestone cave wide cascades falls to the east and surrounded by walls hung with calcite draperies. These amazing "curtains", once and for all in a smooth curving folds formed from the countless drops of water running down the walls. On the ceiling of the hall grows a forest - only the tip down - a wide variety of stalactites.

Entrance to the hall Anakopiya:

Athos cave

But "out of competition" very unusual cave "waterfall" in the hall Anakopiya, which does not happen on the earth's surface. A hole in the high sheer wall with tridtsatimetrovoy height falls in a huge hall, forever frozen stone shaft. His heavy "jet", almost tearing the huge drop rush to land and stop, without reaching it what some two meters. But on a smooth, slightly wavy surface of calcite waterfall flowing water is very real. It breaks down and a stage, breaking of the stones streams flows from the bath in the tub, rushes through the slits and crack down. Hall Anakopiya:

Athos cave

Beautiful stone extravaganza of the most beautiful in the New Athos cave hall Anakopiya. But it is the most "wet" room - the relative humidity is always the maximum - 100 percent. The fact that the course of the caves in this area crosses a small but permanent underground watercourse. Moisture seeping from cracks ceiling drips on the walls, the mist standing in the air. The presence of calcium carbonate saturated water and created a remarkable abundance of sinter formations. Stone waterfall:

Athos cave

Artfully lit by colored lights hall Anakopiya appears before you a magnificent main hall of the underground dwellings of good mountain spirits. In this storehouse of natural beauty and generosity can make a photo as a souvenir. Here ends the guided tour, but do not end with the wonders of the New Athos cave.

Stone waterfall:

Athos cave

Exit from the cave:

Athos cave

Exit the New Athos cave to the station "Hall Anakopiya":

Athos cave

The area in front of the administrative building. In the distance you can see the New Athos Monastery

Athos cave

An office building:

Athos cave

The New Athos Monastery

Athos cave