The Slovak Karst (Slovak: Slovenský kras) is one of the mountain ranges of the Slovenské rudohorie Mountains in the Carpathians in southern Slovakia. It consists of a complex of huge karst plains and plateaus. Since 1973 it was a protected landscape area. On 1 March 2002 Slovak Karst National Park was declared. It is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and part of it forms UNESCO World Heritage site Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst.The highest peak is Jelení vrch at 947 m AMSL. Important rivers are the Slaná (Sajó), the Štítnik and the Turňa. The Slovak Karst lies in the north temperate zone and has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. The area is composed of several layers of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, beneath which there is non-permeable sandstone, limestone and slate. The plains are covered by oak-hornbeam forests, the hills by oak forests and the karst pits by spruce forests. Beech forests are in the northern parts.The plains (plateaus) have many karst formations, such as karst pits with diameters of up to 250 m and depths of about 45 m, conical hills, blind and half-blind valley and dales. The subterranean karst is known for its deep vertical abysses, such as:
Čertova diera (literally Devil's Hole; depth: 186 m)
Brázda (181 m)
Malá železná priepasť (Little Iron Abyss; 142 m)
Diviačia priepasť (Boar Abyss; 122 m)
Some of the abysses are collapsed, especially the Silická ľadnica (Silica Ice Abyss; 110 m)
The region is best known for its many caves, out of which the Domica Cave, Ochtinská Aragonite Cave (Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyňa), Gombasek Cave (Gombasecká jaskyňa) and Jasovská Cave (Jasovská jaskyňa) are open to the public. Other noteworthy caves are Krásnohorská Cave (Krásnohorská jaskyňa) and Hrušovská Cave (Hrušovská jaskyňa).
The region also includes karst lakes. The largest lake is Jašteričie jazero (literally Lizard Lake), "Gyükerréti-tó" in hungarian.
The Slovak Karst also features rare plants, for example:
Erythronium dens-canis (a Tertiary relict)
Onosma tornensis (endemic)
Sesleria heufleriana (endemic)
Dianthus lumnitzerii (endemic)
and rare animals, for example:
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
Slovak Paradise (Slovak: Slovenský raj) is a mountain range in central Slovakia. It is a part of the Spiš-Gemer Karst, which in turn is a part of the Slovenské rudohorie Mountains, a major subdivision of the Western Carpathians. It is located between the towns of Spišská Nová Ves in the north and Dobšiná in the south. It is particularly known for its gorges and waterfalls.
The area is protected by the Slovak Paradise National Park (Národný park Slovenský raj).
The Slovak Paradise is a plain with high plateaus (800 - 1000 m AMSL). The highest mountain is Ondrejisko at 1,270 m. The area is mainly built of karst limestone (Geravy, Glac, Pelc and Skala plains) and dolomite (Tri kopce). The climate is moderately cold.
Typical features are canyons and ravines (Sokol, Suchá, Belá, Piecky and Kysel), which form picturesque rocky scenes with waterfalls, and which were created mainly by the rivers Hnilec and Hornád. 80% of the area is covered with spruce forests combined with yew-trees.
Among the caves, Dobšinská ladová jaskyna (Dobšinská Ice Cave) and Medvedia jaskyna (Bear Cave) are the best known ones. There were many settlements of woodcutters, colliers and smelters in Slovenský raj once, which were turned into tourist centers, for example Dobšinská Maša, Dedinky, Mlynky, Stratená. Notable and rare animals include the brown bear, Golden Eagle, Common Kestrel and the black stork. Quite common are red deer and wild boars. Important Slovak endemic plants in the area are the Carpathian harebell (Campanula carpatica), Pulsatilla slavica, Hesperis silvestris, Liguria sibirica, and Saxifraga paniculate.
Domica is the biggest cave in the Slovak Karst in southern Slovakia, Rožnava District. It is a part of the cave complex that continues into the cave Baradla (Aggtelek) in Hungary. It was discovered in 1926 by Ján Majko. Since 1932, 1600 m out of the 5140 m are open to public. The cave is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1995 as a part of Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst site.www.domica.info
SILICKÁ LADNICA CAVE
It is one of the most important natural phenomena of the Silická Plateau in the Slovak Karst. It is located 2 km westerly from the Silica village. The entrance of this corrosive-collapse abyss is at elevation of 503 m. The lower mostly horizontal passages were formed by the underground stream of Cierny Brook. J. Majko entered the Archaeological Dome in 1931. The continuation of underground spaces along the Cierny Brook was discovered by Czech speleodivers in 1988. The cave is 1,100 m long and 110 m deep. It is formed in the Mesozoic Middle Triassic pale Wetterstein limestones of the Silica Nappe. The waters of the Cierny Brook flow into the Gombasecká Cave.
The upper abyss part of the cave is permanently filled with ice. Breaking down the connection with lower parts formed a close depressive space with cumulation of cold air and formation of ice. It is the lowest lying classical ice cave up to the 50° of the northern latitude temperate climatic zone.
The Greater Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis myotis) and Lesser Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) stay in the cave during winter, sporadically with rare Natterer’s Bat (Myotis nattereri). The phenomenon of biological inversion can be studied here. Invertebrates are represented by several rare endemic forms of troglophilic species of beetles like Duvalius bokori and Duvalius hungaricus, which can be found only on the Silická Plateau in the Slovak Karst. Multipede Hylebainosoma tatranum is the Western Carpathian endemic species. The harvestman Ischyropsalis manicata can be found on cave walls.
The cave had been several times settled before the glaciation. Archaeological findings are dated from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Laten Age. Possible is also young Paleolithic settlement. The drawing of J. Buchholtz is from 1719. The cave is mentioned in 1744 thanks to M. Bel.
A marked tourist trail leads to the cave. Fenced terrace gives visitors a view of the cold cave bowels. Movement behind fence and away from the trail is forbidden and dangerous.
DOBŠINSKÁ ICE CAVE
Dobšinská Ice Cave or Dobšinská ladová jaskyna (in Slovak) is an ice cave in Slovakia, close to the mining town of Dobšiná, in the Slovak Paradise. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list as a part of Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst site. It lies 130 m above the Hnilec River, and the entrance is at an altitude of 970 m.
The cave was discovered in 1870 by a royal mining engineer Eugen Ruffinyi, though the entrance was known from time immemorial as Studená diera (Cold Hole). The cave was open to the public just one year after its discovery. And in 1887, it was the first electrically lit cave in Europe.
The cave slowly descends from the entrance and with the northern orientation it cools off cave's interior in winter, as the cold air falls down. In the summer, the warm air cannot fall down to the cave. Thus the annual temperature average stays around 0°C. The cave iced up, as this cycle repeated for many centuries.
The total length of the cave is 1,483 m (some sources claim 1,232 m, of which 515 m are open to the public from May to September.
Jasovská Cave (Slovak: Jasovská jaskyna, and Hungarian: Jászói barlang) is a stalactite cave in the Slovak Karst in Slovakia. It is located near the village of Jasov, around 25 km from Košice.The cave was partly opened for the public in 1846, making it the oldest publicly accessible cave in Slovakia. The lower parts of the cave were discovered in 1922 to 1924 and a concrete footpath was built and electrical lightning was installed in 1924. 852 metres out of 2148 m are open to the public.Many archaeological discoveries, especially from the Paleolithic, Neolith and Hallstatt periods, have been made in the cave. Along with other caves of the Slovak Karst, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list as a part of the Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst site.
OCHTINSKÁ ARAGONITE CAVE
Ochtinská Aragonite Cave (Slovak: Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyna, Hungarian: Ochtinai-aragonitbarlang is a unique aragonite cave situated in southern Slovakia, near Rožnava. Although only 300 m long, it is famous for its rare aragonite filling. There are only three aragonite caves discovered in the world so far. In the so-called Milky Way Hall, the main attraction of the cave, white branches and clusters of aragonite shine like stars in the Milky Way. The cave was discovered in 1954 by chance and opened to the public in 1972. Along with other caves of the Slovak Karst, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list as a component of Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst site.
Gombasek Cave or Gombasecká jaskyna (in Slovak) and Gombaszögi-barlang (in Hungarian) is a stalactite and stalagmite cave in the Slovak Karst, Slovakia. It is named after the settlement of Gombasek, which belongs to the village of Slavec. It is located in the Slovak Karst National Park, in the Slaná river valley, approximately 15 km south of Rožnava. The cave was discovered on 21 November 1951 by volunteer cavers. In 1955, 300 m out of 1,525 m were opened to the public. Currently, the route for visitors is 530 m long and takes about 30 minutes.The cave is also used for "speleotherapy" as a sanatorium, focused on airway diseases. Since 1995, the Gombasek Cave is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list as a part of Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst.
We would like to invite you to a visit of the Krásnohorská Cave, a unique karst formation, which is registered in The World Heritage List (UNESCO). A tour through the cave is accessible for visitors by a built up tourist route and it is not lit. You can enter it only with a guide as a small group equipped with caving suites, helmets and headlights.
The route leads to the Dripstone of Rožnava Cavers – the giant column 32.6 m high. Currently, it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest sinter column in the world. Although several higher columns were already found, it is a monumental nature creation rare in caves in temperate climate zone. You will pass 450 m long route built up by using wooden footbridges lying above an underground stream, which flows through the main cave passage. Besides, you will climb several ladders and cross two rope traverses hanging above lakes. It is not difficult and visitors enjoy it very much.
The route is suitable almost for every healthy person. Visitors from 6 to 76 years old have already passed it. Children under 15 can enter the cave only accompanied with parents. As the route is characteristic by a broken terrain it’s good to have hiking shoes. If you do not have suitable shoes we can borrow you gum boots for 20,- Slovak crowns (Sk). Visitors meet the guide in the office (see the map below) by the guest-house Jozefína in Krásnohorská Dlhá Lúka village. After registration and getting necessary equipment a group walks about 1 km to the cave entrance. The visit lasts approx. 2 and 1/2 hours. During high season (15.6. – 15.9.), visiting times are at 9 a.m., 11,30 a.m. and 2 p.m. During other months, it is necessary to book the visit by phone or via e-mail. Due to high interest we recommend to book your visit during summer, too. www.krasnohorskajaskyna.sk
Muránska planina National Park (Slovak: Národný park Muránska planina) is one of the youngest national parks in Slovakia. It is situated in Central Slovakia, in the districts of Brezno and Revúca, in the Banská Bystrica Region. It protects the area of Muránska planina (Murán Plateau), which is geologically part of the Slovenské rudohorie mountain range.
The National Park covers a total area of 203.18 km˛ (78.45 mi˛), and its buffer zone covers 216.98 km˛ (83.78 mi˛). The core of the park consists of the limestone and dolomite plateau with karst formations. The overall length of karst landscape from the settlement of Cervená Skala (part of Šumiac) to the town of Tisovec is about 25 km.There are more than 150 notable caves, which are inaccessible to the public. The highest point is Fabova hola at 1,439 m AMSL, however, a higher peak, Stolica at 1,476 m is located in the buffer zone.Flora in the National Park is notable for its biodiversity and species richness and includes 35 endemic and sub-endemic species, for example, Daphne arbuscula. Forests cover about 90% of the area.
Tourist attractions include 300 km of marked hiking trails and two educational trails. The best access to the park is through the surrounding villages and settlements, for example Murán and Závadka nad Hronom.
Zádiel is a village and municipality in Košice-okolie District in the Kosice Region of eastern Slovakia. In historical records the village was first mentioned in 1317. The village lies at an elevation of 245 metres and covers an area of 3.516 km˛. It has a population of about 200 people.