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The Lepenitsa Cave – The Dionysian Cave

100 National Tourist Sites

The Lepenitsa cave is located in the territory of Rakitovo municipality, Pazardzhik district, under Mount Syutka. It is a three-story marble cave that is part of the Rhodope Karst, about 2 km long. It can be reached from the town of Rakitovo and from the town of Velingrad.

Those wishing to visit it by low-cost car or bus should choose Rakitovo as the starting point. The road passes through a forest checkpoint and continues for 11 km. along wonderful asphalt to the Removo villa area. From there, bus passengers continue on foot along a picturesque marked path, 1 km long, in about 20 minutes, to the entrance of the cave. Those traveling by car continue from Removo for another 3 km. on the asphalt and 3 km. on a macadam (gravel) road to the entrance of the cave.

The departure point from Velingrad is Kleptuza in Chepino district in the direction of the village of Sarnitsa. After about 10 km. the asphalt ends and a macadam (gravel) road with a length of a little more than 2 km begins. Travelers with a jeep can easily reach the entrance of the cave, and those with a low car can leave the car at the end of the asphalt and walk about 2200 m.

The Lepenitsa cave, also called the Dionysian cave, is a horizontal cave. Since 1962, it has been declared a “natural landmark”, but since 2010, visitors are allowed up to 600 m on the second dry floor. The cave is not landscaped, but only secured, which is why it can only be entered with equipment (boots, helmet, helmet) and a guide. Entry is for small groups of up to 10 people.

Due to safety requirements, visitors with musculoskeletal problems or other specific diseases and children under 7 years old are not allowed to enter.

The visitor to Lepenica feels like a real caveman. He sees, feels, experiences almost the same as visitors to the cave saw more than 80 years ago, when it was first opened to visitors in 1931. The only difference is in the lighting – then gas and acetylene (mining) lamps, and now battery-powered headlamps. The experience of touching the wild, authentic beauty of the underworld brings not only knowledge but also unforgettable experiences. The impressive variety of cave formations, enhanced by everyone’s individual imagination, by overcoming natural obstacles along the route, make visitors forget about time.

Almost everyone who visited Lepenica, especially children, forever became friends of the caves and lovers of the underground world. One cannot forget the majesty of the underground river, the hall with the starry sky, the variety of tiger skin, the crocodile, the waterfalls, the icon with the Virgin, the hall with the newlyweds, the leaning tower of Pisa, the stalactton with the slit, the fireplace, the singing draperies, the sound of the chamber hall , the hall with the guards, the lakes… In the end, the visitor is left speechless or gets an emotional charge to talk endlessly and return again and again to this incredible new world.

The Lepenica cave is a habitat for 24 species of organisms, of which 18 species are troglophiles and 6 species are troglobionts. Among troglophiles, bats are the most interesting. Three of the troglobiotes (Bures’s beetle, Drenski’s spider and the “Lepenitsa” centipede) are unique – they are found only in this cave from all over the world.

To protect biodiversity, visitors follow a specific route.

The Lepenitsa cave will appear in 100-NTO under number 55 A, but for the moment all stamps placed on the last page as amateur will be considered as a visited site.

Work time:
The cave is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from April 1 to November 30.

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