Officially, the Vadu Crisului cave was discovered by Karl Handl, but the story is a little more complicated … At the beginning of 1903 Czárán Gyula made the first touristic route in the Crişul Repede defile. The route, eight kilometers long, was inaugurated on May 1, the same year. Praised by all those present at the event, Czárán, “the father of Bihor’s tourism,” said modestly: “Do not glorify me, gentlemen, rather glorify the nature that gave birth to these unparalleled beauties.”
On this occasion, Dr. Veress Istvan also remarks Czárán’s individual merits: “He was the one who laid the foundations for tourism in Vadu Crisului, we, the followers, we were only regular soldiers.” The first tourist route from Vadu Crisului was made in just a few days. The speaker remarked Czárán’s work and his team, plus “the refinement with which he designed the winding trail among the trees, the panoramic view, dangerous rocks, with balustrades and downs as in stories.” Veress Istvan said that “the father of Bihor’s tourism” was working and eating with his laborers, bread, and bacon. An intriguing detail, Czárán Gyula, always had the volumes of Homer, Petőfi and Byron, “from which he nourished his love for nature.”
It was Karl Handl who noticed that during the drought, the level of the stream that fed the Vadu Crisului Falls decreased much, revealing a small opening in the limestone rock, through which bats came in and out. Handl unloaded the hunting rifle he had at him in the darkness in front of him. There was a loud bang. The echo convinced all those present that there is a cave beyond this limestone threshold.
Finding all of this, Czárán Gyula returned to Vadu Crisului in November and, on the 10th, he dynamized the entrance wall. This opened the entrance of the cave, as we know it today, more than a century after its discovery. Czarán, Handl and their men stepped for the first time in the underground void “aware that no one before they could see the beauties they had before their eyes.” After a few more dimples, Czárán managed to steer the course of the underground river so that he could advance further into the cave. But a little further, the road was blocked by a lake. Later, at the initiative of Count Zichy, several boats were brought to the lake. Ladies and gentlemen, in elegant outfits, they made romantic walks in the torchlight.
After Czárán Gyula, the father of tourism by Egri Ferenc, Oradea, 2013