Location: Unguru Mare Cave is located in the magnificent meander of Crişul Repede River, in a small sector of the gorge, about 250 meters upstream from the confluence of Misid Valley with Crisul Repede.
GPS coordinates: 46 * 55’59.90″N and 22 * 32’51.50″ E
Length of the tourist route: 200 meters
Access: For car access, you have to follow the European road E60, right next to Topa de Criş. From here follow DC 173 to Vadu Crişului (about 1 km) and from there the county road DJ108I to Şuncuiuş (about 6 km). The access to the cave is made on the local road that branches from DJ 108I in front of the railway barrier at the entrance in the village of Balnaca, from Şuncuiuş, on the left bank of Crişului Repede River.
The Unguru Mare Cave impresses through the grandeur of the underground space and the historical load of the vestiges discovered here, the cave being inhabited since the Neolithic Age. The cave was first mentioned in 1921 by E. Bokor.
Specialist literature says that Unguru Mare Cave represents the lower level of karstification of a large endo karstic system, whose upper level is given by the Cave of Hodoabă, which is above the last sector of the Ungurul Mare Cave. Due to its microclimate, the cave is the shelter of numerous species of bats that gather in hibernation colonies during winter.
The entrance has the shape of a large arcade, 32 meters high and 22 meters wide.
On the entrance part, the underground space is represented by a vast gallery, with an approximately linear route, the floor is almost horizontal. On the floor, a milky stream of water makes its way. Its main feature is the whitish colour, given by the presence of a rare mineral, called Krisit, after the Latin name of the Crişul Repede River. The mineral compounds that make it up originate in the acidic waters from the old mining works in the region.
In this cave, traces of human dwelling have been discovered since the Neolithic period, which is linked to numerous discoveries of stone tools: carved blades, carved chisels of stone. Also, fragments of painted ceramic pots can be found there, as well as bone objects such as needles and sucks, probably used for sewing animal skins.
The most important discoveries belong to The Bronze Age. They were made in the last gallery, called the “Sacred Gallery”, where a necropolis dating back to this period was discovered. From here, the remains of human skeletons, pieces of ceramic pots, which could be completely reconstituted, pieces and bronze tools, were brought to light. The most important part is an amber bead, of Baltic origin, a rarity in this area, and which shows how developed the trade was at that time.
Children – 5 lei
Adults – 12 lei
Daily from 10.00-18.00. The cave is closed between November 1 and April 1 to protect bat populations that hibernate here.
Duration of the visit: approx. 30 minutes
CONTACT INFORMATION: Carmen Ungur, guide, tel. 0749303111 or Gardan Dorina, administrator, tel.0766470630
For more information, you can access the link.