The Bats’ Cave (Pestera Liliecilor)

While countries have numerous buildings of great architectural value which are regarded as tourist attractions, it is also important to keep in mind that there are other attractions besides those created by the human hand. Nature has an impressive repertoire of monuments of its own. Whether we are talking about mountainous regions or the seaside, about cascades, lakes or caves, tourists who want to explore the natural environment have quite a few options to choose from.

The Bats’ Cave is one such tourist attraction. A protected speleological reservation, the cave is situated in Brasov District.

There are different names attached to this grotto: The Big Cave, Badichii Cave or Bats’ Cave, but probably the latter one is the most widespread name used in reference to this specific cavern.

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There are several documents, dating from centuries ago, in which there are references to the Bats’ Cave, but the first archeological digging occurred closer to our days, more precisely in the second part of the 20th century (1957-1958). The name given to the cave comes from the colony of bats that dwells inside its walls – colony which has been extensively studied by researchers from the Speleological Institute in Bucharest. The cave was formed as a result of the erosion of the calcareous mountain, conducted by one of the streams of the Valea cu Cale River.

The cave, which extends over 4.80 ha, is located on the Bran Platform, at a 950 m altitude and it is modeled by calcareous rocks belonging to the Jurassic Era. The cave reaches 162 m in length and consists of several rooms which have diversely colored ceilings and where one can encounter calcareous formations (which are known as ‘tears of the earth’).

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The Bats’ Cave is warm, the temperature being perfect (not too low and not too high), with a moderate humidity level, and it has a small muddy stream flowing through it. It is not required to have special equipment when visiting the cave, as a flashlight will do. However, it is advisable to have some sort of protection equipment in order to avoid getting dirty due to the clay or the traces of guano found inside the cave.

It is debatable whether or not visitations should be allowed inside the Bats’ Cave. The majority seems to be against this idea because of the importance of the speleological site. There are endangered species of bats living here and humans, who do not have a clear knowledge of their way of life, could destroy (even if unwillingly) the bats’ natural habitat. That is why there are so many who voice their belief that the cave should only be opened for research purposes, conducted by specially trained individuals. But for now, tourists are granted access within the Bats’ Cave.

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Access in the cave is done through a small passageway, after which you will reach a small grotto which continues with a 15 m long corridor. Upon entering, you can notice the inscriptions made on the walls of the cave by those who had been there before. This goes to show that there are some who do not know how important it is to protect the beautiful natural monuments nature has endowed us with. And this also stands as evidence that maybe it is a good idea to forbid anyone (expect speleologists) from entering the Bats’ Cave.