The Bear Cave is located on the outskirts of a little village – Chişcău, in the Apuseni Mountains, at an altitude of 482 metres, circa halfway between Hunedoara and Oradea. Driving from the direction of Oradea we are taking the road DN-76 (Oradea-Deva). We are passing by Beiuş and Drăgăneşti, and at the 86th kilometre of the road, in a little village Sudrigiu we are turning left into a local road leading to the cave. Driving from the direction of Hunedoara, on the other hand, we are heading north in order to enter the same road number 76. In this case we should drive through Vaşcău, Ştei and Rieni and certainly turn right in Sudrigiu.
The Bear Cave is considered to be among the most beautiful ones in Romania. Its age is estimated to be 50 thousand years. It was discovered as late as in 1975 by marble mine workers and it was named a Bear Cave since fossils of exactly these animals for which the cave was a shelter circa 15 thousand years ago, were found here. After reaching an old age, the bears used to retreat, gathering in one place in order to finish their lives where their ‘forebears’ did. This is why a great number of skeletons remained unspoiled. Besides, fossils of one of such bears can be seen during the tour inside.
On 20 September, 1975, the first amateur speleologists’ group climbed down into the cave. Five years later, on 14 July, 1980, the cave was made available to the public. It attracts more than 200 thousand tourists a year!
Without any doubt the numberless stalactite and stalagmite formations, which one can admire while walking along a marked route and on additionally built wooden platforms, are the main attraction of the cave. The cave is 1500 metres long, but it has not been made available to tourists along the entire length. Each place is perfectly illuminated and everything is well organised; a tour takes circa 45 minutes. During hot summer days the temperature inside the cave reaching 10°C is an additional attraction, so it is advisable to take some warm clothes just in case.
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