The Cave of Pagodas
The cave is situated on the western wall of Mount StogĹźoare, at 150 m relative altitude from the Cheia valley.
It was explored and mapped in 1976 by the members of the Speleology Circle â€śNiphargusâ€ť RĂ˘mnicu VĂ˘lcea.
The entrance is double, shaped as a crack sized 1x1 m. After a short descendant gallery, there is a narrow gallery, 18 m long, to the â€śStrait of the Lost Buttonsâ€ť, that widens afterwards (1-3 m large and 2-3 m height) and continues for another 100 m. The total height amplitude is 10 m and the cave is very rich in speleothems.
Although small, speleothems are very beautiful: conic stalactites and fistular stalagmites, fragile and coloured. On the floor, there are stalagmites â€świth a collarâ€ť, flooded at the basis, with a calcite stratum on water level.
The most beautiful are the â€śPagodasâ€ť, conic stalagmites in steps. There is a special clay deposit, partly lithified, covered in a thin shiny crust of calcite, gathered on the margins of the cracks, sign of the materialâ€™s most recent drying. The clay, extremely fine, goes back to a period when the infiltrations in the cave used to flow into a small lake, whose waters leaked out due to the cracks in the limestone. Proofs of the existence of the lake are the lines on the walls, that mark the levels of deposition of the calcite.
Visitors need a source of light, protection clothes and, due to the fact that galleries are small, no more than three persons at once should get in.