Temnata Dupka cave
The Temnata Dupka (Dark Hole) is one of the longest caves in Bulgaria. It is located about 52 kilometers north of Sofia city. It is situated in a rock crown over Lakatnik train station, 27 meters above the level of the Iskar river. It was declared a natural landmark by Order No 2810 of 10 October 1962.
Temnata Dupka is one of the first explored and mapped caves. The exploration and the development of accurate maps continue to the present day. The cave is a system of 2 main connected galleries. It is a complicated labyrinth of entrances, galleries, waterfalls, rapids, drains, underground rivers and lakes.
The fauna of Temnata Dupka is well researched and very rich. 17 troglobits live in it (creatures, which adapted to life without light) – water snails, lower crustaceans and beetles.
Temnata Dupka is not adapted for tourists. Due to its labyrinth nature, it should be visited with an experienced guide and with the required equipment.
The entrance of the cave is situated in the beautiful Lakatnik caves, which are also a natural landmark. At some places, they reach up to 250 meters. Over the time, water and wind have carved bizarre and beautiful shapes in the soft limestone. Some of them look like towers, pinnacles, pyramids, etc. A well-developed path with railings and recreation areas leads to the cliffs. It starts from Zhitolyub spring, neat Lakatnik railway station. It leads to Alpiyska Polyana (Alpine meadow), which is a favorite spot for mountaineers and climbers. There are turnovers for the caves Temnata Dupka and Zidanka from the lane. Shelter and recreational facilities were built at the alpine meadow. By a wide lane from the right visitors can reach the Black wall, where the alpine shelter Orlovo Gnezdo (Eagle nest) was constructed in the upper part.
On top of the cliffs stands a monument in memory of the rebels, fallen in the uprising in September 1923. The monument is visible from afar.
The cliffs are a popular destination for climbers, but they are as well a good place for hiking – the fresh green meadows offer various picnic and outdoor camping places. From the top of Lakatnik cliffs, visitors can see a magnificent view of the valley of the Iskar river.
Several tourist paths start from the Lakatnik railway station. A quite popular route is Lakatnik – the village of Milanovo – Parshevitsa hut.
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