Wierzchowska Gorna Cave is one of the most impressive caves you can find in Polish Jura. Just around 20 kilometres north from Cracow in direction of Olkusz, it is definitely worth visiting. So if you are spending some time in this magnificent old Polish city and would like to experience something completely different – I guess Wierzchowska Gorna Cave is a choice to consider. By the way, I mentioned it already in my article about speleology and caves exploring in Polish Jura. You can find it here.
To begin with, Wierzchowska Gorna Cave is placed in Kluczowody Valley, near little village called Wierzchowie. It has the longest tourist trail of this type in Poland. The cave is ca. 975 meters long, and ca. 75% of its length is available for tourists.
The vast cave underground consists of many passes, corridors and 10 great chambers. I guess the so-called throne chamber is the most impressive one. However, I would be happy to know your opinion about it! Similarly, other stunning parts of Wierzchowska Gorna Cave are Gothic Corridor, Great Hall, Cauldrons’ Hall or Mortuary. Why Mortuary? It is because, during many archaeological and geological projects, the researchers found there the bones of cave bears, reindeers, cave hyenas and other Pleistocene animals.
Moreover, inside the cave, the scientists discovered also the traces of Neolithic hunters and remains of their camp. According to their reports, our ancestors lived there ca. seven thousand years ago. As far as the pieces of evidence show, our forefathers settled mainly in the part of the cave called Little Upper Hall. That was the warmest, driest part of the vast cave. Nowadays, the tour guides refer to this part of the cave as the Hall of Primitive Man. Well, this name seems to be clear enough…
Currently, Wierzchowska Gorna Cave has the status of the natural monument and is home to bats (lesser horseshoe bat) and spiders (European cave spider). But the visitors don’t need to be afraid of those creatures. The cave is electrified so the animals are not disturbing visitors during the cave’s explorations. The tourists’ route is comfortable and save. Visitors may enter the cave all year long, however during the first three months of the year, the Cave remains opened only during the weekends. From May to the end of August the opening hours are 09.00 – 17.00, in April and October 09.00- 16-00 and in November 09.00 – 15.00.
To summarise, visiting Wierzchowska Gorna Cave is definitely an excellent lesson of history, geography, geology and biology! All in one, extremely interesting!