Eisriesenwelt - a cave from a winter fairy tale

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Eisriesenwelt - a cave from a winter fairy tale
Eisriesenwelt - a cave from a winter fairy tale

On planet Earth, there are many amazing places created by nature that look like magical worlds. There is such a place in Austria. This realm of ice and snow is Eisriesenwelt, a cave similar to the Snow Queen's domain. Every year, thousands of tourists come to this amazing place to see the fabulous beauty.

Geographic reference

The Eisriesenwelt (cave) is located in the Alps, not far from the town of Werfen, 40 km south of Salzburg. The length of the cave is more than 42 km. Only the first kilometer, which is covered with ice and snow, is open to visitors. Further, the Eisriesenwelt cave consists of limestone, and professional speleologists work in it, and this place is closed for unprepared tourists. This is the largest system of ice caves that are open to the public. It is located at an altitude of 1641 m. According to researchers, the Eisriesenwelt consists of 30 thousand cubic meters of ice.

Eisriesenwelt cave

Creator River

The Eisriesenwelt ice caves are the result of thousands of years of work by the Salzach River. Millions of years ago, the river was on the surface of the earth. But years later, she washed her underwater bed in soft limestone rocks andis now running underground. For a long time and to this day, water seeped through the rocks with the onset of warm days. When moisture penetrated to colder horizons, it froze, and over time, bizarre shapes and amazing formations formed inside the cave.

Several entrances lead deeper. Therefore, the air circulates freely here. Its warm streams complete the work of the cold, changing the shape of the ice. Therefore, each visit to the ice cave will be different.

Opening the cave

The history of the discovery and study of a place called Eisriesenwelt is also interesting. The cave was discovered in the middle of the 19th century. Hunters and poachers who hunted here knew about it. But the locals avoided it, considering the dangerous place the gates to hell. The first explorer to venture into the cave is an Austrian naturalist who lived in Salzburg. His name is Anton von Posselt. It was he who in 1879 made his way almost 200 m deep into the cave. A year later, in one of the climbers' magazines, he published a detailed account of his discovery. But then the publication did not attract the attention of a large circle of scientists and researchers, the cave was forgotten for 22 years.

Eisriesenwelt cave

In 1912, a speleologist Alexander von Merck, carried away by the idea of ​​studying the Eisriesenwelt, arrived in Werfen. He conducted a number of expeditions, drew up a plan for the Eisriesenwelt cave. But the outbreak of the First World War prevented further research. Von Merck was mobilized to the front, where he died. According to his will, friends and associates of the researcherset up an urn with his ashes in one of the ice chambers of the cave.

But the study of the ice kingdom continued, and attention to it increased year by year. In 1920, the first tourist route to the cave was laid, and a string of travelers began to follow. The fame of the miracle of nature spread quickly, and the number of people wishing to see this marvel grew from year to year. Today, the number of visitors is 200 thousand people a year.

Ice Kingdom

Journey to the ice kingdom begins at the entrance to the cave. Each of the halls and elements of the cave has its own name. So, the first one is named after the discoverer of the Posselt Hall, and the huge stalagmite in the center is the Posselt Tower. At the end of the hall you can see an ashen cross - this is the mark of the first explorer who marked the place he reached on his expedition.

Eisriesenwelt ice caves

Further there is a view of the Great Ice Embankment - this is a 25-meter ice formation. The next point of the tour is Himira Castle, named after the giant from Norwegian fairy tales. Here you can admire the accumulation of giant icicles, called the Ice Organ. After walking a little more, visitors find themselves in the von Merck Cathedral, in which an urn with the ashes of a brave caver rests. And the final stage of the tour is a visit to the Ice Palace, a marvelous hall that captivates with its unreal beauty. The Ice Palace is located 400 meters underground and about a kilometer from the entrance. Here the tour ends and visitors return to the entrance.

When can I visit the Eisriesenwelt?

For touriststhe marvelous cave is open in May, June, September and October from 8 am to 3 pm. In July and August - from 8 to 16:30. Tours are not available in winter, the entrance for visitors is closed due to the high probability of avalanches.

plan of the Eisriesenwelt cave

The cable car leads to the cave, the ascent on which takes only 3 minutes one way. The ride is included in the ticket price. Those who wish to take a walk can follow the path leading straight to the entrance to the Eisriesenwelt. The cave, however, is far from the ticket office, the journey will take an average of 90 minutes. But this time will fly by unnoticed, because on the way you can admire the picturesque mountain views and breathe fresh air.

Some tips for visitors

Despite the fact that excursions are held only in the warm season, it should be remembered that inside the cave the air temperature does not rise above 0°C. Therefore, when going on an excursion, you should wear a warm jacket, comfortable shoes that do not slip on the ice, and gloves. The elevation changes inside the cave are significant, during the tour you will have to go up and down stairs with cold metal railings.

reviews of the difficulty of the route in the Eisriesenwelt cave

It's worth taking a thermos of hot tea and sandwiches with you. After an impressive tour in the realm of cold, a brutal appetite is played out.

Everyone who went on the tour shared their impressions of the fabulous beauty of the underground miracle and left feedback on the difficulty of the route in the Eisriesenwelt cave. This journey is for those who are not afraid of difficulties.and ready for trials to meet the beautiful.

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