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For the first time in the Paradise Cave I was on a school trip. I don’t remember much about that visit, but until today I have visited this place many times. Paradise (Raj in polish) Cave is a place where, after walking through the entrance gate, you can really feel like in Paradise.
The Paradise Cave is described by many as one of the most beautiful karst caves in Poland, and by some even the most beautiful! You must visit her to determine if you also belong to this group!
Location and access
The Paradise Cave is located near Kielce and Chęciny. Driving from Kielce towards Chęciny, it is located behind Nowiny, on the right. This is indicated by directional arrows and signs. From the main road you have to go a few hundred meters to find yourself in the parking lot next to the cave (paid parking). From this place, you will have a few hundred meters walk to the pavilion, where there are cash desks, an exhibition, gastronomy and the entrance to the cave itself.
Paradise Cave was discovered by accident, although people (Neanderthals) have known it since prehistoric times. It is formed in the Middle Devonian limestones and has a horizontal development. It was opened to tourists in 1972 and discovered 9 years earlier. In the 1960s, work was carried out to make the facility available to tourists. It was then that the tunnel through which we enter the cave was created, and the sidewalks were deepened so that it could be comfortably visited.
During the archaeological research of the silt and earthworks aimed at making the cave accessible, a number of interesting finds were discovered there. In addition to the remains of animals such as rhinoceros, mammoths and others, there are also traces of the presence of the Neanderthal man. A large part of the silt is unexplored and certainly hides even more curiosities.
Along with obtaining the status of the UNESCO Geopark by the Świętokrzyski Geopark, the cave has become one of the geological sites in its area.
Paradise Cave – tickets and opening hours
Paradise Cave is closed all year round. In winter, it closes its interior to allow bats to spend the winter peacefully. Outside of this period, cave is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 am. The closing time varies from month to month. January – April and November until 4:00 p.m., May – June until 7.00 p.m., in July and August until 6.00 p.m., and in September and October until 5.00 p.m.
An individual ticket costs PLN 22 (from January to March and November), from April to June PLN 27, in July and August PLN 30, and in September and October also PLN 27.
The cave also offers group tickets that give a discount to the nearby Neanderthal Center car park.
When we have the tickets, it’s our time to visit. The guide will be waiting at the entrance. Sightseeing is only possible with a guide, and the maximum group size is 15 people. Groups enter the cave every 15 minutes and the entire tour takes approximately 45 minutes.
The entire route is 180 meters long. We start with a man-made tunnel that will take us inside. The first chamber on the route is the Entry Chamber, from which we then go to the Złomisk Chamber. Then, on the route, among others, Column Chamber, Stalactite Hall and High Hall. We end our trip by going back to the Pre-Chamber.
In the cave you will meet various dripstone forms, and the guide will surely tell you about them. In addition to the known stalactites (from above) and stalagmites (from below), in the interior you can observe stalagmites (combined stalactites with stalagmites), wall drips, draperies, rice fields, cave pearls, woolly dripstone and many more! Some of the infiltrates take fanciful shapes, and what you see in them depends only on your imagination (and the guide’s suggestions :)).
How to prepare for a visit to the Paradise Cave?
Before visiting the Paradise Cave, it is worth booking a ticket. Remember that this is a popular place for school trips. If you travel solo or in a couple, it happens that you manage to buy a ticket “on the go”, but to be sure it is better to make a reservation (link to booking).
Remember that you are going underground. The temperature in the cave is around 9 degrees C and the humidity reaches 95%. Pay attention to appropriate clothing (especially in the summer months, when we wear shorts outside, etc.)
Remember that taking photos inside the cave is not allowed. Special consent is required for this. Before you start complaining about this prohibition, think about groups of tourists, some of whom do not know how to turn off the flash, others lean out by breaking or touching the stalactites, and still others the phone falls outside the barrier and there is a problem. The amount of light in the cave is limited for a reason. Thanks to this, algae do not grow there, and the humidity is maintained at an appropriate level that allows the infiltrates to continue to grow.
Living in the Paradise Cave
From the exhibition in front of the entrance, as well as from the guide, you can learn that life in prehistoric times flourished in the Paradise Cave. Today, the main visitors are tourists, but you can also meet several species of bats and insects there. Among them, one of the most interesting is the spider – Cave Net (Meta menardi). It is one of the few spiders in Poland, whose venom causes pain and swelling in humans, but for an adult healthy organism it does not pose a threat to life.
Worth a visit?
Paradise Cave is a must-see place! The interior is impressive, and the information that the stalactites grow 1 cm in a hundred years gives an idea of how long they must have been formed. What we see today is the result of preparatory work in the 1960s, but I have always been curious to see what the first explorers who entered the cave felt and saw. They did not have strong lighting, and the cave itself was definitely less accessible than today, but the impression must have been huge.