The Valley of the Fortress Cave in Romania (Pestera Valea Cetatii) is one of the most interesting caverns in the country. Unlike all the other caves in Romania, this one is impressive not by its length, but by its height.
You will discover that it is not a long way from the entrance to the exit. However, you will be amazed to see a huge hall with nature created ornaments hanging on the walls. I, for one, had the feeling I was in a cathedral rather than a cave.
The history of the Valley of the Fortress Cave
This cave was opened (literally) in 1949 by an explosion that took place due to the exploration works in the area. In 1954, two young scientists entered this cave and studied it for the first time. Later, in 1981, another team of scientists came to the cave to discover its hidden secrets. Unlike the previous specialists, this team managed to explore a great length of this cave, about 857 meters.
Only in 2012, the Valley of the Fortress Cave was opened to the public. Usual tourists can see only about 330 meters, but if you want to explore more you can call ahead to book an unconventional tour for rest of the cave. Equipment and guide will be provided by the cave administrators.
The central hall has amazing acoustics. This is why, from time to time, you can see here instrumental concerts.
The cave is beautifully lighted by colored lights. However, all the equipment used in building the tourist setting and the concert stage is eco-friendly and don’t bother in any way the bats living in the cave.
The main cavity of the cavern is filled with stalactites and stalagmites, often merging to meet in the centre of the cavern. For dramatic effect, the lights were switched off by our guide so we could hear the large drops of water splashing onto the cave floor.
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When, where, how much?
The best way to visit this cave is to travel by car. You can also take the train to Brasov City and, from there, you can take a bus. I went to see the Valley of the Fortress Cave in Rasnov this summer. We parked the car in the parking lot near the road. Even though it was a crowded day there were enough parking spaces. There was no parking fee there. Afterwards we got on the way to the cave which is, in fact, a mountin alley. So to get to the cave you must walk for about 20 minutes. Once you arrive at the entrance you must buy a ticket and wait to enter the cave. The large groups of tourists can enter only twice an hour, so please be sure you have plenty of time to spend in line.
Moreover, if you indeed have enough time, or you choose to spend a few days in the Rasnov area you can stumble upon the opportunity to see a concert in the cavern.
The ticket prices:
15 lei (a little over 3 euros) for an adult
10 lei (a little over 2 euros) for a child
Summer (7th Apr 22nd Oct): 10:00 – 20:00
Winter (22nd Oct – 7th Apr): 10:00 – 18:00
A ticket for the concert is more expensive. You must ask about the opportunities at the entrance in the cave.