Not long after you enter the Prohodna Caves of Bulgaria do you notice an eerie phenomenon – a pair of eyes following you. Even though there is nothing haunting or magical about this place, it can be an incredible experience because of the two cavities in the ceiling that make the cave so special.
The structure of the Prohodna Cave
‘Prohodna’ is Bulgarian for ‘passage’. There are two entries to the cave: the larger one, known as the ‘big entrance’, is 45metres high (which has made this a favoured spot for bungee jumping), while the smaller one is 35metres high. The distance between these two gates is around 265metres, so we may easily walk from one entrance to the other, the cave thus being known as a ‘passage’. The Prohodna cave is the largest passage cave in Bulgaria, and is often referred by locals as a ‘stone bridge’.
When talking about the cave, people may often call it the place where “God’s eyes are”.
This is because the cave is classified as a “Karst cave”.
But what is Karst, exactly?
Karst is a type of landscape which is formed when soluble rocks – which form the bedrock of an area – get dissolved by acids naturally present in rainwater, and water in general. When this dissolution occurs, sinkholes and springs are formed.
Now comes the Prohodna cave. In the case of this natural structure, the dissolution took place in such a way that two almond-shaped cavities were formed in the ceiling of the cave’s central chamber, looking exactly like a set of eyes.
God’s or the devil’s?
Many have argued that the cavities are the eyes of God. Their argument is supported by the fact that light enters the cave through these mystical eyes, often giving a divine appearance. These eyes become more godly when the sun comes directly over them or passes its light to the inside of the cave. Rain has created trickled paths that look like the beard of an elderly man, and sometimes tears. Is God crying?
But that’s not all. Come darkness or night, these eyes allow light to enter the dark cave, and it appears as if they’re glowing in the dark. Could this be the devil?
There’s only one way to find out – figuring out for yourself when you visit!
When to visit
You may visit the caves at any time of the year – except in winter or rainy season – because it can get really slippery. In winters specially, icicles pose danger. So if you do visit during these two seasons, be careful.
You won’t need a tour guide here and can explore for as long as you want!
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