The “Emil Racoviță” Cave
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The “Emil Racoviță” Cave

The richness of nature in the northwestern Moldova is sublimated through the landscape of "Emil Racovita" - the largest and most spectacular cave in the country. Also called “Cinderella” – it is the third largest European space through the caves of plaster (the first two are in Ukraine) and eighth in the world. After several geological expeditions, researchers have qualified it as a natural monument of world importance.

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Distance from Chișinău: about 265 km There is a very valuable and representative cave in the Valley of the Middle Prut – the“Emil Racoviță” Cave. This is one of the largest gypsum caves in the world, and it is located in Moldova, in the extreme northwest - Briceni district, Criva village. The entrance to the cave was discovered half a century ago, during the years of 1959, after a few explosios in the gypsum quarry of the Criva village. The Cave has unusual mineral formations, including large and rare selenite crystals with shades of amber. In the cave you can find the largest gypsum crystal from Europe, with a total volume of more than 3 cubic meters. Fountains are flowing through the labyrinth of the carstic system. The fountains are originating from the Carpathian Mountains, which “feed” the waters of the Prut and Nistru rivers. The “Emil Racovita” Cave  has a length of over 89 kilometers, with 20 lakes discovered so far. The rooms of the cave are very spectacular and have various names: the “Room of a hundred meters”, “Hall of Cinderella”, “Columns Hall”, ”the Cathedral”,” Penguin Hall” and “Hippos Hall “. Here you can also admire some underground lakes: “Green Lake”, ”Blue Lake”,” Lake of the  King” or the “Dinosaurs Lake”. In order to reach the galleries, you have to descend about 40 meters down some metal stairs that are attached to the walls of a fairly narrow well. The cave’s galleries form a very complicated labyrinth, which is testing even the most experienced researchers. In the cave there are several caverns, some with a height of over 10 meters and a width of 30-40 meters. In addition to the lakes, there you can find cave-shaped wells with a depth of up to 20 meters, some of them without water. This cave is on the 8th place, worldwide, in the general ranking of discovered underground caves. If there was a well thought out strategy, believes Igor Telesman, the cave of “Emil Racovita” could become a permanent attraction for tourists from around the world. The  President of the Cavers Club “Abis” (Igor Telesman) also said that, from this point of view, the cave is not just a scientific and touristic attraction, but also a strategic reservoir for Moldova. In case of drought, it could

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