Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Soreq Caves - The Caves which started with a bang

 the story of this magnificent cave starts with an explosion in 1968, one of many at the hur Tuv quarry, which supplied gravel and rock to the construction industry.  But THIS explosion was different, as it exposed a magnificent stalactitie cave. To stop visitors and 'uninvited guests' destroying the very special stalactite formations, the authorities put up solid steel doors and, when even these did not work, they heaped up rocks across the entrance.  Nine years passed until the cave was made accessible to the public. The preparatory works demanded great caution due to the damage that could have been done - even unwittingly - by the visiting public.

Although the stalactite cave covers a relatively small area, hardly more than one acre,( about 5000 square metres)  it does not fall short of world's largest caves in magic and splendour. Wherever your eyes look, you will discover stalagmites and stalactites in every imaginable shape. 

Scientists believe that the cave was created well over five thousand years ago as a result of the dissolution of limestone by rainwater diluted with carbon dioxide. When a hollow space was formed, the process was reversed: Though the water that penetrated the cave dissolved the limestone away, the drops deposited sediments of limestone, either on the floor of the cave (stalagmites) or from its ceilings (stalactites)  .In course of time the stalactites and the stalagmites grew until they assumed their present breathtaking shapes, sometimes even joining together to create a huge limestone pipe.

You will start your visit with an audiovisual programme and guidance on what to see.  Remember - caves are always the same, cool, temperature, so bring along a sweater or jacket!

You can easily reach the caves on Route 3866 from Bet Shemesh in the west or Bar Giora junction on Roure 386 from Jerusalem.  This, in itself, is a very attractive drive. 

To view a Google map of this site, click here 

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