The Urşilor (Bears’) Cave
In 1975, when this cave was discovered, it was home of an impressive amount of traces and fossils of cave-bears. Ursus spelaeus, aka cave-bears, is a species that has disappeared 15.000 years ago. The amateur speleologists of the Speodava club were the first ones to do underground explorations here. They were followed by the specialists of the Speleological Institute of Emil Racoviţă and of the Ţării Crişurilor Museum of Oradea. After five years of development, the Urşilor Cave was opened to visitors. Soon it has become one of the most interesting tourist attractions of the Apuseni Mountains. The modern developments along with the natural beauty of the inside have attracted and still attract many curious tourists form the country and from abroad too. Besides the fossils of cave-bears, bones of black goats, lions and cave hyenas have also been discovered here.
The touristic trail of the cave is 1.500 meters long. Along this trail, visitors can admire impressive galleries with spectacular stalactites & stalagmites formations; not to mention the petrified remains of the prehistoric animals, which have made these places famous. There are three galleries opened to the public: the Emil Racoviţă Gallery, the Urşilor (Bears’) Gallery and the Oaselor (Bones) Gallery. These three galleries hold many wonders of nature that display unique shapes, some of them named after the stories that they have inspired: Lacul cu Nuferi (the Lotus-flower Lake), Căsuţa Piticilor (the House of the Dwarfs), Sfatul Bătrânilor (the Advice of the Elders). Much of the cave is still closed to the public, having the status of protected nature reserve.