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The Javoříčko Caves
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HISTORY, DISCOVERING AND OPENING UP OF THE JAVOŘÍČKO CAVES

Špraněk Hill kept its underground secret for a long time. Only the adjacent spaces of Svěcená díra (Holy Hole) and the Zátvořice abyss had been open to adventurers and curious people since long ago.

Zkamenělý zámek (Petrified Castle) – a rock gate – a near-by remainder of an old cave floor which had been previously related to the system of the Javoříčko Caves. The oldest written mention of the Svěcená díra hole comes from 1873 and is written by an anonymous author.

In 1936 a local game warden called Vilém Švec began to participate actively in the karst cavities of Špraněk Hill. He and his work team, among others, started excavation works at the bottom of Svěcená díra. After six weeks the abyss opened and they gradually descended to its bottom, which lay 27 metres lower. They found a cave passage which continued in both directions. On 14 April 1938 after they had crept through the challenging area of the so-called Objevná cesta (Trail of Discovery), which is described in detail in the following chapter, the explorers discovered vast spaces of the Dóm gigantů (Cave of Giants) and subsequently some other areas on the upper floor of the Javoříčko Caves. Shortly after their discovery, the place in Suťový dóm (Detritus Cave) was located and the passage was dug up to the surface. Works to make the cave accessible to visitors began so that the stalactical caves could be opened to the public on 15 May 1938.

Another important turning point in history of the Javoříčko Caves is the period between 1949 and1958, when another part of the lower floors – the Hlinitá jeskyně and Jeskyně míru caves were discovered. The extent and importance of this discovery is comparable with those of Vilém Švec. The Jeskyně míru caves consist of a complex system of corridors which are linked to the upper floor of the cave system. They were made accessible to the public as well in 1961.

Both professional and amateur speleologists have been actively participating in the Javoříčko Caves up to the present day. They document and explore different parts of the cave labyrinth. This work leads to occasional discoveries of new underground spaces under Špraněk Hill.

 
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