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Harmanecka Cave

A serpentine path leads from the state road in direction Banska Bystrica - Turcianske Teplice to the Harmanecka Cave. The entrance part called Izbica was known to local woodcutters and workers from long ago, however the cave was discovered only in 1932. The Harmanecka Cave ranks among the most important caves in Slovakia by remarkable origin of cave spaces, mighty breakdown domes, high abundance of moonmilk, as well as by the number of wintering bats.
National nature monument, Great Fatra
Harmanecka Cave
Harmanecka Cave
Slovakia, Banská Bystrica region
City: Dolný Harmanec
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Harmanecka Cave

It is formed in the Middle Triassic dark-grey Gutenstein limestones of the Choč Nappe along the tectonic faults with locally applied interbed surfaces. It reaches the length of 2,763 m with vertical span of 75 m. Except for voluminous collapse spaces (Dome of Pagodas, Tall Dome, Stray Dome and others), there are horizontal and inclined passages with irregular oval shapes, however without typical signs of underground river modelling. We can also find distinct collapses and spiral abysses.

Lenght: 2763m    Depth: 75m

The initial cave spaces were formed by corrosion of slowly flowing and almost stagnant water, when they were completely flooded. Mixed corrosion and slow convection flow of water formed irregular sponge-like and oval cupola hollows. After the decline of water-table, which is witnessed by here and there preserved level notches, the cave spaces were flooded only partially.

The time of forming the primary underground spaces is probably related to the ancient inflow of waters from the edge part of the Kremické Hills (extraneous sediments floated from non-karst area were found in the cave) and to forming of surrounding planation surface in the Tertiary Period. Later on, several distinct collapses of roofs and walls occurred in many places of the cave, by which the original oval shapes were destructed and remodelled, by which debris fields, debris cones, mounds and bulwarks were formed. Except for collapses, also percolating atmospheric waters contributed to further forming of the underground spaces. Narrow fissure passages and chimneys were formed by their corrosive activity in the cave.

Harmanecka Cave

The cave is known by abundant occurrence of white soft sinter – moonmilk. From among the sinter fills, mainly the mighty pagoda stalagmites, wall flowstone waterfalls and draperies catch your attention. There are two pagodas twelve meters high with three meters in diameter in the Great Dome. Air temperature in the cave is between 5.8 and 6.4 °C and relative humidity 94 to 97 %.

The cave belongs among the most important localities of bats occurrence in Slovakia. Eleven bat species were recorded in the cave by now. Dominating species are the Greater Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis myotis) and Lesser Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis blythii), which occurred here several times in amount of 1,000 to 1,500 individuals. Another abundant bat species in this cave is the Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). Frequently, we can find here also the Daubenton’s Bat (Myotis daubentonii). The most important from the invertebrates are the multipede Allorhiscosoma sphinx and crustacean Bathynella natans.

Cave tour

The cave entrance is on the northern side of the Kotolnica Hill at elevation of 821 m above sea level and above the bottom of the valley. A serpentine pathway ascends to the cave 260 m uphill and is 1,420m long. The total length of the cave is 2,763 m, of which 1,020 m is the show path open for visitors. Air temperature in the cave ranges between 5,8°C and6,4°C.

Harmanecka Cave

Acces to cave

You will get to the Harmanecká Cave from the parking place at the state road Harmanec - Turčianske Teplice to the northwest from Banská Bystrica. Cave entrance, which is 260 m above is accessible by serpentine path. The ascent lasts 40 min. There are educational boards installed along the path.

Car access to cave
- From Banska Bystrica direction Turcianske Teplice, Martin through Harmanec – 13 km,
- From Ruzomberok direction Banska Bystrica through Donovaly, Stare Hory, Harmanec – 50 km,
- From Turcianske Teplice through Sturec direction Banska Bystrica – 20 km.

Harmanecka Cave


Great Fatra National Park

Rounded grassy highlands as remains of the Valahia colonizing create the peculiar character of this mountain range. The immigrants who flooded the Slovak mountains in 16th – 17th century cut out and burned off vast areas of forests, mainly in the crest positions of the mountains, thus changing them to pastures. Now when the shepherds gave way to nature protection in some places, the highland meadows begin to be grown over by trees again, but the characteristic trait of the landscape with picturesque vegetation and solitaires of trees still remains. The typical scenery of the Great Fatra mountains is shown by lonely slag of dolomite nappe on a grassy crest in the Kralova studna saddle.

Useful information

  • Caves are closed on Mondays and January 1. and December 24.-26., regular admission is realized at minimum of 4 persons.
  • The admissions can be realized according to the situation on decision of cave manager also between the times of regular ones.
  • Extra admission can be enabled by the cave manager on request of visitors also between the times of regular admissions. The fluency of operation cannot be disturbed and an extra fee must be paid.


Adults: 6,00 € Seniors:  5,00 €
Children [6-15]: 3,00 € Students: 5,00 €

Source: www.ssj.sk

Harmanecka Cave

Dolný Harmanec - Banská Bystrica
LAT: 48.8140140 = 48° 48' 50.4504"
LON: 19.0399010 = 19° 2' 23.6436"


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