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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dobsinska Ice Cave Stamp From Slovakia

The new issue of Slovak Post is dedicated to the Dobsinska Ice Cave. It is located in the Slovak Paradise National Park in the Spis-Gemer karst, in the cadastre of municipality Dobsina.

The cave was formed as a part of bigger complex, the so-called Stratenska Nappe, by the river Hnilec in the Middle Triassic pale Steinalm and Wetterstein limestones, along the tectonic faults and interbed surfaces.

Dobsinska Ice Cave was formed approximately 400 thousand years ago, when the massive collapse separated it from this system. The cave obtained sack-like character with stagnation of cold air, enabling natural glaciations of the underground space. Ice fill occurs in the form of floor ice, icefalls, ice stalagmites and columns. The ice volume reaches 110,100 m3. The cave reaches the length of 1,388 m, of these 495 m are accessible for the public.

The main part of the cave is the Great Hall. It is 72 m long, 36-42 m wide and 9-11 m high. The hall contains large quantities of floor ice, which is almost 27 m thick. Dominant feature of the Great Hall and, at the same time, the symbol of the cave is a hollow ice stalagnate called Studna (Well). Between 1891 and 1946, it was used for occasional skating for public.

Dobsinska Ice Cave is among the largest and most important ice caves in the world; in 2000 it became the part of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage UNESCO.

FDC shows one of the many stalagnates occurring in Dobsinska Ice Cave.