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Exploring Baredine Cave: Istria's Underground Marvel

Nestled in the lush landscape of northern Istria, near Nova Vas and just a stone’s throw from the Adriatic coast, lies Baredine Cave. This geomorphological monument of nature is not only the first speleological site in Istria tailored for visitors but also a gateway to exploring the rich tapestry of the region’s prehistoric and historic past.

A Journey to the Earth’s Depths

The entrance to Baredine Cave, characterized by its unique conical shape, descends through five chambers to a depth of 60 meters, culminating at a serene underground lake. The cave’s interior is a museum of natural sculptures, where water has carved out an otherworldly landscape over millions of years. Highlights include the striking ‘curtains’, the lifelike statues of the Virgin Mary and Milka the shepherdess, and not least, the iconic Snowman – the torchbearer and emblem of the cave.

Etimology and Origin

The name ‘Baredine’ traces back to the local word for uncultivated land, though today, the surrounding area, rich in fertile fields, vineyards, and olive groves, belies its origins. The cave itself was formed in karst limestone, a relic of the sea that once covered this region.

A Treasury of Nature’s Art

With an air temperature of 14°C, the cave offers a cool respite from the Istrian sun. Its main passage extends 300 meters, revealing a sequence of rooms filled with an incredible variety of stalactites and stalagmites, each telling a story of persistence and time.

Legend of the Cave

Baredine Cave is steeped in legend. A tale from the 13th century tells of a doomed love between a nobleman from Poreč and a shepherdess from Nova Vas, adding a layer of mystique to the cave’s natural wonders.

A Window into the Past

The cave has been a known landmark since antiquity, with archaeological finds hinting at its long history of human presence. Today, it also serves as a habitat for the olm, an endemic amphibian known as the “human fish” for its pale complexion.

Baredine Cave is more than a natural attraction; it’s a journey through time, offering a glimpse into the earth’s past and the stories etched into its depths. Visitors leave with a sense of wonder, touched by the tranquility and beauty that thrives beneath Istria’s rolling hills.

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