Devetashka Cave: 70,000 Years of Human Habitation

Deep within the heart of Bulgaria lies a mesmerizing wonder that has sheltered humanity for millennia, the Devetashka cave. Its storied history, rich with archaeological treasures and natural beauty, unfolds as we explore this unique karst cave formation. Join us on a journey through time and geology as we unearth the secrets of the Devetashka cave.

A Natural Marvel: Devetashka Cave

Devetashka Cave
Bulgaria’s Devetashka Cave.

C ave, known as Devetàshka peshterà in Bulgaria, is situated approximately 18 kilometers north of Lovech, near the charming village of Devetaki. This colossal karst cave, formed through the dissolution of soluble rocks, boasts a landscape marked by sinkholes, caves, and intricate underground drainage systems.

An Ancient Haven

Devetashka Cave
The celestial openings on the ceiling of The Cave.

Cave’s historical significance reaches deep into the annals of time. Discovered by a Bulgarian scientist in 1921, it wasn’t until the 1950s that extensive excavations began with ambitious plans to transform the cave into a massive warehouse. What unfolded was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Paleolithic Roots

Studies revealed that the Devetashka cave had been a home for humans since the late Paleolithic era, dating back approximately 70,000 years. The echoes of our ancestors still resonate within its chambers, making this cave an archaeological treasure trove.

Neolithic Treasures

The cave has yielded a treasure trove of cultural artifacts from the Neolithic period (6th to 4th millennium BC), providing valuable insights into our ancient past. These artifacts illuminate the daily lives, rituals, and creativity of our forebears.

A Tumultuous Past

Devetashka Cave
A perspective from within, gazing toward the primary entrance and the initial pair of substantial apertures. ( Source )

The 1950s brought an unexpected turn of events for Devetashka Cave. It was repurposed as a military site and used for petroleum storage, causing significant damage to its natural formations. Today, remnants of this turbulent era linger, with concrete bases inside the cave that once housed massive oil tanks. A railroad leading to the cave’s entrance and remnants of a bridge across the river bear witness to this chapter in the cave’s history.

The Resilience of Devetashka Cave

Devetashka Cave
An access point leading into the depths of Devetashka Cave.

Despite the challenges it has faced, Cave stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of both nature and humanity. Today, it serves as a sanctuary for approximately 30,000 bats, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth.


Devetashka Cave’s saga is a captivating blend of natural wonder and human history, with its origins dating back a staggering 70,000 years. From the Paleolithic era to the present day, this cave has witnessed the ebb and flow of civilizations. As we continue to explore and protect this remarkable site, its legacy endures as a beacon of our shared past.

Is Devetashka Cave open to the public?

Yes, Cave is open to the public, and visitors can explore its mesmerizing chambers and natural beauty.

Can I take guided tours of Devetashka Cave?

Absolutely! Guided tours are available, offering in-depth insights into the cave’s history and geological features.

Are there any restrictions on photography within the cave?

While photography is generally allowed, it’s essential to follow the guidelines provided by the authorities to protect the cave’s fragile ecosystem.

What is the best time to visit Devetashka Cave?

The cave is open year-round, but the spring and summer months offer pleasant weather for exploration.

Are there accommodations near Devetashka Cave?

Yes, there are various accommodations in the nearby village of Devetaki and the city of Lovech, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors.

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