Aug. 12, 2016: Lamprecht's Cave, Austria

 

Lamprechtsofen (also called Lamprechtshöhle) is a limestone river-formed cave in Austria.  With a depth of 1,632 m (5,354 ft), it was at one time the deepest know cave in the world; more recently three deeper caves have been discovered in Georgia.  Lamprechtsofen is located 2 km (1.2 mi) northwest of Salzburg, Austria, in the Leogang Mountains.

Lamprecht's Cave, Austria

The cave has been known for centuries.  In 1701 it was walled up to prevent the intrusion of treasure seekers who were lured to the cave by legends of wealth hidden by a knight of the Crusades named Lamprecht.  In 1905, several human skeletons were found in the cave, probably the remains of treasure hunters.  At the same time, a 600-metre (2,000 ft) portion of the cave was opened to the public as a show cave.

Lamprecht's Cave, Austria

The exploration of Lamprechtsofen has been primarily conducted from the bottom (from the resurgence of its cave river), rather than the top-down exploration typical for vertical caves.

Lamprecht's Cave, Austria

Today, about 700 m (2,300 ft) are open to visitors, a portion of the cave that covers a 70-metre (230 ft) altitude difference.  Because of the cave's river, it is subject to flooding from heavy rain and melting snow. As such, visitors and explorers have been occasionally trapped in the cave.

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For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link.

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