castellana-caves

Castellana Caves: a natural heritage

by Vincent on 7 February 2014

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90 million years of history: the Castellana Caves are a historical and geological site situated in the Itria Valley, not far from Alberobello and Polignano a Mare. The scenario of the caves attract everyone among stalactites, stalagmites, shapes and fossils underground, in a 60 meters deep beauty without time.

This natural wonder of Puglia was discovered in 1938 by the cavers Franco Anelli and Vito Matarrese, who explored a corridor that entered in the darkness.

The first to be discovered was the “caverna dei monumenti”, then passages and corridors followed in the discovery, while the cavers ventured to a depth of over 70 meters underground.

The Castellana Caves probably begin to shape 90 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, when Puglia was submerged by an ancient sea, in which vast colonies of shellfish and marine plants lived.

65 million years ago, a thick layer of limestone begins to emerge and give a shape to Puglia as we know today.

Thanks to in the Quaternary period (2.5 million years ago), the stage called “beautification of the caves” began. The trickle caused by the slow infiltration of stormwater laden with calcium carbonate once reached the empty cave began to fall and deposit tiny crystals both on the vault and on the ground, caused the growth of stalactites, the formations that hang from the ceiling, and the underlying stalagmites.

The Castellana caves as we know them today are an amazing discovery of beauty and history, a peculiar site for speleologists and geologists, but attract children and adults from allover the world thanks to the imagination that they unchain in recognizing in the caves different types of sculptures and fantastic characters.

The visit to Grotte di Castellana winds along a path easily go through and with the presence of experienced multilingual guides. A wonderful tour in the caves to 70 meters deep in an amazing scenario made of stalactites, stalagmites, fossils, cavities, caves by fantastic names.

If you want to know more about the Caves or book a tour, visit the Castellana Caves website!

 

 

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