The Pearl of the Moravian Karst

Masa Mesic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The Macocha Abyss is a sinkhole located in the Moravian Karst region. The Macocha Abyss, also referred to as the Macocha Gorge, is part of the Punkva caves, and has the Punkva River flowing through it.  

Picture © Credits to istock/kycco

This stunning gem is located in the Moravian Karst- which is a protected natural reserve in the Eastern part of Czechia. The magical reserve is rich in geological sights and has more than 1000 caves and gorges. However, only 4 out of those 1000 caves are open to the public and visitors. Due to its magnificent sights and natural formations the Moravian Karst became a protected landscape in 1956. In terms of access, the Macocha Gorge is located close to a town called Blansko, and around 40 kilometres north from Brno- Czechia’s second largest city. 

What is so special about the Macocha Gorge?

It is actually the biggest gorge in Czechia and central Europe, with a depth of 138 meters. It got its name in the 17th century when the ceiling of a cave hole collapsed. The abyss started to become more known and open to the public in 1914. It has two bridges from where the site can be seen by visitors. The Upper Bridge was constructed in 1882 and the Lower Bridge was built in 1899. 

River Punkva rises through the abyss and thus creates two smaller lakes, which can be seen from the Upper Bridge. 

Fun fact: the Punkva River only sees daylight in the Macocha Abyss; otherwise it travels underground through the caves.   

Picture © Credits to istock/MarcoRitzki

Punkva Caves

Take a trip and ride through the Punkva Caves will allow you to experience numerous sights including the bottom of the Macocha Abyss.   

How do you get to Punkva Caves? 

The caves are located around 2 kilometres away from Skalni mlyn (rock mill), which is about an hour walking from there. From there you can commence your tour. The start off point will be at Predni dom (front house); the tour takes you through a corridor, through Stalagmitova chodba (Stalagmite hall) and then to Zadni dom (back house). From here you can see the bottom of the Macocha Abyss, as you head towards Sucha cesta (dry road). Soon after, you will come across the two smaller lakes, which are constructed by the Punkva River.    

Picture © Credits to istock/murmakova

Next part of the tour is on Mokra cesta (wet road) and includes a short underground cruise on River Punkva. Take a moment to look around you throughout the tour, and notice the ridges, holes and other formations on the walls and ceilings. All the formations and indents have been created over the years by the river’s strong currents. It makes sense; River Punkva is an underground river and it is constantly trying to find its exit, and way out, without success. 

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