Staritsky limestone caves

In the area of the city of Staritsa, artificial and natural caves are found on both banks of the Volga for many kilometers up and down the great river.

Stalactites and calcite deposits
Man-made quarries enter karst caves decorated with multicolored calcite deposits and crystals. From above, newly formed stalactites hang over the passages cut through the limestone layers.

Historical background
Several centuries ago, the Staritsky "white stone" began to be mined in caves, from which many buildings were erected not only in the Staritsa itself, but also in many cities of Central Russia, and it was floated along the Volga even to Astrakhan, where the Kremlin tiles were laid out of it.

Under the Soviet regime, the artels that extracted white stone were liquidated, and the fishing was stopped. For some time, they continued to extract it, but in an absolutely barbaric way - by the method of directed explosion. As a result, huge monolithic slabs of the most valuable "Staritsky marble" turned into useless detritus material, and cracks went through the layer for hundreds of meters.

The Staritsky caves near the Volga villages of Molokovo, Vorobyovo, Seltso and others have been studied by speleologists for a long time, they are available for visiting, but there is no legislative framework in this regard. As well as the security services.

Usually the Staritsky caves are explored in the spring and autumn months, when there is no vegetation: so there is more chance to notice a cave in this place. But it is in these seasons that the greatest danger of collapse of the arches from excessive moisture is, therefore, it is better to visit them in winter. The temperature in the caves is stable throughout the year: +6-8 degrees.

Almost all caves have names: Fox, Badger, Trap ... Surveys and visits to Staritsky caves are amateur, unauthorized. The long-standing idea of creating a specially protected natural and cultural territory here has not yet been implemented. "The  wild tourism " is causing more and more damage to the caves.

How to get?
Almost every cave can be reached from the Tver - Staritsa - Rzhev highway along one or another country road (the distance from the highway does not exceed several kilometers).

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