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The Republic of Bashkortostan

Shul'gan-Tash Cave (Kapova Cave)

Пещера Шульган-Таш (Капова)
Фотобанк Лори
Пещера Шульган-Таш (Капова)
Фотобанк Лори

The Kapova cave was first explored by a councilor of state named Rychkov who included an article about it in a magazine «Monthly writings for the benefit and fun of employees». The article was called «A description of a cave located in Orenburg Guberniya near the Belaya River and which is considered the nicest and the biggest of all caves in Bashkiriya». It was the first Russian published work about this cave. Apart from the colorful description and emotional characteristics, in his article Rychkov mentioned that he had found «a dry human head» in one of the cave's passages.

The Kapova cave became well-known in 1959 when zoologist Alexander Ryumin, in his search for bats, went underground and found colorful rock paintings on the walls — horses, rhinos and mammoths with their calves. It was a true world-scale sensation: the scientists thought then that the paintings of paleolithic fossil animals are typical for Western Europe only — rock paintings this ancient are found only in France and Spain.  Starting from this moment the Kapova Cave gained a status of an important historical-cultural complex, unmatched in Eastern Europe.

The Kapova Cave features in the Global Register of Geological Landmarks. The journey to the cave incurs a charge. Tours are arranged here. Tourists are allowed only into the first halls, including the area after the temperature threshold; thereafter the temperature never changes throughout the year. The original ancient paintings are not available for tourists, but in one of the halls there are exact copies.

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Address: The Republic of Bashkortostan, Burzyansky District

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