The Living Fire Ice Cave

The Cave of the Living Fire Iceblock (Romanian: Peştera "Gheţarul Focul Viu") is situated in the North-West of Romania, in the Bihor-Vlădeasa Mountains and contains the third largest permanent underground fossil ice block in the country (after the Scărişoara ice cave and Borţig pothole, also situated in the Apuseni Nature Park), having a volume of approximately 25.000 m3.

It is a small cave, who consists of two halls, the first one of big dimensions having a huge iceblock. The acces to the cave is through a descendant gallery on a wooden stairway. The ceiling of the big hall is open by a huge natural window through which a great quantity of logs, leaves and snow has fallen from the outside, building an immense pile in the centre. The logs has been trapped in the ice, their free ends rotting and colouring the ice field. Through the ceiling window enters enough light to unveil the splendour of the icecle stalagmite clusters which lie opposite to the entrance of the cave. Around noon, the sun beams is creating a fairy scenery. One of the ends of the iceblock falls in the abyss in a deep crevice beside the rocks.

A gallery located beyond the stalagmites leads to the smaller room of the cave carefully descending about 4 m on the left side of the ice slide.This room has no natural light. It has some lime concretions which hang above and icecle stalagmites of varying size, depending on season. The cave ends with an obstructed vertical hole. The exit from the cave is very pleasant, especially in summer when the outer temperature is far above that of the cave. There are two circumstances which allow the ice to last in the cave: the open ceiling which invites the cold air inside and the lack of ventilation which traps it and keeps it cold enough all through the year.

The visiting of the site is permitted until the wooden balcony at the entrance, allowing the observer to see all the above described phenomena.