Karaca Cave attracting tourists to Gümüşhane in Turkey’s north
GÜMÜŞHANE - Anatolia News Agency
Gümüşhane’s 105-meter-long Karaca Cave, which has magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, is visited by lots of domestic and foreign tourists during its season which lasts from April 15 to Nov 15 every year. AA photo
The Karaca Cave in the eastern Black Sea province of Gümüşhane has been one of the most important tourist attractions in Turkey for 15 years thanks to its magnificent stalactites and stalagmites and high oxygen levels. The cave recently ended this year’s season.
“Karaca Cave is one of the leading caves and is receiving many visitors thanks to its walking routes, along with its stalactites and stalagmites,” Gümüşhane Mayor Yusuf Mayda said, adding that the cave was rushed by visitors during the season and was temporarily closed to visits this month after receiving 47,000 tourists.
Karaca Cave is located 17 kilometers northwest of the province in Kırantaş region of Torul district. The 105-meter-long cave, the formation of which took 30,000 years for the 145 million-year-old rocks, brought in 216,000 Turkish Liras in income this year.
The cave finished this year’s season on Nov. 15 as usual and will open to tourists again on April 15, Mayda said, adding that walking routes and the lighting system inside the cave will undergo maintenance during the offseason.
The cave drives Gümüşhane in terms of tourism, because the tour route is very comfortable and there is no problem in reaching the cave, Mayda told the Anatolia news agency, adding that there are accommodation facilities and coffee houses around the cave.
Mayda said the province was known as a region of caves. “There are 25 caves in the province. Our primary goal is to introduce tourism in the Akçakale Cave located in the Akçakale village. This is why we contacted the Mineral Research General Directorate (MTA) and the Karadeniz Technical University (KTU). We are especially working to use the advantage of this richness cave.”
Saffet Nas, who is responsible for the Karaca Cave, said Cebeli locals have known about the cave since 1983. The inside of the cave had not been known until it was entered for the first time by KTU geology student Şükrü Eürz. Only after Erüz showed the photos of the cave to his teachers at the university was the cave was officially discovered, Nas said, adding that, later a team from the MTA carried out works in the cave. Nas said after reports were prepared as a result of the research, the cave was opened to visitors in 1996.
A 30,000-square-meter area had been discovered inside the cave, Nas said. There is a 1,500-square-meter visiting area in the 105-meter-long cave, featuring lime structures, stalactites and stalagmites.
Inside the cave, the rate of oxygen is 25 percent, reaching 30 percent in the upper parts of the cave and the oxygen rate is 21 percent outside the cave, he said, adding that this is very important in the field of health tourism. It has therapeutic effects especially for sufferers of asthma and respiratory problems, Nas said, adding that no living creature existed in the cave, but people could see figures from beyond their imagination