Polovragi Cave – Explore the Incredible Legends of Zamolxe
Are you ready for an adventure into the mythical world of Zamolxe? Look no further than Polovragi Cave, located in the quaint town of Polovragi in Northern Gorj, Romania. This captivating cave has been steeped in legend and lore for centuries, believed to be the dwelling place of Zamolxe, the revered god of the Geto-Dacian people.
According to local legends, Polovragi Cave served as a sanctuary and meeting place for the ancient Geto-Dacians, with hidden tunnels leading from the cave to the Plateau of Padeș where the Sarmizegetusa fortress once stood. Evidence of human footprints, dating back approximately 2,000 years, has been discovered in the cave, indicating that it was used by various groups throughout history as a place of shelter and refuge.
The first section of the cave, approximately 400 meters in length, is the most accessible and is believed to have been used by the Geto-Dacians, shamans, and monks. Each group left their own distinct marks, with symbols such as the “Throne of Zamolxe” corresponding to the surface location of the ancient Dacian fortress Arcinna, and the fossilized remains of the polovraga plant, which was used by local healers as a medicinal remedy, marking the “Oven of Polovraga.” The cave also features a painting depicting the symbol of death, created by a monk named Pahomie, and a perpetual spring called the “Spring of Hopes,” behind which a representation of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus can be seen, reminiscent of the nearby monastery dedicated to the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary.”
As you venture deeper into the cave, you will be mesmerized by the spectacular limestone formations, including stalactite curtains, intermediate columns, domes, stalagmite clusters, deep basins, and clay wall flows, among others. The cave’s natural beauty and intriguing legends make it a popular tourist attraction in the region.
However, Polovragi Cave is not without its mysteries and eerie stories. Local folklore speaks of hidden treasures within the cave that have yet to be discovered, but are said to be guarded by the curse of gold, uttered by Zamolxe himself. Some shepherds claim to have lost animals mysteriously within the cave, and there are tales of food and drink disappearing from tables during feasts held in the cave.
One of the most intriguing legends surrounding Polovragi Cave is the supposed portal that leads to another dimension, which is said to only open on Easter night. Dare to venture into the unknown and uncover the secrets of this mystical cave that has captured the imaginations of locals and visitors alike for generations.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply intrigued by ancient legends, a visit to Polovragi Cave is a must. Immerse yourself in the incredible stories of Zamolxe and explore the rich folklore and natural wonders of this unique destination in Northern Gorj, Romania.