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The Betfia Pit Cave – A journey to the centre of the Earth

Posted in Natural attractions |

The Betfia Pit Cave – A journey to the centre of the Earth

The Betfia Pit Cave or Huda Bradii is located on the Southwest side of the Șomleu Hill (346 m), not too far from Băile “1 Mai”, in the range of Betfia village, Sânmartin township. The cave is also referred to, by locals, as the “Betfia Crater”. The Cave has two openings: the main one, created with the help of dynamite in 1898, by T. Marta, nicknamed Brade, and a secondary one, also created with dynamite, but in 1957, by a man named I. Urs.

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Avenul Betfia

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Avenul Betfia 46.981716, 22.022953 Avenul BetfiaGPS: 46.981716, 22.022953Povestea locului... (Directions)

The first exploration, together with a relatively complete mapping was made in 1913, by F. ARDOS (1913 and 1930), which established the cave as the mouth of a geyser. J. CSOLNOKY (1941) explains how the pit came to take form with the help of turbulence from some powerful water torrents, and then, pale ontological research conducted by E. TERZEA and T. JURCSAK (1969) establish its shallow origins. During the ‘40s, the cave was used as an ammunition warehouse by the Germans. The name “Huda Bradii” stems from those times, when the border crossed the “Cremanar” Hill and “Hudra Brady”. In 1977, L. VĂLENAŞ and N. SASU remap the entire subterranean void and establish its maximum depth at 86 m.

The main opening, a beautiful arcade, actually contains a 54 m deep, 5 ­ 8 m wide shaft. At its basis lies a cone of debris, within a large hall ( 35 x 18 x 20 m). To the Southwest, The Great Hall splits in two descending galleries: a Southern one, rich in argyle, with a 35° downward cliff and a few crossings which get clogged at about 84°(?), and another gallery, resembling an elongated hall ( 38 x 21 x 10 m), separated from the Great Hall by an inclined plane. Above the plane lies a series of blocks with a riverbed lapping through and then running out at ­85 m. Generally, the pit cave is poor in stalagmite formations, it presents many cavings and houses quite a few bat colonies. At the gallery bifurcation, there has once been found a chisel dating from the Neolithic era, and within the nether areas important fossil deposits have been discovered, containing Pleistocene fauna.


We’re left with the duty to respect these parts at our every step, keep them clean and pristine for generations to come, and for us as well, because in Nature, “the tourist comes to gladden his eyes, the thinker encounters a grand book where every rock is a letter, where every lake is a phrase, where every village is an accent and from whence a smoke of ancient memories emerges”. (Victor Hugo)