THE POPELYUSHKA ("CINDERELLA") CAVE
Popelyushka Cinderella cave, Novoselytsya District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine / Briceni Raion, Moldova

A Cinderella statue in the Cinderella cave

The Popelyushka (Eng. "Cinderella”) cave was discovered in March 1977 by Chernivtsi speleologists headed V.P.Korzhik; the greater part of the cave is located under the Ukrainian territory (Novoselytsia District of Chernivtsi Oblast), however, the official entrance is in Moldova, just a hundred meters from the Ukrainian border; the cave is full of gypsum and has a wide labyrinth. The atmosphere features high CO2 concentration reaching 2-4% in some galleries.

 

To enter the cave, one must have special permit from Moldavian public authorities for two reasons. First, the cave is an aisle between two countries and unauthorized entering it is the same as unauthorized crossing the border. Also, the entrance is located in a functioning gypsum quarry (owned by Knauf company) with planned industrial explosions and heavy excavators working in it, making unattended staying in the quarry area very unsafe.

 

The cave has lakes (several dozens), 12-15m deep wells (a dozen), unique "clay” stalactites of black and red clay. Gallery and hall volumes are quite large. The explored cave length is 90200m.

 

The distance from Chernivtsi is some 60 km by a good road.

The grottos are very spaceous

Spaceous grotto, Popelyushka Cinderella cave, Novoselytsya District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine / Briceni Raion, Moldova

A subsurface lake

Subsurface lake, Popelyushka Cinderella cave, Novoselytsya District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine / Briceni Raion, Moldova

Clay "stalactites"

Clay stalactites, Popelyushka Cinderella cave, Novoselytsya District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine / Briceni Raion, Moldova

A close-up of clay stalactites

Clay stalactites, Popelyushka Cinderella cave, Novoselytsya District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine / Briceni Raion, Moldova

The functioning (!!!) quarry with the cave entrance on Google Maps

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