Caves of the Buda Thermal Karst System

Date of Submission: 11/08/1993
Criteria: (viii)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Ministry for Environment and Regional Policy &Hungarian Speleological Society
State, Province or Region:
The thermal karst system of the Rozsadomb area in Budapest is suituated in an urbanized area, below the capital (hill of Buda).
Ref.: 282


Pal-volgy cave of thermal water origin situated in the second district of the capital was discovered in 1904 while quarrying. Its explored length of 7.4 Km makes it the third longest cave of Hungary. A 500m section of it can be visited since 1919. The galleries of the maze system are decorated with characteristic dissolution forms and mineral precipitations as well as with dripstones at some places.

Szemlo-hegy cave found in 1930 while quarrying at a distance of 800 m from Pal-volgy cave was the first Buda cave where the thermal water origin was recognised. The narrow, high passages are richly covered by popcorn formations resembling of cauliflower and grapes. The 2200 m long cave called by the discoverers the underground flower-garden Budapest was opened to the public in 1986.

Ferenc-hegy cave was discovered in 1933 during drainage groundwork. The labyrinth system with a total length of 4100 m is found on a relatively small area. Scallops and ‘gun barrals' are known only from this cave. Botryoids are the most frequent speleothems.

Matyas-hegy cave is found very close to Pal-volgy cave. They have very similar morphology, the two systems must have been on a cave in the past however, we don't know the present connection between them. Matyas-hegy cave was discovered in the 30's, the present length is 4900 m. The deepest point of the cave is at 113 m above sea level, where it reaches the present karst level.

Jozsef-hegy "crystal" cave was discovered in 1984, which length is about 4800 m today. The largest hall in the cave with its 70m length, 15m width and 20m height is one of the biggest hydrothermal chambers in the world. Jozsef-hegy cave is the richest in speleothems. Aragonite needles, multi-generated gypsum crystals, snow-white calcite botryoids make the cave really beautiful.

Molnar Janos cave at the present base level is the only active of the area, which passages dip down below the karst level and is known only by the divers. Its length is 400 metres. Mixing of waters of different temperatures can be measured within the system.