BAREDINE CAVE - Geomorphological monument of nature
About the cave
Baredine cave is a karst phenomenon, geomorphological monument of nature and the first Istrian speleological site modelled to meet tourist demands, as such open since 1995.
Situated in the northern part of Istria, nearby Nova Vas, between Poreč, Višnjan and Tar, only 5 km from the coastline. The cave is surrounded by rich prehistoric archaeological sites, Histric forts, antic villas, medieval monasteries, and the still well-preserved, intact landscape.
The etimology of the name
The term Baredine stands for the area surrounding a cave, which is why the Baredine cave got such denomination. It most likely originates from the word « Bared», in local language a term denoting uncultivated soil. Today, the term does not correspond to the reality. Throughout centuries, the hard-working residents have turned the surrounding area into fertile fields and cleared away the rocks. The flattened area surrounding the cave situated at an altitude of 117 meters offers a view of neatly arranged olive gardens and vineyards spreading all the way to the sea.
Karst terrain, into which the cave was created, is the Cretaceous period sea sediment (100 million years) covered with red soil (terra rossa). The underground area of the cave was formed by water movements during karst landform processes approximately 3, 5 million years ago.
The cave entrance is of a specific conical shape spreading into a wider area at a 15 metre depth and entering the first of a set of 5 rooms which vertically descend to a small lake at a 60 metre depth. The fourth room has a 4 metre opening that vertically slides down and reaches the lower lakes and the cave’s deepest point at 132 metres.
This cave is a treasury of stalactites and stalagmites, underground sculptures created by persistent, constant water flows. This way the spectacular crystalline forms were formed, of which the most conspicuous ones are the 10 metre long ‘’curtains’’, a lifelike Virgin Mary statue, Milka the shepherdess statue, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Snowman – the torchbearer that has become the trademark of the cave.
altitude: 117 m
total cave depth, lakes comprised: 132 m
tourist spot depth: 60 m
total length of the cave path: 300 m
number of rooms: 5
air temperature: 14 °C
underground water temperature: 13,2 °C
The cave legend
There is a Baredine cave legend dating back to the 13th century. Legend has it that certain Poreč nobleman named Gabrijel fell in love with a beautiful shepherdess from Nova Vas called Milka. Gabrijel’s evil mother could by no gimmicks extinguish the flames of their love, so she gave a gang of outlaws three gold coins to secretly kill the beautiful Milka. The outlaws did not kill the shepherdess, but they threw her in the cave instead. When noble Gabrijel heard about the bad fate of his beloved, he mounted a horse and disappeared. The horse solely was to be found next to a nearby cave. Moreover, legend has it that the petrified body of the unfortunate shepherdess was gradually sliding downwards into the cave depths, century by century, searching for her beloved. Nowadays, speleologists believe that a minor digging would create a passage to the neighbouring cave, which means that the bodies of these two lovers eventually managed to encounter in the underground world, thus remaining united for good.