Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Russia : Kalač Chalk Cave
Black Pearl in the White Mountain

May 5, 2018, 24 pictures


          The cave is situated in the soft chalk rock and was carved out since the 13th century, mainly by the monks of the nearby monastery. Cave is the longest of all in the Voronež region, the total length of the corridors measures about 1 km. The detailed map of the cave will be published by the Divnogorje Museum in a comprehensive Atlas of Caves in the Middle Don River Region towards the end of 2018.
          The cave extends in the eastern slope of the Penkova gora hill above Kalač, mainly in the western direction. It has a constant air current. One of several web pages describing the cave is

Most images are approximately 768 x 1024 pixels in size. Numbers in front of picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files.
Participants of the depicted visit who all contributed to the making of the pictures: Aleksander Egorovič Kozinin, Ivan Smirnov - Vanja, Darja Kasjan - Daša, Dmitrij Jasirev and Andreja Peterlin.
Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2018.


Cave Entrance


40179. Access to the cave from end of the road below the cave is a trail with a yellow fence which serves as an ascent support.



40197. Yellow forest underbrush



40181. Cave entrance is at the end of a large plateau, below the chalk wall.



40198. View of Kalač from the cave entrance plateau



40174. Vanja ...



40175. ... and Daša made a brief introduction to the cave in the afternoon before the actual picture taking took place during the second visit in the early evening.



40199. The party at the cave entrance gate



40200. At the end of the cave the tunnel gets lower and the collapse starts - further on the ceiling gets to 7 m below the surface. Further passage is closed because of danger.



40204. Close to this end a spiral staircase leads upwards ...



40203. ... to the upper level of the cave. Here a widened crack provided a defensive barrier, for those who would, in case of danger, escape to this part of the cave. A large cross is carved into the side wall.



40208. The walls and the ceiling of most tunnels are covered with a layer of black soot, left by torches used as an illumination.



40209. In quite a few places the corridor is interspersed with openings to rooms and smaller side passages.



40210. A cross relief ...



40211. ... also in a closer view



40212. Several rooms have carved out benches and pillars for sitting.



40213. An unfinished part of the cave



40214. Two sun symbols



40220. Play of light in a passage between two corridors, emphasized by an arched pillar in between



40221. A face carved into the side wall ...



40222. ... and another one, uncovered by strong side illumination



40223. Thermometer shows 9 degrees C - as in natural caves a good aproximation of yearly average of the outside temperature.



40224. Red room got its name after the reddish earth layer on the lower side of the walls.



40225. In several places side wall was cut to make a bench where the deceased where kept until burial.



40227. Group photo of all the participants in the Church part of the cave



  Russia : Kalač, May 5     Return from Kalač, May 6  

This page, text and photos by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on May 21, 2018; date of last change: June 6.