Печера "Попелюшка" - третя за довжиною ходів гіпсова печера в світі.


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The underground is an unique natural masterpiece, which can surprise and make an unforgettable impression even on the most demanding and experienced tourists. Its second name is considered Emil Rakovitsa. The object is located in the gypsum deposits and is famous for being one of the largest formations both in Europe and in the world. Cinderella ranks third in size, among similar gypsum locations, as well as 26th in the ranking of the longest caves.

Description of the Cinderella Cave

The cave entrance is located on the northern edge of Moldova. It is less than a kilometer from the state border zone with Ukraine. Cinderella enjoys popularity and interest from the entire scientific world, primarily due to its "young age". This can be explained by the process of speleogenesis, which has only just begun and can be observed in real time. Thanks to this, experts have the opportunity to analyze the processes taking place here at various stages. It is important to say that on the one side Emil Rakovitsa is located in the upper layer of gypsum, on the other - above the powerful underground rivers. This feature makes it necessary to pump out at least 8 000 m3 of water from the cavities on a daily basis, which requires an enormous financial "infusion". Fortunately, the gypsum quarry development firm absorbed all the costs of "draining" the object.

Interesting video about Cinderella cave

History of discovery

It all started in 1946, when near the village of Kriva the gypsum reserves at a low depth were found. This fact gave an impetus to the soon (8 years later) discovery of the quarry and the beginning of industrial development of the location. As a result of blasting operations (dating back to 1959), a huge cavity was formed in the west of the reserves, which began to rapidly fill with water. Specialists discovered the karst cavity after pumping the water out. The formation was the result of undermining of the gypsum reserves by the Dniester tributaries. At that time the upper gallery became known. No one knew the actual size of the system at that time. Already in 1977, another rock explosion happened, which allowed to shed light on another void. All unfolded following a previously known scenario. The official opening of the cave was considered March 12 of the same year. At its origins were members of Chernivtsy speleoclub under the atmospheric name "Troglodit". Then the cave was named Cinderella. It is explained by the fact that near the entrance the cave looks unremarkable and dirty, and only a few meters ahead the visitors will see it in a completely different, more beautiful appearance. Remarkably, the name of speleologist Alexander Filipets (it was his initiative to name the cave Cinderella) was given to one of the lakes of the cave. Since 1991, the cave was renamed after the Romanian speleologist Emil Rakovitsa.

Morphometric indicators

The total length of the underground tunnels is about 89 kilometers. All of them are located in several levels. Cinderella has no analogues in the world in size and beauty of the galleries. The volume of the cave is more than 700 000 m3. Its depth reaches 52 meters. The height of the halls reaches 11 meters, and the cavities average about 3 meters.

Cave Galleries

Cinderella is divided into a total of 18 locations. Each of them is characterized by its own features. The Hall of Chernovtsy Speleologists, the Funny district, the Central Hall, the Holland Cheese district, and the Lake District arouse tourists' interest. The most unusual is the Gothic location. Its length is 4,000 meters and the total area reaches up to 13,000 m2. The width of the tunnels in this area varies from 3 to 4.5 meters. In addition, there are more voluminous locations in the cave. Some galleries have passages of 9 meters and have walls in the form of columns. Separately we should also mention the Hall of Dinosaurs with the largest extension. In the Lakes District, there are a lot of cavities in which small lakes with characteristic names (Crocodile, Nautilus, etc.) were formed. In total, you can find up to 20 reservoirs in the cave. It is interesting that some of the halls speleologists have decorated with unusual multi-colored figures. Special attention deserves the statue of Cinderella, the Horse, the Mouse and others. They, moreover, help inexperienced explorers to choose the right way forward. Note that due to the hydroxides of manganese and iron, the clay cave is colored in different shades. You can distinguish colors in the range from pale yellow to bright red tones. At the entrance to the cave, its walls appear deep yellow.

Interesting Facts

The crystalline gypsum formations on the walls of the cave create a mosaic effect. In some places, you can find the most real crystal compositions up to 10 mm thick. It should be noted that an individual visit to Cinderella is not recommended. The fact is that in some areas of the cave there is a high concentration of carbon dioxide, which can lead to poisoning and death. In addition, there are several dangerous descents, carelessness on which will certainly lead to serious injury.

Visiting conditions

It is very dark inside the cave, only a small part of the passages are equipped. Some of the tunnels from floor to ceiling are covered with wet clay, so it is almost impossible to come out clean, which should be taken into consideration when entering. Visiting Cinderella is allowed only in an organized group under the guidance of an experienced guide who knows the topographic features of the location. It is advisable to take a flashlight, special shoes, helmet, water reserve, first aid kit.


The only entrance to the cave can be found in the Republic of Moldova. Cinderella is located in the Eastern European region, near the village of Kriva, Brichansk district, 265 kilometers north of Kishinev. In fact, it is located on the border of three countries, including Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. Another entrance from the Ukrainian side is also known, which is in the village of Podvirnoe, Chernovtsy region. However, it is not known for certain whether it belongs to the cave labyrinth, which stretches from the entrance to the north-west (towards Ukraine) and north-east (towards Moldova) direction.


Summary about cave «Cinderella»
Location coordinates 48°16′47″ N 26°37′49″ E
Length of the cave 91045 meters
Area 242974 m²
Volume709317 m³
Inlet well depth6 meters
The arrangement of the cave as part of a group
Distance from the nearest settlement2 km
The year of the discovery1959
Distance from the nearest settlement2 km
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Chernivtsi region, Podvirne village Location of Cinderella on map

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