As much as 44 caves and abysses, which represent a part of the most valuable natural heritage in Slovakia, were designated national nature monuments. As a part of the world heritage site, we can include here also other caves and abysses of the Slovak Karst. As type localities they represent morphological and genetical variety of underground karst phenomena, various forms of calcite and aragonite fill, monumentality and exceptionality of permanent glaciation, various forms of cave fauna, but also remarkable archaeological and historical monuments.
World Natural Heritage
The glamour and mystery of our World Natural Heritage can be admired only by visitors of show caves. From among the fifteen classically or touristically opened caves in Slovakia (except for the Bojnická Castle Cave which is a part of the castle tour) six caves are included in the World Natural Heritage (Dobšinská Ice Cave, Domica Cave, Gombasecká Cave, Jasovská Cave, Krásnohorská Cave and Ochtinská Aragonite Cave).
Other caves and abysses of the world heritage are not open to the public. Many of them are hardly accessible. Only experienced cavers and speleoalpinists with the help of roping technique or by demanding climbing or crawling can enter them. Some parts of cave with water siphons or flooded parts are accessible only by speleodivers.
Brief characteristics of show caves in the world heritage is a kind of an invitation to visit them. Following is the basic characteristic of other national nature monuments - wild caves and abysses of the World Natural Heritage.
The caves of the Slovak and Aggtelek Karst were inscribed on the World Natural and Cultural Heritage list of the UNESCO on the basis of a bilateral nomination Slovak-Hungarian project in 1995, which was approved by the World Heritage Committee in Berlin on December 4 - 9, 1995. This project was extended by the Dobšinská Ice Cave in 2000 and approved on the Committee session in Cairns during November 27- December 2, 2000.
The caves of the Slovak Karst now represent the only natural phenomenon inscribed on this list.
They present an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes and significant geomorphic features. The representativeness and exceptionality of underground karst forms of the Slovak and Aggtelek Karst resides in the following facts.
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