1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aggtelek

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AGGTELEK, a village of Hungary, in the county of Gömör, situated to the south of Rozsnyó, on the road from Budapest to Dobsina. Pop. (1900) 557. In the neighbourhood is the celebrated Aggtelek or Baradla cavern, one of the largest and most remarkable stalactite grottos in Europe. It has a length, together with its ramifications, of over 5 miles, and is formed of two caverns—one known for several centuries, and another discovered by the naturalist Adolf Schmidl in 1856. Two entrances give access to the grotto, an old one extremely narrow, and a new one, made in 1890, through which the exploration of the cavern can be made in about 8 hours, half the time it took before. The cavern is composed of a labyrinth of passages and large and small halls, and is traversed by a stream. In these caverns there are numerous stalactite structures, which, from their curious and fantastic shapes, have received such names as the Image of the Virgin, the Mosaic Altar, &c. The principal parts are the Paradies with the finest stalactites, the Astronomical Tower and the Beinhaus. Rats, frogs and bats form actually the only animal life in the caves, but a great number of antediluvian animal bones have been found here, as well as human bones and numerous remains of prehistoric human settlements.