Often, tourists that use the DN66 from Haţeg towards Valea Jiului or coming from the south to Deva, miss the opportunity to see one of the most spectacular and important tourist objective: Bolii Cave. The cave is situated only 1 kilometre from the road and can be easily explored as it was maintained and well kept. The road takes you from Haţeg towards Petroşani passing by the fortress ruins of Băniţa and lastly arrive close to the Jupânesei stream. From this point on, you only need to travel tens of metres before you finally arrive. You will be greeted by the gigantic cave’s mouth which resembles the biblical leviathan.
The cave was used by humans in the prehistoric era.
Bolii Cave is one of the few caves that can be traversed due to its stream flowing across the whole cave. The cave has an extraordinary acoustic. Many concerts are held there because of that. The cave’s name comes from the name of Bolia from the Bolia Family. This name was first mentioned in 1404 in a donation paper of king Sigismund. Through this specific paper, the Bolia voivode would receive nearby land and forests. Sebastian Stanca states that humans used to live in this cave as its size could shelter an entire tribe. Ancient jewellery and clay pots were found stating from the Palaeolithic era. The Petroaqua Association, which is responsible for the cave’s environment, says that the cave was first mentioned by M. J. Ackner in the year of 1838. According to research, the cave also used to shelter merchants and their trades that would come from the Egee Sea and Syria.
Show in the depths.
The cave, which is shaped like a tunnel, was dug in by the streaming water of the Jupâneasa and Galbina rivers at an altitude of 720 metres. It stretches out to 455 metres in length. However, the length of all galleries is over 1400 metres. The entrance is 20 metres wide and 10 metres tall. On the other hand, once you go in, the height of the cave will reach 45 metres.
The Love which splits the mountain.
The name of the river that flows through the cave comes from the legend of Jupâneasa. Jupâneasa used to be the landlord of the land in that area. Unfortunately, her lover was called to arms by the White Wolves and therefore she would wish for him to come back. Every day she would go into the cave to pray to the image of Fecioara Maria which was a natural appearance on the cave’s wall. Persuaded by her words, Fecioara Maria transformed her into a river that would always dig further into the cave in order to find her lover.
The Vâlcan pass, the road of Traian.
After visiting the Plague Cave the road continues to the Vâlcan pass. There are informational billboards that show how between 101-102 the roman legions led by Lucius Quietus were going north. The pass was later called “The Road of Traian”. In 1211 the “road” belonged to Herman Salza, leader of Teuton knights, which was tasked with defending Transilvania from any impending attacks. Moreover, it is said that in the autumn of 1600 Mihai Viteazu used this road on this way to Viena where he would meed Emperor Rudolf the 2nd. The legend says that his horse fell due to exhaustion so Mihai Viteazu decided to go through the pass on foot.