"Megláttam, mintha lábam gyökeret vert volna, lelkemet ihlet, gyönyör ragadta el. Soha nem láttam még ehhez hasonló gyönyörű tüneményt."

Tapolca Lake Cave


The Lake Cave of Tapolca was discovered in 1903 during well-digging and was opened to the public ten years later as the first cave of Hungary with light and electricity, functioning as tourist attraction.
The cave was formed in Sarmatian limestone of the mid-Miocene sub-epoch 12 million years ago. Its rock is made up of limestone and marl layers left behind by sediments of the Sarmatian Sea. The water supply of the Lake Cave comes from two directions which gives an answer to the formation of the passages. Cold karst-water (10°C) arrives to the region of the Tapolca Basin from the south of Bakony. As a result of the post-volcanic activity, water warms up to approximately 30 °C and surges up through the fissures. The volcanoes of the area are already extinct and represent a dominant element of the landscape. The mixing of these two water supplies results in an 20°C water temperature, enabling the water to create the passages. This warm water flows slowly from the dry Hospital Cave on the north towards the springs of Mill Lake.
The outbreaking water flows into the Tapolca Brook through numerous springs, existing since the Ice Age. At the end of the 1900’s the upper section of the brook’s bed was widened by damming. That is the way the Mill Lake itself came to existence and in consequence of the damming the Lake Cave became suitable for boating.
The most prominent and well-known representative of the wildlife of the Lake Cave is Phoxinus phoxinus, a small fish species. The Lake Cave of Tapolca is the second of those barely two dozens of Hungarian caves that were declared protected already in 1942, before the introduction of the over-all protection of caves. It has been strictly protected since 1982.