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Main characteristics

Coordinates: 43.1758 N 24.0730 E
No:535        (list of all attractions)
Values:Visual, Geology
Address:Europe, Bulgaria, Lovech Province, cave at the southern bank of the Iskar Gorge near Karlukovo
Name in Bulgarian:Проходна (Passage)
Length:262 m
Eyes of God in Prohodna, Bulgaria
Eyes of God in Prohodna / Boris Jordanov, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

There are many wonders in the world - see yourselves in this website! But sometimes even Wondermondo is surprised - does it really exist? One of such surprises is Prohodna - unique cave in Bulgaria.

Entrance in Prohodna, Bulgaria
One of the entrances in Prohodna / MrPanyGoff, / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wonders of Karlukovo Gorge

Bulgaria has got many beautiful places but one of the most impressive ones is the enormous Iskar Gorge - picturesque, long valley crossing the Stara Planina mountains from Sofia towards Danube.

Most interesting and impressive is the tributary of Iskar Gorge - Karlukovo Gorge. Here one can see many impressive limestone formations - tall walls, arches, giant caves - all rather resembling some faraway exotic land and not the European Bulgaria.

In Karlukovo Gorge and near it are known more than 280 caves, including such wonder as the 4.5 km long Temnata Dupka with multitude of important early human finds.

But by far the best known local wonder is Prohodna - "Passage".

Prohodna and the Eyes of God, Bulgaria
Prohodna and the Eyes of God / Vassia Atanassova, / public domain.

Passage for giants

Very often caves are narrow - one should struggle to get through them. But this is not the case in Prohodna, not at all. Prohodna is comparable to a giant, 262 m long tunnel of gargantuan size. The so called Small Entrance (Малкият) is 35 m high but the Big Entrance (Големият) is 42.5 - 45 m high - the largest cave entrance in Bulgaria. The giant size of the cave makes it suitable for bungee jumping - with a 56 m high jump!

Present day Prohodna is just a part of once larger cave. The thin upper layer over the cave is gradually collapsing and sometimes in the future there will remain only a steep gorge instead of the cave.

Floor of this giant cave is comparatively plain and in the past - in Neolithic - Chalcolithic ages it has been inhabited by humans.


Prohodna is very impressive cave but by far the most impressive feature here is two enormous holes of similar size in its ceiling, which resemble giant eyes.

These openings are known as Oknata (Windows) or the Eyes of God - but sometimes named also the Eyes of the Devil. Each of these holes is some 20 m long and up to 6 - 8 m wide.

Reflection of so called eyes in Prohodna, Bulgaria
Reflection of "eyes" in Prohodna / Vassia Atanassova, / public domain.

These giant eye-shaped holes create some eerie effects. When the Sun shines through the holes and one stands outside the cave, the enormous reflections of the sunshine "eyes" inside the dark cave look as if an unknown creature of giant size is hiding there. When it rains - the mysterious eyes are weeping, as if the nature itself is sad. In clear nights the stars cen ben seen through these eyes.

In spring equinox the Sun shines in through Oknata and illuminates small waterbody. It is possible that this effect was used in the rituals of prehistoric people living in this area.

The most amazing aspect is the exact shape and similarity of both holes - they look exactly like eyes. Nature sometimes creates true, even unbelievable wonders.


See Prohodna on the map of Bulgaria!


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