Bears’ Cave (Romanian: Peștera Urșilor), was discovered in 1975, by “Speodava”, an amateur speleologist group, and is considered to be an interesting site-seeing location. The cave is located in the western Apuseni Mountains, on the outskirts of Chişcău Village, Bihor County, Romania.
Peștera Urșilor means Bears’ Cave. The cave was so named as it was found to contain numerous complete skeletons of extinct Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus), a species of large animal which disappeared more than 15,000 years ago. It is suggested that a rock slide closed the entrance to the cave whilst 140 of these animals were still inside; deprived of food, the bears resorted to killing each other until none remained. Bear fossils were found in many parts of the cave, most sporting the marks of bear teeth.
Bear Cave contains an extraordinary range of stalagmite and stalactite formations varying in size and forms. The cave entrance – at an altitude of 482 m (1,581 ft) – is by the tourist pavilion. Bear Cave is 1 km (3,300 ft) in length. It is disposed on two-overlapping levels: the larger part of the cave, 488 m (1,601 ft) in length, has been equipped to allow visits by tourists, while a temporarily active interior level, 521 m (1,709 ft) in length, is reserved for scientific purposes.
The cave was undisturbed until 17 September 1975 when the cave was discovered during quarry works. The marble and limestone of this area was mined by the inhabitants of the nearby village Chișcău. The first person in the cave was quarry worker Curta Traian from Chișcău. The cave has been equipped and electrified so it can be visited by tourists.