Located in the Apuseni Natural Park, Bihor County, the cave drew the attention of the most famous speleologists who have discovered here probably the most ancient cave drawings in Europe.
‘It is a unique discovery not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also worldwide. Drawings discovered here are very old, dating back 32,000 to 36,000 years ago. These discoveries placed Coliboaia Cave alongside Western European Paleolithic cultures,’ speleologist Viorel Lascu told Adevarul.
The paintings found on the cave walls are all black and they are representations of animals, amongst which there is a bison, a horse, possibly a prehistoric feline, two bear heads and two rhinos. In the underground gallery there are traces of the cave bear that scratched the walls, but the bones of this animal were found inside. It seems that the paintings were drawn by prehistoric people with the help of coal.
The total length of the cave is 750 meters and drawings are similar to those discovered in the cave of Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain. Tests made by specialists confirm that cave drawings in Bihor are older than 30,000 years. The expertise on the cave drawings found in Coliboaia Cavern confirmed that it houses some of the oldest art manifestations in human history. According to the test results made with Carbon 14 on some samples from the cave drawings, Coliboaia, next to Chauvet Cave in France, are the oldest in the world.
Speleologists have taken the decision to close the cave in order to preserve and conserve the findings as well. The cave is under Romanian Speleological Federation and Apuseni Natural Park Administration care, under the authority of the Archaeological Museum from Oradea and Bihor County Administrative Council.