Meledic Karst Plateau and one of the longest salt caves in Europe
Meledic Plateau is a natural mixed reservation located in the Sub Carpathian area of ??Curvature, on the territory of Manzalesti and Lopatari, Buzau County. The Meledic plateau is situated 600 meters high and it is made up of clays and roofing slates on the top of a salt massif. The surface of the plateau is approximately 67, 50 hectares and it is a geological reservation in the custody of the Ecology University in Bucharest.
The plateau’ micro relief consists of single or twin sinkholes extremely broad and deep (up to 25 meters) with steep slopes, deep ditches cut in salt and clay, deep ravines and 34 caves. This geographical area was declared a geological, speleological, botanical and zoological reserve protected by law and covers an area of ??approximately 136 hectares. One can admire here numerous attractions both for researchers and for travelers, such as salt hills, canyons, caves, lakes, wooden statues and a specific fauna consisting of species which include scorpions or turtles. The Meledic plateau is a geomorphic reserve of great scientific, aesthetic and touristic complexity.
The largest salt cavern cave in Europe is also located at Meledic, namely Manzalesti 6S Cave. It is the second in the world. Besides this cave there are few smaller ones, but at the time being the area is not open for visiting due to the collapse of the entries into these caves. The cave won the 1980 world record of the longest salt cave – 1,257 meters, but in 1983 it was dethroned by Malham Cave in Israel, near the Dead Sea, with a total length of 3,100 meters. 6S cave is characterized by the abundance and diversity of salt concretions.
The scientific value of the plateau is complemented by the presence of the lakes formed here, of which the most important are the Meledic Lake, also known as the Bottomless Lake with a maximum depth of 5.4 meters, and the Castle Lake, which is about two times lower, having a maximum depth of 3.9 meters. The legend says that in the late 1800s, a car filled with barrels of mineral water crashed into the Bottomless Lake but very soon it turned out that it was not an accident and that it was not a water barrel, but a real treasure.
This plateau is one of the attractions of Buzau County, located in the Slanic upper river basin, in a quiet natural setting with picturesque landscapes.