It is located in the valley of Harmanec to the northwest from Banská Bystrica, in the southern part of the Great Fatra Mts. Cave entrance is on the northern side of Kotolnice at elevation of 821 m, and 260 m above the bottom of the valley.
The cave is formed in the Middle Triassic dark-grey Gutenstein limestones of the Choč Nappe along the tectonic faults with locally applied interbed surfaces. It reaches the length of 3,002 m with vertical span of 75 m.
Except for voluminous collapse spaces (Dome of Pagodas, Tall Dome, Stray Dome and others), there are horizontal and inclined passages with irregular oval shapes, however without typical signs of underground river modelling. We can also find distinct collapses and spiral abysses. The initial cave spaces were formed by corrosion of slowly flowing and almost stagnant water, when they were completely flooded. Mixed corrosion and slow convection flow of water formed irregular sponge-like and oval cupola hollows. After the decline of water-table, which is witnessed by here and there preserved level notches, the cave spaces were flooded only partially. The time of forming the primary underground spaces is probably related to the ancient inflow of waters from the edge part of the Kremické Hills (extraneous sediments floated from non-karst area were found in the cave) and to forming of surrounding planation surface in the Tertiary Period. Later on, several distinct collapses of roofs and walls occurred in many places of the cave, by which the original oval shapes were destructed and remodelled, by which debris fields, debris cones, mounds and bulwarks were formed. Except for collapses, also percolating atmospheric waters contributed to further forming of the underground spaces. Narrow fissure passages and chimneys were formed by their corrosive activity in the cave.
The cave is known by abundant occurrence of white soft sinter – moonmilk. From among the sinter fills, mainly the mighty pagoda stalagmites, wall flowstone waterfalls and draperies catch your attention. There are two pagodas twelve meters high with three meters in diameter in the Great Dome. Air temperature in the cave is between 5.8 and 6.4 °C and relative humidity 94 to 97 %.
The Harmanecká Cave belongs among the most important localities of bats occurrence in Slovakia. Eleven bat species were found in the cave by now. The Greater Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis myotis) forms here winter colonies with over 1,000 members. Other interesting species are the Daubenton’s Bat (Myotis daubentonii) and Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), which uses the rock fissures in Izbica as shelter. The most important invertebrates are rare beetle Duvalius microphthalmus tatricus. Cave springtails Deuteraphorura kratochvili, Pseudosinella paclti and multipede Allorhiscosoma sphinx belong among the Wester Carpathians endemic species. Water cave crustaceans are represented by Bathynella natans, living on the bottom of underground pools.
Show caves - Harmanecká Cave
Due to low yield of underground water the boat trip in Domica Cave is not available. The short tour is available. Thank you for understanding