Krakow

Twardowski's Cave

The most-accesible of over a dozen karst caves in the woods and cliffs surrounding Zakrzówek, this rather welcoming cave takes its name from 'Pan Twardowski' - the legendary Polish occultist, alchemist and sorcerer, who purportedly had his secret workshop inside this damp grotto during the 16th century. Known as the 'Polish Faust,' Twardowski is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for magical powers, and is the subject of numerous ancient legends in which he summons the ghost of King Zygmunt II, rides a giant chicken, wrestles with the devil and gets banished to the moon, among other things. The cave is at least 500 metres long, quite safe to enter and easy to explore. If you're prepared to get a bit dirty, you can access a couple of the deeper chambers, though at a certain point there's really nowhere further to go. Inside it's dark, damp and dirty, so if you do intend to enter, we recommend good boots, an outfit you don't mind destroying and a strong flashlight/headlamp. Find the opening minutes from ul. Tyniecka, between the footpath into the woods and the concrete wall of the military base it faces.

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