Show caves in Bulgaria as objects for study trips and expeditions of students in tourist specialties

Saeva Dupka Cave

The report analyzes many years of experience in the design and implementation of excursion routes in show caves in Bulgaria. They have been developed and tested as project work by students in the specialty “tourism” in several universities in our country. The use of interactive technologies, special technical means for demonstrations in the underground darkness and auxiliary materials during the excursion (expedition) is shown in the student developments.

This educational technology is first and foremost related to the organization of the educational process as a continuous system of active practices “immersed” in the professional environment. On the other hand, there is a need to educate students through “project technology” and “formation” of the tourism product from the first year of study. Such a form of training is based on the organic unity of the links between different subjects, knowledge and competences acquired in the course of studying. Getting additional knowledge about Karst and caves in various disciplines such as “Homeland” and “Guiding” allows the teacher to assign students the task of developing an excursion route to the area of ​​a show cave and to use the results as control assessments.

The report demonstrates theoretical and methodological foundations of developing a new excursion (study expedition), including the development of a technological map of the speleo-excursion. Such an excursion presents the Karst terrain, the cave itself, the richness of the secondary calcite decoration, the physicochemical processes that formed the cave and speleothems. To this narrative must be added the history of the cave’s discovery and improvement, as well as archaeological and historical records of its use over time. It is shown that in the course of the excursion process, the student shows the Karst terrain, the cave and the artifacts with maximum details (first task), presents the necessary information about the already demonstrated parts of the cave (second task) and introduces the importance of the show cave for the specific area and the country as a whole (third task). In addition, the student develops practical habits for independent observation and analysis of the physical and social environment of the caves he visits (fourth task).

The report also presents the experience of collective project work of first-year students for the creation of a tourist product – a trip to the Karst region of Trigrad – Nastan and a visit to the Yagodinska cave. Developing the route, students work out a comprehensive narrative about the surface Karst in the area and the basic morphometric characteristics of the cave and its calcite decoration. Also, during the project, they were acquainted with the history of study of the Yagodina Cave in the second half of the twentieth century and archaeological data on the use of part of the cave in the Prehistory. During the preparation the possibilities for including additional detailed acquaintance of the visitors with other objects of cultural and historical heritage in the region were analyzed. In the final part of the preparation of the excursion, the result of synthesis of basic tasks solved in the process of designing the tourism product and its realization were shown to students.

Authors: Alexey Stoev1, Todor Todorov2, Mina Spasova3, Penka Stoeva1

1Space Research and Technology Institute, BAS, Stara Zagora Department, P.O.Box 73, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria,,

2Technical college, Smolyan, Plovdiv University “Paisij Hilendarsky”

3Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, BAS, Sofia,

Section: 2nd EuroSpeleo Show Cave Symposium

Type: poster presentation

Dyavolsko Garlo Cave

Yagodinska Cave


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