The Eyes of God: An impressive Bulgarian cave that leaves visitors speechless

Ian Harvey
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A Bulgarian cave, known as “the Eyes of God,” affords a peek at the sky via two eye-like hole formations inside.

Only two hours away from the capital city, Sofia, the cave lies near the village Karlukovo in Lukovit Municipality, Lovech Province, which purports to be one of the largest karst regions in Bulgaria.

Prohodna Cave, near village Karlukovo, Bulgaria. View from the right towards God’s Eyes (naturally formed holes in the cave’s ceiling with the exact shape of eyes).

Formed during the Quaternary period, the most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic era, the cave is 880 feet long, which makes it the largest cave passage in the Bulgarian region. Also referred to as Prohodna, the karst cave is a popular attraction due to its mysterious “eyes” formed as a result of natural erosive forces.

One of the cave’s entrances

With two entrances, known as the Small Entrance and the Big Entrance, that lie opposite one another, the cave is mostly known for the Big Entrance. The former is about 115 feet high, and the latter reaches approximately 148 feet in height. Allegedly, Prohodna owes its name to the bigger entrance, meaning Passage cave or Thoroughfare cave. Despite the magnificent appearance of the formation, tourists can enjoy bungee jumping here, due to the entrances’ height.

The Big Entrance of Prohodna (Passage) cave with visitors for comparison of height. Photo Credit

Bulgarians describe the entrances as the “perfect spots” for bungee jumping and as a paradise for people who practice rock climbing.

The famous cave’s historical background is not well known. Apparently, traces of prehistoric habitation were found in the cave, which leads to the conclusion that Prohodna was a home to humans that lived during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic era. Even the thought of visiting a cave that was once a home to people from those eras is quite impressive, and an extra reason to visit.


God’s eyes in Prohodna Cave, near village Karlukovo, Bulgaria. Central view

However, travelers stop by the cave mostly because of its “eyes.” When it rains, the holes are called “God’s crying eyes” due to the water running down the cave, providing an unforgettable spiritual experience. The “eyes,” however, are even more beautiful when the sun shines above the cave, letting the light inside, providing an enlightening moment that leaves people speechless.

The Eyes of God formation in the Prohodna cave. Photo Credit

Along with the travelers’ praise for the cave, they also share experiences related to their trip. The place is easily accessible by car and those who want to stay more than one day can find accommodation in the National cave house, which together with the cave is one of the many tourist sites in Bulgaria. Others who wish to feel more comfortable can spend the night in one of the hotels in the town of Lukovit, which is 1.2 miles away from the cave.

The exit from Prohodna Cave. Photo Credit

The inside of the cave has also been used in a film scene for the 1988 Bulgarian movie Time of Violence, where a priest named Aligorko prays below “The Eyes of God”.

The cave Prohodna – the exit of the cave. Photo Credit

Unlike many caves around Bulgaria, the Prohodna cave has no entrance fee and is continually open to visits. Tourists enjoy their weekends here, in particular. According to many travelers, the open cave with exquisite shapes and lights is a “must” visit attraction in Bulgaria.

Read another story from us: Fingal’s Cave: Scotland’s eerie & tuneful cave discovered in 1772

Prohodna isn’t a typical cave, but a stunning place where you can sit on one of the rocks inside and stare in awe at the natural phenomenon.