MKBT - Magyar Karszt- és Barlangkutató Társulat

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Introduction of the Hungarian Speleological Society

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Our past and present: 

The organized Hungaraian speleology has a 90 year old past since the Speleology Commettee of the Hungarian Geology Society was set up in 1910. Its still existing goals are: the discovery, registration and manysided documentation of the caves of Hungary. The Society has always been led by very smart, advanced scholars of natural sciences, for example Ottokár Kadic or Jenő Cholnoky. The Hungarian Speleology Society was founded in 1926. At this time numerous caves were discovered in Buda. For example, the wonderful world of the Ferenc-hegyi and Szemlő-hegyi caves were discovered with the lead of Hubert Kessler. Our society was reorganized by enlarging its profile in1958 under the name of Hungarian Speleological Society (MKBT).

It holds together and leads the loyal followers of speleology with its publicism and leading scientific team. Since 1970, our Society is the member of the Alliance of Technical and Scientific Union (MTESZ) and since 1998 it is an emphasised public group. These also show the recognition of our scientific activities and public importance. The number of our members is almost 1000. Our activities and duties: In our country, outstandingly the caves are under natural protection since they were discovered. At present, the number of the known (discovered) caves are almost 3000 and their length reaches the 150km. About 60-70 percent of this significant lenght was discovered by the work of the members of our Society. 

To protect these, our main duties are as followes:

  • Discovering, researching and documentating the karstfields and caves in Hungary,
  • Holding together and coordinating the activites of hungarian speleologists,
  • Operating the educational system of the speleology, issueing professional publications,
  • Organizing the protection of caves by cooperating with the  conservation authorities,
  • Active conservation in the protection of Hungarian karst-fields,
  • Setting up a professional library by collecting the results of both domestic and international karst- and cave research.

Our relationships and publicism: 

The results of our researches are submitted in journals Karst and Cave and Karst-and Cave Research, published by us, and on maps and in conference publications.In the past decades, several significant international conferences were organized by our society. For instance, the first Cave Therapy Symposium (1972) which could be hosted by Hungary because of the results of the hungarian cave therapy is among the bests in the world for years. This was followed by other successful international conferences with different topics. As a reward to these, our Society organized the 10th International Speleological World Congress (1989) which had very positive reactions worldwide.

Among other events most remarkable are the International Meeting of Tourist Caves (1996), the „Caves under towns” conference, which was hosted by Budapest, the home of caves and thermal baths, and the Cave-lighting Conference held in 2000, first time  in the world on this subject. 

We work together with the national parks and conservation offices which are under the direction of the Conservation Authority of the Board of Environment.  because our goals are the same: to help effectively enforcing the new laws on a social level, because our society keeps together the persons and speleologists who can do the most with their activity and special knowledge for the protection of these natural values. 

(Translated by Edina Kalicza)