Despite its ancient and "exotic" story, the city Kungur is unique now because of the legendary Ice Cave in the Ice Mountain. It has got no less mysteries and secrets than Stonehenge and Egyptian sphinxes have got.
Kungur Ice Mountain and Ice Cave are situated in the south-east of Perm Krai, 90 km. from the city of Perm. The area of the reservation is 106 ha, min.true altitude (the Baltic Sea) is 116 m, max. true altitude is 198 m.
Kungur Ice Cave is known since time immemorial. In 1703 Peter the Great issued the decree sending a well-known geographer S.U. Remezov from Tobolsk in Kungur. He worked out the Uyezd plan and the first sketch of the Cave. The cartographers of the XVIII century made a copy of the sketch, multiplied them and they were included in the scientific encyclopaedias of the European Universities.
The Cave as an excursion site is used since 1914 and equipped with with 2 tour routes with total length of 2 km. The examination of a large excursion ring (classic route) continues 1h. 20 min. During this time the tourists travel under the ground 1300 m. Some hundred thousand people come to have a look at this unique creation of nature every year. The total number of tourists has already exceeded 5 million.
In 1733 Professor I.G. Gmelin first in the world kept the ground microclimate under observation. The constant monitoring regime in the cave is carried out over 60 years. This is the only underground laboratory in Russia with long-standing and diverse observations of karstic processes. The standard for monitoring observations in the cave is a protected part, which remains in the primordial form.
Ice Mountain is of great interest in archaeological terms. There are two sites of ancient settlement of VII-IX centuries, relating to Lomovatov culture. Yermakov's site of ancient settlement known since the XIX century is located in the eastern part of The Mountain, just above Kungur Ice Cave. Kungur's site of ancient settlement , smaller in area, is situated in 0,5 km to the west of it. Both have well-preserved castle defenses - barrages and moats.