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UNDERGROUND JEWEL IN THE HEART OF SERBIA: Petnica Cave is a breath-taking miracle

There are some special places on this planet, places that always gathered people with their magic, ever since people began to exist. One such place, located 300 meters from the Petnica Research Station near Valjevo, is the magical Petnička cave, a wonder of nature that people have always called home.

As you enter, moving along the long, narrow corridors always finding new, huge, wide and magnificent halls, it becomes clear to you why the Petnica Cave is one of such magical places.

As you walk in the twilight, interrupted in some places by the sunlight breaking through cracks in the vault, you can almost feel how the people who lived here 6,000 years ago at the time of the Neolithic felt, or Roman soldiers who found sanctuary here, or medieval Serbs, hiding here from Turkish retribution.

In the 19th century, the cave became the subject of research by Josip Pancic and Jovan Cvijic, two famous Serbian scientists. It consists of 600 meters of long channels and departments, and spacious chambers have been home to people for centuries, as well as cave bears, roe deer, hyena…

Just 50 years ago, in front of the cave, the first complete Neolithic settlement in this part of the world was found, a settlement some 6,000 years old. The bones of various animals, an ancient fireplace, the dice for the game of the ancient Romans were discovered here, remains of the medieval Serbs… From the Neolithic period, the remains of dishes and various tools used by hunters who inhabited the cave.

The most interesting and attractive part of the cave is located in the largest hall – on the ceiling, two openings have been created over time, through which the sun’s rays illuminate the cave – the so-called “vigleds”, created by the growth of the cave and reduced thickness of the ceiling.

The total length of the cave is about 580 meters, and the area is about 3400 square meters. The cave is divided into the Upper and Lower Caves, which are connected by a canal.

The whole cave is divided into 11 segments: the Banjska hall, the Concert Hall, the High Hall, the Ždrelo Hall, the Medveda Hall, the Amphibious Channel, the Elbow Canal, the Left and the Right Source Channel, the Dragon Hall and the Canal of the underground Spa. The largest hall is the Concert Hall with dimensions of 25 by 43 meters, and height of 24 meters.

In the Hall of Dragon there is a lake which is about 8 meters deep.

The hall was named after the legend – it is here supposedly, in the lake, that a Dragon is located, a Dragon who moves its tail and causes the appearance of bubbles on the surface.

This article is a part of the project “Seven miracles of Valjevo”, supported by the City of Valjevo. Positions of the supported media project do not necessarily reflect statements of the organ supporting the project. 

(Come to Serbia)

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