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also of interest:

List of deepest and longest
caves in Serbia and Montenegro
The cave Pecina nad Vrazjim Firovima
karst of Serbia and Montenegro
Birds of Prey Protection Fund, preserving the Griffon Vulture external link

ova strana na srpskom

Stalactites in Uvac Valley
published in JAT NewReview, december 2000/january 2001

 text: Ognjan Radulovic
photos: Sasa Maricic

Underneath the steep limestone slope is the entrance to the Ledena Pecina cave. Its length, including the side passages is slightly over two and half kilometers. The fallen boulders of limestone, pebbles, and clay deposits speak about the lengthy process of formation of this cave. Its decoration looks like long draperies and flowstone "waterfalls" as high as ten meters in places. Although they appear cold, their beauty is breath-taking. Beneath one "waterfall" there is a flow running that after some the meters disapperas into a crack. A spring of clear water, actually a small pool, creates a barrier to approaching the hall from whose ceiling descend thin stalactites.


Uvac is a river that carries many secrets - from its source at the foot of the mysterious Roof of Serbia, as Pester Highlands are called - to the point where it flows into Lim River. The high slopes of Pester host not only the now very rare species of vultures - Griffon Vulture - a predator bird saved from extinction by rearing it in this region. The plant and animal life as well as the composition of the soil are the reasons why experts in different fields often tour this high region. Speleologists visit it in an effort to penetrate as deep as possible the steep river banks. Nonetheless, just ten or so kilometers north of the town Sjenica, Uvac has for a long time hidden one of its many secrets.

For a long time the inhabitants of this area, and experts, thought that there were three separate caves at the Usak hamlet of the village Gornje Lopize. Satisfied with superficial exploration, it remained on record that in this area there were the Ledena Pecina cave and the Usacka Pecina cave. No one even thought that in the limestone layers of Pecansko Brdo hill nature has built one of the most interesting cave systems in the country. Judged from its numerous and diverse features, it represents a seldom-beheld curiosity. As is turned out, hese cave entrances inside make up a single cave system more than 6,000 meters long with many passages at several levels, chambers, and of course, speleothems without which these caves would not have been what they are - most captivating underground castles.

The entrance to the cave section of the Usacka Pecina cave is not far from the first entrance in an area known as Miletin Do. A forty-meter deep pit leads inside. The bottom of the pit is very narrow, and one of the two passages leads to the beautiful Great Chamber. Its lower section slopes towards the Linking passage heading towards the main passage of the Usacka Pecina cave. The place where the Linking passage begins, a passage with columns and rich in speleothems, separates and from there on one may reach the Ledena Pecina cave. At the end of the passage with columns, in fact, begins the Ledena Pecina cave, which breaks off with the exit to the Uvac River canyon. The overall length of all the passages of this section is about 2,100 meters.

Chamber after chamber. That is the characteristic and beauty of the Ledena Pecina cave. The narrow passages, water filled pools, and chambers. The tall columns in the middle reach the height up to ten meters. Torch light is reflected from the slender white columns of which some are streaked with reddish or bluish-gray hues. There is a whole wealth of speleothems everywhere around.

One passes from one hall to another by flat, steep or sinking passages. Delightfull speleothems are abundant here. Such an artist in creating the unusual and pretty can only be some patient builder full of imagination such as Nature is.

The fabulous scenery of Uvac River valley to where the Usacka Pecina cave exits is suitable for camping, so that, especially in the summer time, tents are a frequent sight. The exit can be accessed rather easily, as well as the initial several hundred meters into the cave. However, only those who have explored the cave in detail may venture to pass through the labyrinths made up of many and intricate passageways. Regardelss of how many times one passes through them, there is always something new to see. Who knows, perhaps behind this fallen limestone rock decorated with icy-looking stalactites covers a passage to the yet unexplored world hidden still deeper in the Earth's insides.


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