"Stopica" Cave, Zlatibor area, Western Serbia
The Stopica cave is located on the northeastern side of the Zlatibor Mountain, under the road Uzice-Sirogojno. It is 30km far from Uzice, and only few kilometers from the major road Belgrade-Podgorica.
Earliest records about this cave in the Serbian Geological Institute date from the early 20th century, but first explorers were Czech speleologists, who used special diving equipment in 1984 to find out that there are tunnels and five chambers underground, in the length of two kilometers. The cave has about eight square kilometers in area, while in some spots it is up to 59 meters high. It is a subterranean river cave, with the Trnavski creek running through it, which has significant impact on the microclimate.
The Stopica cave differs from most other caves in Serbia because the inside temperature depends on the season of the year, so in the summer it is warm, while in the winter it is cold. The entrance is an impressive opening, 40m high and 18m wide, standing in the limestone on the altitude of 711 meters. The limestone layer dates from the Triassic period and is over 100m thick.
The Stopica cave got its name after the small village nearby, and it is best known for the travertine terraces, where water is accumulated, and with seasonal rainfall it flows in the form of cascades. In one place, there is even a true waterfall forming, some 9.5 meters high, and called Spring of Life. Some of the travertine terraces are up to seven meters deep, which makes the Stopica cave unique in the country. Speleologists have divided this complex into five segments – Light hall, Dark hall, Big hall with terraces, Canal with terraces and River canal.
The tourist part of the cave is not rich in ornaments, but it is memorable because of the attractive entrance, openings in the ceiling, called dugure and for the Spring of Life waterfall.
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