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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.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.