Bobijaško oko

Useful Information

Location: Jelašinovci.
From Sanski Most M204/R405 towards Put Hasiba 23 km, in Lušci Palanka turn left on Tertiary Road R 165;R 407a after 5.5 km trun right. 200 m walk from the end of the road.
(44.7017158, 16.4628874)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstDoline KarstIntermittent Spring KarstCenote KarstVauclusian Spring BiologyOlm Proteus anguinus
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Bobijaško oko, Jelašinovci, Sanski Most.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Bobijaško oko (Bobija's eye) is a vertical shaft which is a cave entrance, doline, daylight shaft, whatever you may call it. The cave at the bottom is water-filled and not accessible. This is a Vauclusian spring, which is inactive most of the year. Typically, the water level is deep below, in the shaft, and the whole thing looks like a cenote, a shaft with the karst water at the bottom. On three sides are vertical walls with impressive horizontal layering. On one side there is an opening, and if the water in the cave rises, it fills the shaft and finally flows out on this side forming the Jezernica brook. This brook is typical for a karst area: it rises at one point and vanishes again underground after only about 5 km on the surface. The water reappear a little further in the CaveDabarska pećina

Bobijaško oko changes its appearance with the level of the karst water table. When it's low, there is an almost circular shaft with water at the bottom, in what almost looks like a cave entrance. The lake has a semicircular shape. When the water rises, the shaft fills, and there is now a deep blue circular pool. Higher up, the diameter of the shaft is bigger and if it is almost filled, there is a huge blue lake. And finally, the water flows out, the overflow forms a small river. It seems this happens quite regularly, at least once per year for some time, as the locals used the power of the river for a watermill.

If you visit the site, it depends on the season and the weather in the time before, what you will actually see. But in any case, it is quite spectacular. The outflow is visible only at snow melt in early spring and after periods of heavy rains, which are rare. At this time, it is difficult to reach the spring as most trails are under water.

Some call this an estavelle, which is only partly true. An Estavelle changes between being a spring and a swallow hole, and while this site could work this way, there is actually nothing to swallow. There is no river which changes its course and flows back into the spring. If the overflow stops, the river simply dries up.

Bobijaško oko is said to be one of the most interesting natural wonders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is an assessment that we share. But there is not much tourism in the area, and so this site is visited mostly by locals. This is off the beaten track and a little tricky to find, we strongly recommend a good map. There are some wooden signs along the road which are marked oko, but they are not really sufficient. The website below gives a detailed description of how to get there with pictures of every turn.

Deep in the Karst, there is a place inhabited by fairies and elves for centuries. Their games and dances echoed through the forest, while the sounds of the flute enchanted the listeners. The people thought that they had supernatural power over water and nature. Some dared to enter the forest at night, hoping to see these magical creatures playing their rounds near the karst spring.

A peasant lived near a karst spring. One day, his sheep fell into a deep abyss, and although the peasant tried everything to save it, he failed. A few days later he found his sheep at the spring, it was allegedly washed through the cave by the water and reappeared at the spring.

The spring was explored some time ago by British cave divers. They discovered BiologyOlm Proteus anguinus under water, which is actually not as exceptional as some news reports claim, the whole area of the Dinaric karst is their habitat.