Пећина Растуша

Rastuška Pećina - Rastuša Cave - Rastusa Cave

Useful Information

Location: In the village of Rastuša on the eastern side of Hrnji hill.
17 km from Teslić, 24 km from Prnjavor and 25 km from Doboj.
(44.696863, 17.800770)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave BiologyCave Lion (Pantera leo spelaea)
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=570 m, T=13 °C, A=370 m asl.
Guided tours: L=450 m.
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Ivana Jovanović, Ivana Pandžić, Preston T. Miracle (2014): The Chipped Stone Industry from Rastuša Cave, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Banja LukaEditor: Doc. dr Drago BrankovićISBN: 978-99955-59-60-1. researchgate
Address: Teslić Tourist Organization, Svetog Sava 15, 74270 Teslić, Tel: +387-53-430-058. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1960 declared a protected area.
1970 first excavation by paleontologist and geologist Mirko Malez.
1988 excavation by archaeologist Zilka Kujundžić, unpublished due to the outbreak of the war.
1990s excavation by scientists from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2010-2012 Dr. Preston Miracle from the University of Cambridge from Great Britain excavated remains of a lion and a rhinoceros.
2012 declared a Monument of nature – category III by the Government of the Republic of Srpska.
2013 development as a show cave and installation of a museum inside the cave completed.


Пећина Растуша (Rastuška Pećina,Rastusa Cave) was named after the nearby village Rastuša. The entrance portal is located at the foot of Hrnji hill. It has a spacious, horizontal main passage and several chambers. There are pure white limestone walls and some white stalactites, and the floor is covered by a dark brown, iron rich sediment. The cave was developed as a show cave and could have been opened the same year, but it was actually never opened. Its current state is unclear, but it seems to be still closed.

The official description tells about "stalagmites, stalactites and helictites alternate with fragments of corals, aragonites and unique cave pillars". That's actually nonsense, this is a river cave which has become dry rather reacently. While the river was still flowing the speleothems were frequently destroyed by floods. There are beautiful formations at some places, but the dominant thing are the scallops and vadose forms on the wall which are quite impressive.

Huge areas of the wall show a pattern which looks like tiger patterns, and is thus named Tigrova koža by the guides. They state this pattern was created by a combination of calcite deposition and mineral solutions, and is found only in two other caves in Europe, one in Italy and one in France. We are sorry to have to destroy this fairy tale, but it is unfortunately wrong. Those patterns are common, although those at Rastusa Cave are quite spectacular, and the real name is SpeleothemVermiculation.

The entrance of the cave was excavated several times since 1970 and revealed archaeological remains from prehistoric hunters. Fire places were discovered, which are quite special, one is said to have burned for 150 years and the other for 400 years. Also, many animal bones were found, Pleistocene fauna including cave bear, wolf, lion, beavers, elk, aurochs, and rhinoceros. Be careful with the description of the official website, they explain that remains of "a cave lion and a cave rhinoceros, which is something completely new for the territory of Republika Srpska and beyond" was discovered. Again that's obviously nonsense, the rhinoceros did not live in the cave, it lived outside, and it is not sure if it ever entered the cave. During the 19th century the scientists were astonished to find lion bones in caves a thought they were a new species, the cave lion (Panthera spelaea). Modern scientists are aware that even lions die, and their corpses are carried into caves by hyenas, as hyenas actually live in cave (hyena den) and they are scavengers. It was even proven numerous times as the bones showed bite marks of hyenas. That's the reason why so many bones are found in caves, which is quite fortunate for modern scientists.

So, to make a summary, they mixed up the animals, the speleothems, the names, the history, the translation of texts is poor, and they give not a single helpful fact, no address, no open hours, no entrance fee. They even do not tell if the cave is actually open to the public, we created this page ten years ago when the cave was planned, but it was actually never opened. At least they never actually stated, "yes it is open now"! And as there is no history we cannot check when it was open, because this would tell us if it was opened. So, please, if you visit this cave, send us an update by email. Just take a picture with your smartphone of the notice board with the open hours and entrance fees.

And if this sounds like you should not visit the cave, you have misunderstood us. From the pictures and the few cross-references we found we can tell the following. This is a horizontal cave passage which is quite spacious and almost flat, hence it is suitable even for elderly and unfit visitors. The passage has spectacular erosional forms and also SpeleothemVermiculation. There are not many speleothems but some pretty impressive helictites, calcite crystals and even rimstone pools. The cave has an interesting history, it was home to Pleistocene animals and prehistoric man. The oldest findings were dated 60,000 years old which means they are Neanderthal. A prehistoric iron furnace and Celtic pottery were also discovered. The cave was developed as a show cave, but closed due to unresolved property rights. In the meantime it was the location of Champignon cultivation. The trails are well developed and the light system is very new.

The karst in the area of the municipality of Teslić is called the Rastuše cave complex and there are at least six different caves. Another cave in this complex is Pećina Ratušica, which is not sufficiently explored so far, but seems to have touristic potential. So the municipality will probably help the cavers in exploring with the goal to open another show cave and increase the popularity of the site. However, they might probably think about other names, Ratušica, Rastuška, and Rastuše are quite similar and almost indistinguishable by tourists. And there are numerous other caves, like the Pećina Bijelo Bučje (Cave in Bijelo Bučje), the Pećina Očauš (Ochaus cave) on the northwestern slopes of the Očauš Mountain,