Vaganska Pećina

Ваганска пећина - Vaganska pecina - Vaganska Cave - Vagan's Cave


Useful Information

Location: North-eastern part of Vitorog montain, in village called Strojice.
On the main road R415 Šipovo-Kupres, above the village Vagan. 19 km from Šipovo. 600 m south of Vagan is a turnoff on a single lane gravel road. Road goes 600 m to the cave, poor road, probably better to walk.
(44.143419, 17.168113)
Open: APR to OCT daily .
[2022]
Fee: .
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave Upper Cretaceous limestone
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=420.5 m, A=919.5 m.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: R. Lazarević (1999): Vaganska pećina Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, 1-84.
Jasminko Mulaomerović, Ivo Lučić, Dr. Jasmina Osmanković (2012): Krš i Pećine Bosne i Hercegovine, Centar za krš i speleologiju, Sarajevo, 2012. academia.edu
Address: Vaganska pecina, Municipality Šipovo, Serbian Patriarch Pavle Square 1, Shipovo 70270, Tel: +387-50-360-010, Fax: +387-50-371-637. 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.

History

1969 description by J. Petrović in an unpublished report.
1970 protected by the Resolution of the National Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1979 cave explored by Radenko Lazarević.
1980 Radenko Lazarević presents plans to develop the cave as a show cave.
1999
2011 study about the Natural Monument status by the Republic Institute for Protection of cultural, historical and nature heritage of Republic of Srpska.
13-MAR-2013 government of Republika Srpska confirmed its present status as Nature Monument-III.
16-AUG-2021 cave finally opened as a show cave.

Description

Vaganska Pećina (Vagan Cave) is one of the most beautiful caves in the Republic of Srpska according concentration and variety of speleothems. The cave is habitat for several rare species of bats: Barbastella barbastellus, Myotis bechsteinii, Myotis emarginatus and Rhinolpus ferrumequinum.

The cave entrance has a huge portal and forms a natural shelter, which has long served shepherds as a refuge from bad weather. The main passage was once part of the draining system towards the source of the river Janj but it became inactive long ago. The cave has seven chambers, which were named Shepherd's Hall, Lisičiji Passage, Simela Šolaja Gallery, Janjski Passage, Ceremonial Hall, Giants Hall, Ponorski Passage and Rade Marijanca Hall. The main passage is 200 m long, 8-10 m wide and up to 15 m high. It ends at a cave collapse with huge blocks of fallen rock overgrown with speleothems. Also, the main chamber, which is 80 m long, has a wealth of speleothems, which are coloured white, red, grey and black.

The cave entrance was known for a very long time, but the cave behind was actually never explored. The first exploration was by J. Petrović in 1969, but he never published his report. Ten years later, Prof Radenko Lazarević explored the cave again. He returned the following year with speleologists from Valjevo, making a detailed survey, planning to develop it as a show cave. Then he presented his plans to develop the cave as a show cave which he made at the Institutu za šumarstvo (Institute of Forestry) in Belgrade. He had numerous good arguments, like the beauty of the cave, the proximity to the main road Jajce-Shipovo-Kupres and to the developed tourist region at the Plivina Lakes and Jajce.

The cave development as a show cave started and even power lines have been brought to the cave, but it has never been electrified. For some reason the project was abandoned. But at least the cave got a solid iron bar entrance gate, which was quite good, but has been mangled on several occasions.

In 1999 Prof. Dr. Radenko Lazarević published another book about the cave. It seems there were again people who thought the cave had potential. Finally, the development of the cave was repeated. But this time it was completed and the cave opened to the public in 2021. As this was a Corona year, and the cave was opened in late August when half the summer was already over, the conditions were not good. Nevertheless, the cave was well visited and seems to be successful.

The cave has a new iron bar gate, concrete trails and in some sections elevated wooden trails. A new LED light system was installed. We guess that there is also infrastructure for parking now, but so far they have no webpage and have not published anything except the fact that they are open, and that there are five legends about the cave,

1. Once a cow entered the cave, and after a few days it came out in the area of Kupres, without horns and skin, as a result of passing through narrow tunnels and apeleothems.
2. Once in the winter, shepherds, hiding from the weather, lit a fire in the Shepherd's Hall, and smoke came out on Kupres.
3. One day a young shepherdess entered the cave due to bad weather and thick fog, and she never returned. But every time, when it is raining hard, her cries can be heard in the cave.
4. During the war partisans hid in the cave.
5. The water at the entrance to the cave, on the left side of the "small pool" has healing properties.

Actually the first two are the same, and this kind of story it told all over the world and has never any realistic background. But it's quite funny that the operators of the cave actually published that the cave could be this long. We are not sure about which war they are talking, but there is no reason why partisans should stay in a cold and damp cave when there are dry houses. Instead of publishing such legends they should actually provide helpful information.

The cave is located about 600 m from the road. At the turnoff there was a sort of parking space which was frequently used by RVs and was published on websites with overnight places. The road was very poor, so visitors parked here and walked the 600 m to the cave, following the remains of the electric power line. We guess they also paved the parking lot and made a paved path to the cave entrance.