Špilja Strašna Peć

Terrible Furnace Cave - Strasna Pec

Useful Information

Location: Dugi Otok (Long Island), Zadar County, Dalmatia.
(44.004693, 15.038583)
Open: 10:30-19:30.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=70 m. Portal: W=10 m, H=7 m.
Guided tours:  
Address: Špilja Strašna Peć, “SAMATVORAC” tourist business, Savar, Vladimir Šarunić, 23285 Brbinj, Dugi otok, Tel: +385-23-305-197, Cell: +385-98-175-7923. 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.
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1898 cave first mentioned in the Dalmatia newspaper "Il Dalmata".
1899 speleološkog društva "Liburnija" (Croatian speleological society "Liburnija") founded in Dalmatia.
1900 opened as a show cave.
1904 article about the cave in the Illustrierte österreichische Riviera Zeitung.
1904 visited by Emperor Franz Josef.
1905 cave closed.
1930 geomorphological research by Josip Poljak and Mirko Malez.
1953 cave explored by speleologists and new survey made.
17-JUN-2000 100th anniversary of the show cave with an excursion to the cave.
2003 explored by the speleological society "Dinaridi" from Zagreb.
05-JUL-2007 cave opened to the public for the second time.


Špilja Strašna Peć (Terrible Furnace Cave) is located on Dugi Otok (Long Island), a single lane gravel road was built to the cave entrance. From the small parking lot it is 250 m (5 minutes) walk to the cave entrance. The cave is entered through a huge portal, then slightly down to the first chamber, which still has a little light from outsine, After this point the cave is dark, but it is now lighted

The cave was first reported in 1898 in the Dalmatia newspaper "Il Dalmata". The article by Dr. Luka Jelić was titled D`una grottesconoscuita sull isola Lunga (About a grotto on Long Island). It was a noteworthy discovery and the cave was immediately prepared for visitors by the speleološkog društva "Liburnija" (Croatian speleological society "Liburnija") from Dalmatia. Actually it was a speleological department of the tourist association. They were founded in 1899 and this was obviously their first project. Two years later it was opened as a show cave and became quite famous. Only four years later it was visited by the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef. This visit was quite eventful, as Princess Zita broke her leg during the visit. He was quite impressed by the cave and ordered improvements made at the cave, an iron door, two lanterns and an access staircase from the sea. It was also visited by the English Royal Family, Prince Edward and Miss Simpson. Also, the author D. Hirc, who mentioned it in his book Natural Geography of Croatia, fascinated by "wild and terrible romance".

The cave was closed soon after, despite its popularity, for unknown reasons. From 1930 geomorphological research by Dr. Josip Poljak and Dr. Mirko Malez resulted in the first plan of the cave. An exploration in 1953 revealed more passages and an updated plan was made.

On 17-JUN-2000 there was a cave visit with journalists and speleologists on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its opening as a show cave. This made the cave again known to a wider population. As a result the speleological society "Dinaridi" (DDISKF) from Zagreb explored the cave in 2003. They were supported by Mirko Đinđić, the director of the Public Institution for Management of Protected Areas of Nature in the Dalmatia County. A complete resurvey and search for unknown passages resulted in a plan how to reopen the cave as a show cave respecting modern day cave management rules. The cave was again developed as a show cave, funded by Vladimir Šarunić from Savar, owner of the tourist office Samatvorac. And on 05-JUL-2007, 107 years after its first opening, the cave was again opened to the public.

Once upon a time, the fairies agreed to divide the island into two parts, in the narrowest place. They dug and dug all night, but at dawn they were trapped in the cave, the work still unfinished. They cave is proof of the fairy's failed attempt.