Lipska Pećina

Lipska Pecina - Lipska Cave - Lipa Cave


Useful Information

Location: Dobrsko Selo, Cetinje.
On the eastern side of the Lovcen plateau. Crna Gora (Black Mountains in Serbian), Montenegro.
(42.373889, 18.953889)
Open: APR daily 10, 12, 14.
MAY to OCT daily 10, 11:30, 13, 14:30, 16.
NOV daily 10, 12, 14.
Groups (15+) only with appointment.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 10.90, Children (5-15) EUR 6.90, Children (0-4) EUR 1, Family (2+3) EUR 29.90.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=3,512 m, VR=300 m, T=8-12 °C, A=500 m asl.
Guided tours: D=60 min.
V=15.000/a [2016], V=20,000/a [2019]
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography: Joe Duxbury (2004): Montenegro 2004, [in] Chelsea Speleological Society Vol 46 No 11 November 2004 pp 97-101, illus, map.
Address: Lipska pecina d.o.o., Lipa Dobrska bb, 81250 Cetinje, Tel: +382-67003040. 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

1839 explored by the Englishman Austen Henry Layard, first written mention.
1841 visited by the German scientist Wilhelm Ebel.
1887 visited by Pavle Rovinski, a Russian geographer, ethnographer and scientist.
1894 visited by Édouard-Alfred Martel.
1905 first opened as a show cave.
1955 reopened as a show cave.
2015 reopened to the public with new electric light.

Description

Lipska Pećina (Lipska Cave) is known and visited for a very long time. The locals tell it was visited as early as the famous Postojinska Jama in Slovenia. The first written mention is the report of the exploration by the Englishman Austen Henry Layard in 1839. The famous traveller writer and researcher Pavle Rovinski explored 450 m in 1887. He wrote about extraordinary speleothems.

The cave has a chamber which is called Njegoševa dvorana (Njegoš Hall). It was named after the legend, that Petar II. Petrović-Njegoš (*1813–1851) ordered the exploration of the cave. He was a poet and scholar, and introduced numerous changes which modernized the country. Unfortunately he died very young. He was one of the Bishops of Montenegro, who ruled like kings, and the theocratic office was hereditary in the Petrović-Njegoš family. In the late 19th century they finally became kings, but with World War I monarchy ended. However, lately some rights were restored and the head of the family, Prince Nikola II, has the right to use State objects and resources and to act as a representative of the Government of Montenegro.

The cave was frequently visited, after it was developed as a show cave in 1905. It seems this popularity vanished after a few years and the show cave was abandoned, most likely due to World War I. The trails remained for decades, but there was no electric light, the cave was gated but open during summer and freely accessible. After World War II, in the 1950s or early 1960s there was a revival. However, again the number of visitors was not really sufficient to make it a profitable venue. The last attempt was only a few years ago. In 2015 the cave was opened as a regular show cave with trails and electric light, after it was developed the years before. It is now the only modern show cave in Montenegro. The ticket price includes the parking, a train ride to the cave entrance and back, the tour, guided by locals which are well-trained. Its success will depend on the number of foreign visitors to Montenegro, the cave is undoubtedly worth a visit.

The cave has wide passages and huge chambers, and there is also an underground river. Today the explored and surveyed length is 3,512 m. Speleological exploration is still going on. As of 2005 the cave was the second-longest cave of the small country, but as there is a lot of unexplored karst in the country this might change in the future.

A strong wind blows out the entrance suggesting a major cave system. The first section was the old show cave, with steps and platforms, and nicely decorated. Probably due to the oil lamps that had been used, most of the walls and formations were black with soot. The passage performed a roller coaster - steeply down and then up again. The draught disappeared somewhere up the steep boulder slope. Large numbers painted on the walls show the progress of a previous survey. At 850 m the cave ended in a small chamber with graffiti dating from 1905, presumably by an early cave explorer in the Austro-Hungarian army.


Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.