Petnička Pećina

Petnica Cave

Useful Information

Location: Klinci.
7.5 km from the town of Valjevo, at the foot of a high limestone cliff. From Valjevo follow 176 east for 2.5 km, turn right 1.1 km. There is a small unpaved car park. 5 minutes 100 m walk.
(44.2449641, 19.9358234)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave SpeleologyRiver Cave KarstKarst Spring
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: L=500 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: A. Kranjc editor (1989): Cave tourism, Proceedings of International Symposium at 170-anniversary of Postojnska jama Postojna (Yugoslavia), November 10-12, 1989, Postojna. pp. 64-65.
Address: Information: Tourist Office of Valjevo, Tel: +381-14-221-138, Fax: +381-14-226-112.
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.


1958 opened to the public.
1969 archaeological excavations in front of the cave entrance.
1986-12-16 declared a Natural Monument.
2001 cave trails restored.


the entrance of Petnička Pećina. Public Domain.

Petnicka's Cave is a resurgence, and the strong spring that flows out of is called the Banja. The cave consists of eleven chambers, the largest is called The Concert Hall. Daylight filters into it through two openings in the roof of this chamber. The Dragon's Hall has a pool in it (20 m long, 10 m wide and 8 m deep) whose water level varies. Petnicka's cave was inhabited by Palaeolithic man, and it contains a rich archaeological deposit with the remains of Ice Age fauna. The first excavations were carried out over a century ago.

Until recently, the cave had a very neglected look about it, but in 2001 the cave was given a facelift and now has quite a modern air about it.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

Петничка пећина or Petnička Pećina (Petnica Cave) is located near Valjevo, in the small village Petnica, after which it was named. The cave has a huge cave portal with a cave river emerging, as such it was an important shelter and source of drinking water since Stone Age. Of great archaeological importance, it was excavated since the 19th century when the first research was performed by Josif Pančić and Jovan Cvijić. The remains of a habitation during the late Stone Age or Neolithic, 6,000 BP, were excavated in 1969. Also bones of cave bear, hyena, and buck were found. Military equipment and the remains of a game from Roman times, as well as Medieval remains were also found. During the Middle Ages the cave was used as a hideout in times of danger by the locals.

The cave is listed as a show cave because it is developed with trails and is a popular tourist destination. It was opened as a show cave in 1958 and was one of the most popular show caves in the country. But there came younger and more spectacular show caves, and this one lost visitors and finally the operator, and fell in disrepair. The cave is actually not a show cave at the moment, as there is no infrastructure at all, no protection by a gate, and no guided tours. Nevertheless, it has paved trails and is very easy to visit, most of the horizontal cave does not even have steps, so it is wheelchair-accessible with restrictions. The trails were renovated in 2001, also the picnic area in front of the cave is kept in order by the municipality. Serbia has plans to develop tourism, which obviously requires interesting destinations. They plan the development of more show caves, and the restauration of this one in the near future, with longer trails and electric light, is also on the list.