Stopića Pećina

Stopica Pecina - Stopica Cave


Useful Information

Location: The Stopica cave lies along the northern piedmont of Mt. Zlatibor in the village of Rozanstvo. The Uzice-Sirogojno road passes over the cave.
(43.702672, 19.854688)
Open: 06-APR to 15-JUL daily 9:30-18.
16-JUL to 10-SEP daily 9:30-19.
11-SEP to 23-OCT daily 9:30-18.
24-OCT to 05-APR daily 9:30-16:30.
[2022]
Fee: Adults RSD 250, Children (7-15) RSD 150, Children (0-6) free.
Parking RSD 70.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyRiver Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=1,691 m, A=711 m asl.
Portal: H= 18 m, W=35 m.
Guided tours: D=30 min, L=1,615 m.
V=90,000/a [2019]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Information: Tourist Office of Uzice, Tel: +381-31-513-485 or +381-31-514-761.
Turisticka organizacija "Zlatibor", Miladina Pećinara 2, 31315 Zlatibor, Tel: +381-31-841646, Fax: +381-31-841244. 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

1901 first description of the cave by Radoslav Vasović published by the Serbian Geology Society.
1909 first speleological exploration by Jovan Cvijić.
1913 second speleological exploration by Jovan Cvijić.
1969 explored by Belgrade University Caving Club.
1984 underwater passages explored by Czech cave divers.
2009 opened as a show cave.
2018 declared a Natural Monument.

Description

Stopića Pećina (Stopić's Cave) is actually written Стопића пећина in Serbian. It was named after the nearby hamlet of Stopići, which belongs to Rožanstvo. It is located halfway between the villages Rožanstvo and Sirogojno, on the slopes of Mount Zlatibor in western Serbia. From the road a signposted single lane gravel road leads 500 m to a parking lot. The trail to the cave is only 100 m long, but is a continuous descent into the valley on a long stone staircase. The road, the parking lot, and the staircase were built in 2009 when the cave wad developed by the Turistička organizacija Zlatibor (Tourist organization Zlatibor). The cave tour only takes 30 minutes, but with the descent and later ascent you should plan 1.5 hours.

The first view on the cave entrance is spectacular, a huge portal at the foot of a limestone cliff. The area around the entrance is flat forming a huge plateau, the horizontal cave was always easy to enter. Fortunately the cave is now a show cave and gated with a high fence, which prevents vandalism.

The cave is an active river cave, and the resurgence of a small brook named Trnavski Potok. The main passage always has the cave river, sometimes with small waterfalls, the highest is called Spring of Life and is 9.5 m high. The river actually flows through the cave, the surface stream vanishes in a ponor south of the road towards Tranva and reappears at the cave entrance north of the road. However, the river in the main passage contains only one third of the water, the rest flows obviously through a lower waterfilled cave level. This level is almost unknown, only a few water-filled passages have been explored by Czech cave divers in 1984.

The main feature are obviously the rimstone pools, a series of numerous dams which are up to 50 cm high and at certain times of the year filled with water. This is in the spring or after heavy rainfall, the best time to visit the cave. The cave is very well lighted and has very good trail, obviously a result of the rather late development as a show cave. Unfortunately they use coloured light for the rimstone pools, which is quite annoying. Fortunately the rest of the cave has no coloured light.

For some reason the cave was developed very late, in 2009, despite being known for a very long time. The main passage is quite spacious, although not as big as the portal, and as a river cave there are not many speleothems. But the tour also visits some fossil side passages with more speleothems. The tour also has two chambers, which are called Dark Hall and Light Hall. The light hall is right behind the entrane and named so because it still receives light from outside.

As we mentioned, the cave easily accessible, but is also located in a secluded valley and was hard to find. During the centuries it was often used as a shelter in dangerous times. According to local lore it was the hideout of the local Serbian population from the Ottoman army during the First Serbian Uprising. They also tell stories about very long passages connecting to far away locations, a rather common kind of legend. Another legend is that during and after World War II the hajduk Pane Stopić, a local hero, was hiding in the cave for over a decade, evading the Chetniks, the Yugoslav Partisans and the OZNA pursuers.

Such legends were the reason for a very local gold rush. Around 2000 some locals dug into a shaft above the cave because they believed there was gold. Some thought it was the hidden treasure of the medieval Nemanjić dynasty, others claimed it was gold hidden by the Chetniks during World War II. The result was predictable, just cave clay.