The Ceremošnja cave is located on the northeastern slopes of the Homolje mountains, at a height of 533 m above sea-level, beneath the highest peak, Veliki Štubej (940 m). The cave is 15 km from Kučevo and can be reached via a tarmac road. Near to the cave is the village of Ceremošnja, after which it was named.
It was made suitable for visits by tourists in 1980. The total length of its hitherto explored tunnel system is 775.5 m, while the length of the tourist trail is 431 m. Since 2007 it has been protected as a natural monument.
Due to its wealth of cave formations, Ceremošnja is one of the most beautiful caves in Serbia. It is known for its large halls adorned with a variety of cave formations – stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, flowstone waterfalls, galleries and more.
Since the Ceremošnja cave is of the open, pothole type, it is subject to outside influences. During winter, the temperature inside is 60 C, and relative humidity 72 do 78%. There are no air-currents in Ceremošnja.
The Ceremošnja cave can be divided into five natural sections:
The entrance section is 87 m long and comprises the section from the cave entrance to the Arena hall. This section has little to see in the way of cave formations.
The Arena is the largest and most attractive chamber in Ceremošnja. It has an irregular circular shape and is very reminiscent of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, hence the name. The total length of the Arena system is 105 m. It is 40 to 50 m in width and 20 to 24 m high. The formations in the Arena are of the highest quality. Some striking forms stand out:
- 'Forever on Guard’ – a dynamic column, also the symbol of Ceremošnja
- 'The Waterfall' – a massive cascading calcite column, more than 10 m high
- Lepa Vlajna – a delicate snow-white column of crystal, sparkling calcite which symbolises a woman from the region.
Nearby is also ‘The Bridegroom’ stalagmite, and two strangely conjoined columns called ‘The Friends’.
The Ponorska Dvorana (‘Swallow-Hole Chamber’) is entered from the Arena via an opening in the high, dividing drapery wall. The opening is named Dveri, as it is reminiscent of the so-named double wooden altar doors in an Orthodox church. The Ponorska Dvorana is named after the funnel-shaped swallow-hole (ponor) found in it. The Ponorska Dvorana section is 99 m long. The chamber is 36 m long and 18 m wide. Amongst the wealth of formations, a particular rarity is the ‘Cracked Sphere’, a huge hemisphere of streaked, multicoloured sinter, cracked, with separate spherical pieces. The radius of this ball is 3.5 to 4 m.
The Andezitska Dvorana (‘Andesite Chamber’) is entered via a wide passageway from the Arena. It got its name from the mineral andesite, which the chamber is largely formed of. The chamber is elliptical in shape, 60 m long and 15-20 m wide. The total length of this section is 76 m. Among several fascinating groups of formations, of special interest are the ‘Roadside Memorials’ – a group of unusual stalagmites. Especially eye-catching are the snow-white ceiling formations.
The Južni Kanal (‘South Channel’) is the final section of Ceremošnja, leading to the exit from the cave. It begins from where the Lepa Vlajna stands in the Arena. The Južni Kanal is 107.7 m long, or 172 m if one includes the adjoining short blind tunnels. It has little in the way of formations, but there are a number of interesting shapes. Two long, somewhat narrower tunnels extend from the Južni Kanal and at the end of the first of these two is the cave’s exit opening.
The trail marked for visitors in Ceremošnja is circular and one-way, providing an ideal way for tourists to enjoy the cave.
The remains of a cave bear which lived more than 100,000 years ago have been found in the cave.
Flowing into the cave is the Strugarski Potok stream which, after flowing underground for a kilometre re-emerges on the surface as a powerful spring near to the Bigar cave. It is thought that between these two caves there must be a cave system which could be several kilometres long, an old system of cave channels which once emerged beneath the karst arch around 20-30 m above the Bigar cave, and not on the newer level along which the Strugarski Potok today flows. It is known for a fact that there was once a cave mouth here that was buried by the locals.
The cave is set amidst very beautiful surroundings. Just a few kilometres away, there are a number of interesting sites for tourists to visit. On the slopes of Veliki Štubej are the Bigar Pećina cave and the Golubanjska Pećina cave, the Siga waterfall and the remains of the Celtic fortification Arsin Grad.
A road has been built from the Ceremošnja cave to Veliki Štubej, and this peak offers an unforgettable vantage point looking out onto the Pomoravlje plain, the rolling hills of Šumadija and the steep slopes of the Carpathians in neighbouring Romania.
INFORMATIONKučevo Municipality Tourist Organisation Svetog Save 114, 12240 Kučevo tel: +381 (0)12 850-666 www.tokucevo.org