The Potpećka Pećina cave is in the village of Potpeće, 14 km southeast of Užice. It is unique in its monumental entrance in the shape of a horseshoe. The entrance is 50 m, the width at the base is 12 m, and 22 m under the arch, making it the largest cave mouth in Serbia. It is carved into a limestone cliff, the vertical portion of which is 72 m high. The explored section, adapted for visitors, is 555 m long. The path in and out of the cave has over 700 steps.
The Potpećka Pećina cave is an erosional cave, formed by the waters of subterranean rivers which descend underground in the Drežnik valley and follow an underground course to re-emerge from the cave or from springs in front of the cave, to create the Petnica cave river. The Potpećka Pećina cave, geologically speaking, is composed of Middle Triassic limestone with a fine mosaic structure and high fissure porosity.
Two distinct levels can be differentiated in the Potpećka cave’s tunnels: the older – the Upper Cave and the more recent – the Lower Cave. The entrance tunnel is shared by both levels and came about through the destruction of the dividing rock between them. The abundance of cave formations is a rarity in karst caves.
There are 3 types of channels in the Potpećka cave which can be divided according to their evolution: the fossil (Upper Cave), the periodically active (the longer portion of the Lower Cave) and the constantly active (the most recent, underground river course).
The mean annual air temperature is 9.5°C, with the maximum temperature in July and the minimum in January.
It is thought likely that the cave was inhabited by humans as far back as the Neolithic period. Archaeological remains have been found in the cave, such as ceramics, fashioned deer antlers and flint weapons.
The Potpećka Pećina cave is protected as a natural monument.
INFORMATIONUžice Tourist Organisation Trg partizana 10, 31000 Užice tel: +381 (0)31 513-485 www.tours.org.rs