The Rajkova Pećina cave is in eastern Serbia, 2 km from Majdanpek. It is reached via a tarmac road along the banks of the Mali Pek river and the Veliki Zaton artificial lake. The whole region surrounding the source of the Mali Pek is rich in mixed woodlands of beech, maple and oak, and is unique both for its natural life and its caves.
Rajkova Pećina got its name from the renowned Rajko Vojvoda, who is thought to have lived in the 19th century. According to tradition, he was an innkeeper by day, but by night he robbed Turkish caravans and hid the treasure in this cave. The cave was first explored by the geographer Jovan Cvijić in 1894 but research was not continued until the 1970s, under the leadership of Dr Radenko Lazarević. The cave was opened to visitors in 1975.
The entrance section of the cave, from the direction of the village of Rajkovo, was occupied by humans even in prehistory, as evidenced by a stone hammer now kept in the archaeological collection in the Majdanpek Museum. Rajkova Pećina is an open cave, through which the Rajkova Reka river flows. Upon leaving the cave, it merges into the Paskova Reka river which also flows from the cave, and thus the Mali Pek is formed.
In terms of its characteristics and evolution it is one of the most interesting caves in Serbia. The cave has two levels, a descending section and an emerging section which differ, the lower being hydrologically active, the upper dry. With 2304 m of tunnels so far explored it is the longest cave in Serbia. The river and dry tunnel join to create a circular path 1410 m long, of which visitors can currently tour 633 m. The temperature in the cave is 8°C and above, and the relative humidity of the air is close to 100%.
Rajkova Pećina is rich in cave formations of all shapes, made of the highest quality snow-white crystal calcite to be found in Serbia. Walking along the cave trail the visitor has a unique chance to experience the gurgling sound of the clear Rajkova Reka river echoing around the Ježeva Dvorana (‘Hedgehog Hall’), with thousands of calcite straws adorning the ceiling. Following this, the visitor crosses the reddish rimstone pools, past the ‘Winter Fairy-Tale’ with ‘The Polar Bear’ and enters ‘The Crystal Forest’ in which ‘The Quivering Pond’ is found. Some of the better-known figures here are ‘The Egyptian Goddess’, ‘The Snail’ and the ‘Tree Stump with Toadstools’.
INFORMATIONMajdanpek Municipality Tourist Organisation Svetog Save bb, 19250 Majdanpek tel: +381 (0)30 584-204 www.toom.rs