The Ravništarka cave is very close to the Ceremošnja cave, close to the village of Ravnište. It was fully developed for access by visitors in 2007 when it was also declared a natural monument. The cave is reached by taking the tarmac road to Ceremošnja but turning off after around 9 km from Kučevo for the village of Ravnište and travelling another 3 km.
Ravništarka is one of the larger caves in Serbia. The main section of the cave is 501.5 m long, 589 m including all the adjoining tunnels. The Ponorac stream runs through the Ravništarka, which emerges 2 km upstream in the smaller, Bisina cave.
The Ravništarka cave was discovered in 1980. The locals in Ravnište had known that the cave existed, but only knew of the entrance section (60-80 m). An intrepid group of young local men negotiated the cave from beginning to end, and all that the speleologists later had to do was follow in their footsteps.
The cave formations in Ravništarka are equal in beauty to those in Ceremošnja. In contrast to Ceremošnja, which is comprised of several large halls, Ravništarka has just one hall – the Black Palace. The distinguishing feature of Ravništarka is its main section which resembles a giant tunnel, opulently decorated with a wide variety of cave formations. Most notable of the formations are ‘Prince Marko’s Horse’, ‘The Big-heads’) and ‘The Fair Maiden of Ravnište’ which is also the symbol of the cave.
Being a river cave, Ravništarka is lacking in floor-level formations, but its walls and roof are rich in cave formations. The entrance to the cave is at a height of 406.6 m above sea-level and the temperature in the cave is 8-100 C.
The Ravništarka divides into 9 basic sections:
1. Savin Kanal (‘Sava’s Channel’) begins at the entrance to the cave, is 88 m long and has little to see in the way of cave formations.
2. Omladinski Kanal (‘Youth Channel’) is 72.5 m, and has some notable cave formations, including the Rudonja – a large sinter hemisphere, ‘The Hearth Room’ – a large flowstone which resembles an open fireplace in an old-style house and Šlingeraj – richly pleated flowstones resembling little curtains.
3. Labudovo Jezero (‘Swan Lake’) is 126.5 m long and got its name from the small lake with a figure on it resembling a swan. Especially beautiful is the row of columns called ‘The Lake Fairies’. Another beautiful feature is ‘The Harp’ – a set of draperies and stalagmites resembling this musical instrument, ‘The Devil’ – a large reddish stalagmite with a horn on top and, the striking symbol of the cave, the ‘Fair Maiden of Ravnište’ – an unusually shaped group of wall formations of white crystal calcite.
4. Beli Dvorac (White Palace) is 37 m long, or 44 m including its side-tunnel. It got its name due to its uncanny resemblance to some fairytale castle. The snow-white roof, from which hangs a forest of large stalactites, some of which are more than 6 m in length, is a sight not easily forgotten. Especially beautiful is ‘Snow-White’s Balcony’ – a snowy-white shell beginning at a height of 3.5 m. In another part of the White Palace is ‘Prince Marko’s Horse’ – the large figure of a horse floating beneath the ceiling.
5. Leopardov kanal (‘Leopard Channel’) is 16.5 m and is connected to the Beli Dvorac. It gained its name due to the odd patterns on the roof and walls that are reminiscent of a leopard’s fur. The ‘Virgin’s Spring’ is found here, an interesting geological phenomenon. The spring is in the form of a narrow crack from which pressurised water shoots vertically with a hissing sound, spraying the rock above.
6. Crni Dvorac (‘Black Palace’), which at 43 m long is a classic cave hall, around 20 m wide on average and 12 m high. It got its name from its black rocks which are in streaked in places with white calcite forms. The hall has a mysterious feeling about it, as though an evil fairy lived here, who had enchanted the White Palace and the handsome prince, its lord. In the Crni Dvorac there is a very beautiful formation called Ikonostas featuring a variety of snow-white decorations on a black background, like the iconostasis in a church. Between the “doors” of the iconostasis stands the Iguman (‘Abbot’). Beneath the Ikonostas are some strange forms which have been dubbed Ptice (‘Birds’).
7. Izvorski Kanal (‘Spring Channel’) is 72 m long. Particularly striking are the Glavonje – a group of unusually-shaped stalagmites and the ‘White Gate’ – a white decoration on a black background.
8. Mali beli dvorac (‘Small White Palace’) is a blind tunnel, 17 m long and shaped like a small hall. There is a particularly beautiful group of stalagmites and stalactites called ‘The Refugees’.
9. Dušanove Galerije (‘Dušan’s Galleries’) are the final section of Ravništarka. It was named after Dušan Nedeljković, the man responsible for creating the infrastructure which made it possible for visitors to experience Ceremošnja and Ravništarka. This is an old, dry cave system adjoining the main cave tunnel. The first 15 metres is a single tunnel which then forks into two, of which the longer left one, 40 m in length, extends to the cave exit.
There is an information centre on the plateau above the cave where visitors can buy tickets and souvenirs and enjoy the restaurant with outdoor seating in summer.
INFORMATIONKučevo Municipality Tourist Organisation Svetog Save 114, 12240 Kučevo tel: +381 (0)12 850-666 www.tokucevo.org