There are many caves in the region of Kučevo in Eastern Serbia, which makes it a true paradise for speleology enthusiasts. In addition to caves of exceptional beauty, such as Dubočka and Ceremošnja, the region also boasts Ravništarka cave, a natural monument protected by law.
Ravništarka cave is a river cave - the Ponorac stream runs through. The spring of this stream is several kilometres upstream, inside the slightly smaller Bisina cave.
Situated in the village of Ravanište, the cave owes its current status to the young men from the nearby villages who first explored it, thus laying down the path for professional speleologists to later follow. Today Ravništarka cave has been surveyed in detail and is easily accessible for visitors wishing to take a tour through it.
With its lavish ceiling and wall formations, the cave gives visitors an opportunity to discover its morphological and speleological diversity which are grouped in nine distinct units.
The first part of the cave named Sava’s Canal, measures 88 metres and is situated just across from the entrance to the “Youth Canal”, the second distinct unit. The Youth Canal is just over 70 metres long and boasts lavish cave formations. In this section visitors’ eyes are invariably drawn to Šlingeral, an intricately folding flowstone reminiscent of short curtains, the expansive flowstone named Odžaklija because of its similarity to an open hearth and the massive tufa hemisphere known as Rudonja.
The next speleological unit on the route through the cave, the Swan’s Lake, is named after the small lake and the swan-like figure found in its midst. The exquisitely shaped system of wall formations made of glittering calcite, known as the Beautiful Ravništarka due to its outstanding beauty, is a notable feature of the whole cave as a whole.
If you continue along the main canal, you reach a small hall with a white ceiling from which countless massive stalactites are suspended, giving this part of the cave a fairy-tale quality. It was exactly because of this fairy-tale atmosphere that it was named the White Castle, while the most beautiful formation in it – the snow-white shell rising up from three and a half metres above ground – was named Snow White’s Balcony.
The White Castle gives way to the Leppard’s Canal, so named because of the curious patterns on its ceiling and walls. Visitors then enter the only real hall in the cave – the Black Castle. The snow-white cave formations which spread along black rocks in this hall create a striking contrast and the structure is known as Iconostasis.
Next you will enter the Spring Canal, decorated by a group of stalactites called Glavonje and a large white cave formation known as the White Gate. You will also reach the small white castle, a dead-end canal shaped like a hall. The last part of the cave is called Dušan’s Galleries after Dušan Nedeljković, the man credited with building the roads which bring visitors to Ravništarka and Ceremonja caves thus allowing them to enjoy their charms.
Finish your visit to Ravništarka cave by visiting the plateau above and picking up a souvenir to remind you of your time here or enjoy a well-deserved break in the restaurant which serves popular regional delicacies with views of the surrounding nature.