The most beautiful caves in Montenegro: petrified breathtaking life
Standing between stalactites and stalagmites makes you think that it would be possible to bring them to life but you just do not know how to do it. Not even the greatest artists would be able to create the sights you see when you enter into any of the caves. Sometimes not even all the time you have is enough to get tired of cave ornaments which look like an unreal, colourful but petrified life looking at you. When you are standing between stalactites and stalagmites you tend to think that it is possible to bring them to life but you do not know how to do it. Anyway the thing that is certain is the fact that face them underground is breathtaking; however, true lovers of the underworld believe that making them available to the world would mean their destruction. Yet, there are others who would like more than anything else to return to the caves and escape from the devastated aboveground world.
Beauty of the underworld
This weekend we are presenting 5 more caves.
In Dobrsko selo in Cetinje on the saddle Belvedere there is Lipska cave, discovered in the 19th century. Despite the fact that it was valorised in the time of King Nikola, this cave is not open to visitors today. At its entrance there is a locked gate. Jasmina Ćeranić from Cetinje, participant of the speleology course, says that this cave is leased to Slovenians and that preparation of the plan of its valorisation is underway. Before the “competent entities” locked Lipska cave reporter of “Vijesti” enjoyed its hidden treasures. Among the cave ornaments (this beauty is full of them) there are some which, according to speleologists, cannot be found in any other similar facility. Lipska cave belongs to the group of storey caves, because it has a highly developed system of channels. The main channel that used to take a large amount of water lost its basic function, because water had found its way on a lower level and started flowing slightly downwards thus creating new channels. So far over 3.5 km of cave channels have been explored, of which the following single out: entrance channels, Njegoševa Hall, Crystal Room, and a corridor with stone blocks. From the very entrance to the cave you can say that the cave was visited and that it was taken care of . The interior of the cave was taken care of even before the First World War and you can see stone stairs, paths and there is also a little man-made yard (“guvno”). Place in the Great Gallery with a water pool where a little man-made yard is built is particularly magical. In Lipska cave there are water flows that are somewhere deeper, somewhere shallower, but pose no threat. A couple of places where there is air flow are an indication that there are channels in the cave which if explored may lead to new openings or new channels.
In the part of Podgorica called Tološi, in the massif of Velje brdo, there is the cave Megara, one of the most interesting caves in Montenegro. The cave’s opening is visible from the road, but its entrance is rusty; however, you will forget all about it as soon as you come “face to face” to its breathtaking ornaments. In the halls of Megara stalactites and stalagmites are incredibly beautiful. The first explorations of Megara were conducted by prof. dr. Jovan Petrović and his associates in 1962. Petrović called this cave because of its characteristics the “cave of magic and horror”. Three decades later suggestiologist from Andrijevica Vidak Jukić, tried to turn Megara into a centre for research and application of alternative medicine. He argued that this cave is more than suitable for the treatment of asthma, respiratory diseases, some neuropsychiatric diseases and treatment of many health problems. Works on adaptation of Megara are the only attempts of valorisation of the cave in the last decades in Montenegro, but as the works were came closer to their end problems regarding the implementation of this project arose. There was a lot of controversy when it comes to the name of this cave. Some say that it was named after the donkeys because local people used to keep donkeys inside (in Montenegrin donkey is called “magare”) while others connect this name with magical features of this cave. Jukuć called it Megara on the model of Megarian school ran by Socrates’ disciple Euclid.
The overgrown trail, marked at several places with stone benches, brings you to the cave Grbočica in the village Trnovo. Horizontal shape of the entrance to Grbočica is hidden by thick vegetation and is facing northeast; it is 2.7 meters high and 9.5 meters wide. Until now 693 meters of the cave were explored. Height difference from the entrance to the lowest point in the cave is 19 meters. Entrance part of the cave is fossil and it is divided into two levels that represent a specific network of channels and corridors. Both lower and upper levels of the cave are in a certain stage of morphological evolution. The lower level is younger and its hydrographic function is more active than of the upper level. The upper level is left without its hydrographic function and is in the phase of building the cave’s ornaments - Miloš Pavićević, speleologist says. Almost the entire inside of Grbočica, which is located in the district of Lake Skadar, is rich in cave ornaments of incredible shape.
Mačja pećina (Cat’s Cave)
In the district of Zatrijebač, above the canyon of the river Cijevna, there is Mačja pećina. Although it is tiny, its ornaments can compete with those of any large cave – cave and pit experts in Montenegro and the region say. Above the canyon of the river Cijevna you can reach this cave after a half an hour walk along the clear road. It is fully explored and speleologists say that its ornaments are extremely valuable. When you walk into its chambers it will soon be clear to you why its treasures are well known. Stalactites and stalagmites are in forms that only nature can perfectly sculpt. Beauty, peace and quiet and the question whether a shepherd who was far away from his home may have rescued himself from a severe storm in this cave will bring you back to it.
Six kilometres away from Rijeka Crnojevića, on Pavlova strana, there is a cave Žmrljevica. You can reach Žmrljevica from the local road on a very steep and overgrown trail. This cave is 110 meters above sea level and its entrance is 8.3 metres wide and 2.3 metres high and faces the east. In winter time Žmrljevica is full of water, and in summer it dries up, which makes it a periodic river cave. This cave is represented by a channel about 150 metres long, which is very rich in cave ornaments. On the 150th metre there is a lake followed by a vertical channel. It hides a diverse wealth of ornaments created for centuries. Žmrljevica and Grbočica caves belong to the National Park Skadar Lake.