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Visit: Vjetrenica cave

27.05.2020 at 11:35

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In the southwestern no-man’s land of Herzegovina is the stunning valley of Popovo Polje. The ancient karst field is a minute piece of what is the one of the world’s largest karst field that stretches all the way into Croatia and Slovenia. 

Near the small town of Ravno and the medieval orthodox monastery of Zavala is the largest cave system discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Vjetrenica Caves. This extensive cave system has in total over 6 kilometres of passages. The stunning main passage stretches on 2,50 kilometers. 

Vjetrenica cave is considered to have richest cave fauna, with highest rate of endemism. Vjetrenica cave also acquired fame throughout the world geological and biological scientific communities, as well as environmental communities around the country and the world for its imperiled and uncertain future, caused by unprofessional management lacking any expertise, and uncertain status at state and especially local level.

Amongst the many archaeological discoveries are the ancient cave bears and leopards, cave drawings that are estimated to be over 10,000 years old. The Cave is also home to many small lakes and endemic types of shellfish only found in deep underground aquifer systems. 

Vjetrenica is now on the list for UNESCO protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The cave has recently been re-opened after extensive research and improvements to the infrastructure. Well marked road signs are visible throughout the main Popovo Polje road from Stolac to Trebinje and from the main coastal road in Croatia towards Ravno. 

 (www.bhtourism.ba )

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