Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vjetrenica cave

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Vjetrenica cave

About the site

Corridor: Via Adriatica
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zavala
Type: Cultural Landscape
World Heritage:
Cultural Landscape

Vjetrenica (which means “wind cave”) is the largest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the warmer parts of the year a cold air blows from its entrance. The cave has been explored and described to a total of about 6,1 thousand meters in length. There are several permanent and occasional streams and lakes, many stalactites, flowstone, draperies, cascades and others forms.
In terms of its biological diversity it is one of the richest caves in the world. It is officially in second place, with 85 troglobionates. The remains of eight fossilized animals have been found in it, the largest being the cave bear and one complete skeleton of a leopard. On the rocks at the entrance to the cave there are two carved stones, typical for medieval tombstones in this region.
In a scientific sense, Vjetrenica has been the site of many different forms of research, which may be traced back to the 16th century. Pliny the Elder in his work Historia naturalis mentions a nameless cave from which a strong whirlwind blows, and he was actually referring to Vjetrenica.

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