The creation of Cerovac caves is connected with the hydrogeological and geomorphological development of Gračačko polje, massif Crnopac and Zrmanja canyon. The waters that now plunge into Gračačko field (Otuča and Žižinka) have an underground flow and emerge to the surface through springs on the south side of Crnopac massif, in the valley of Zrmanja. Underground karst canals are formed by erosion corrosion activity of these watercourses. The relative altitude difference of Crnopac and Gračačko field has significantly changed in the last couple of millions of years. A former
Not many of the visitors to the caves know that there are multiple types of underground animals that have their habitat inside the caves. This area has been gradually populated by different animals since the beginning of its formation. They have adapted to living in these special conditions such as constant darkness, high average air humidity and a relatively low and constant temperature. The animals change their appearance during their long-term adjustment to a new living environment.
By living in constant darkness, they lose their eyesight, but further develop sense of smell in order to
Due to their speleological, geological, paleontological and archaeological features, the Cerovac caves have been attracting the interest not only of experts from various fields, but also visitors, for more than a century. Gornja and Donja Cerovac caves are among the most important habitats of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) in Croatia. The first bone remains of a cave bear from the Cerovac caves were published by Milan Herak in 1947. Research by Mirko Malez confirmed that both caves were the habitats of cave bears during the Pleistocene. Namely, in both caves, in addition to numerous bones, traces
The north slopes of Crnopac have a steep elevation from the south edge of Gračačko field (up to 545 meters). The central part of Crnopac is made up of a morphologically dissected and chipped plateau that stretches on average altitudes of 900 to 1100 meters. Some parts are significantly higher. The peak itself, called Veliki Crnopac with the height of 1403 meters, is located on a prominent reef that surmounts the central part of Crnopac on its south side. South from the main and tallest reef there are steep south slopes of Crnopac that continue into the final north edge of the North-Dalmatian
Cerovac caves are located on the northeastern slopes of Crnopac, below the south border of Gračačko field. There are 3 currently known caves: Gornja, Srednja i Donja. Cerovac caves were named after a nearby railway station Cerovac although Gornja cave was familiar to locals who used the name Kesića cavern. Donja cave was discovered in 1913 during the construction of the railway to Split. We can thank engineer Nikola Turkalj for the exploration, promotion and preservation of the cave. Donja cave was named Turkaljeva cavern in his honor. The first known speleological drawing of Gornja Cerovac
Cerovac caves are located on the northeastern slopes of Crnopac and above the south border of Gračačko field.
Gornja Cerovac cave
The length of the explored canals is 4035 meters, the overall depth is 192 meters and the overall altitude difference is 2202 meters. The length of the tourist path is 725 meters. The entrance is spacious (10 x 6 meters), it is at 671 meters of altitude and oriented to north. The entrance hall is approximately 30 meters long and extends towards south. It is followed by the main canal that then takes a sharp turn to the west. There are only two larger,