Monday, June 5, 2023

Petnička pećina

Petnička pećina is an old but abandoned show cave in the limestone rock hills near the town Ваљево (Valjevo), Serbia. While only 600 meters long, the cave feels massive due to its vertical differences and the high halls. Just look the two people in the above picture for scale. And the "eyes" in the ceiling! The cave is also Europe's largest cave tomb.

In its abandoned state the cave is quite interesting and even challenging. While there are steps through the cave, everything is covered in wet mud, so climbing through the cave is challenging. Be careful if you visit!

Deeper into the cave you will also encounter bats. I entered as far as the Bear's Hall, where they were plentiful. And flying above your head. You know intellectually that they will not hit you... but it still gives a bit of the shivers... particularly in the darkness, in areas where other visitors will not come, and with the dug up graves and tombs in the muddy floors. Material for the horror movies!

The eyes... they also give you some feelings:

Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit. The walk through deeper parts of the cave is not easy and there are empty tombs and bats may give you shivers... but in the end, if you go far to the cave, you will feel alone, and be in the wonderful wonders of the nature. The main touristy parts of the cave are easy-ish -- the main entrance is a walk in the park, literally, it is also wheelchair accessible which is nice. From that point onwards there's a challenging steep stairs to climb up to the High Hall in a man-dug corridor. The steps are muddy and the handrail has rusted away. But it is still walkable as long as you have a light. 

When you enter High Hall it is the most wonderful touristy part, with the eyes, and the large space. You can even explore it a bit further towards the end of the cave, in the direction of the Bear Hall. On steps, this is a climb. Or slightly lower again on steps towards the the small lake. Getting to the lake itself will require some climbing on a muddy slope but is worth it, if you have good shoes and don't mind mud on your clothes. Be careful though, this is beyond the man-made steps area. 

The best part of High Hall is also that this is a way to make a through-trip, and exit from a side entrance in the middle of the hill wall. It will be an easy walk down on a path with concrete steps.

Back in the cave, I think one could have continued from the Bear Hall onwards, or at least I did not see anything that was closed off, but it also looked small enough that I didn't go further. Afterwards I was a bit sorry I didn't at least peek. Although the area is named "Passage with Abyss" which doesn't make it exactly an attractive option for exploring alone with no knowledge of what I'd find.

There's a tiny bit of information about the cave in the English wikipedia page, but more in the Serbian one. See also this and this article. The map of the cave can be seen below (taken from the sign at the site, also available in high-res):

More pictures of the High Hall:

Main entrance:

Inside the upper parts, here's a photo from the Bear Hall:

Upper entrance:

Path leading to the cave is seen below. There's a small easy parking lot, just couple of hundred meters from the cave.

Read more urban exploration stories from, and other underground stories from Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

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