The oldest archeological site in Zagreb: Veternica Cave on Medvednica

Along with runners and hikers, spacious and wooded slopes Medvednice cyclists also use it for recreation. For those who go to Medvednica on two wheels, there are as many as nine arranged and well-marked trails of different lengths and difficulty - one ridge and eight circular.

Since each trail has a point of contact with someone else, it is possible to combine them and design your own route. Of course, the trails do not bypass the ridge attractions and mountain lodges, so cyclists can always stop for sightseeing or refreshments.

Medvednica is an extremely rare example of a nature park entering the capital. It is a space in which natural and cultural-historical values ​​are intertwined and conditioned. This large, benevolent mountain to the inhabitants of the city was wood, coal, salt, stone, silver, water and a mill… and in general, a source of life and protection.

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In addition to standard bike trails, Medvednica has a special treat for experienced mountain bikers who want to challenge and enjoy nature.Enduro“Trail. This challenging trail connects Ridge and the city of Zagreb, is about 6 kilometers long and with the necessary dose of adrenaline provides cyclists with a unique forest atmosphere.

When you are on Medvednica, don't miss it Veternica cave. Although many would rather choose the sunlit expanses of Medvednica than its dark and cold underground, the Veternica cave deserves your visit for many reasons.

With more than seven kilometers of branching canals, Veternica is the largest the sixth cave in Croatia, and its length is constantly "growing" after the research expeditions of zealous Zagreb speleologists. However, "ordinary" tourists can also visit with the guidance of an expert guide the first 380 meters of the cave and reveal some of her many secrets.

Although at first glance it may not be as attractive as some other tourist caves, Veternica may be interesting because of that and hides many details that are rarely seen elsewhere. So in this cave you can see swirling pots, cave bear jaw, fossil mud, Stone waterfall, Well of wishes in the Concert Hall and fossils of ancient shells and sea urchins.

The cave was created in the so-called karst pocket of the southwestern part of Medvednica by sinking water from the Ponikvi area along cracks in the rocks, and due to its overall values, Veternica was protected as a geomorphological natural monument in 1979. In fact, this cave can be said to be about the oldest archeological site in Zagreb. It is in its darkness that evidence of the turbulent life of past millennia has been preserved, from Neanderthal prehistoric people, through Roman soldiers and medieval bandits, to modern adventurers and tourists.

The ancient people of Zagreb were Neanderthal hunters of the Musterian culture, worshiped the cult of the cave bear who was a very frequent inhabitant of the cave. Apart from him, other long-extinct animals left their traces in Veternica - cave lion, leopard, cave hyena, rhino, pragovedo and giant deer.

Today, the interesting and attractive dark canals of Veternica are ruled by the mysterious night fliers - bats. According to the data of the Medvednica Nature Park, as many as 18 species have been recorded, and 12 of them are constantly wintering in Veternica. Therefore, in the winter, the cave is not open for visits so that no one would disturb the bats during the sensitive period of hibernation or hibernation. Because of them, a special lattice was placed at the entrance to Veternica bat friendly door which allow bats to pass unimpeded, and prevent the entry of uninvited visitors, thus protecting these unusual animals and their cave home.

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All instructions and details for visiting this interesting cave can be found on the website Medvednica Nature Park.

Source and photo: PP Medvednica

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