Sicevo Gorge

Sicevo Gorge

Nisava River is the longest and the largest right confluent of the north Morava River in Serbia, which springs in Bulgaria. In Serbia, Nišava River flows in length of 151 km, through Dimitrovgrad, Pirot, Bela Palanka and Niš River basins. Nišava River had created the majestic 17-km long Sićevo Canyon between the Svrljig Mountains and the Suva Planina Mountain which represents an unique natural reservation. The Sicevo Gorge of the Nisava River starts by the village of Prosek, 14 km upstream from Nis, and ends in the Dolac village, that is located in the valley of the Bela Palanka settlement. The Sicevo Gorge is divided into two parts, the upper called the Crncansko-gradistanska Gorge and the lower part, known as the Ostrovicka Gorge. Tight, almost vertical cliffs of the Sicevo Gorge rise above the Nisava river, reaching even 400 meters in height. Limestone terrain, more than two-thirds of the amount covered Sićevačka gorge and is characterized by the appearance of karst relief forms. Sicevo Canyon is home of several relic plants and the northernmost habitat of sage (Salvia officinalis) – extremely valuable medicinal herb, found only in the Medirranean areas. Sicevo Gorge Park of Nature covers 7746 hectares.

On the area of the Sićevo Gorge there are numerous monuments of culture, such are Medieval Monasteries of Sveta Petka in the Ostrovica village, Monastery of the Holy Virgin – Sveta Bogorodica i Sićevo, built in 1644, various churches as the Church of the Holy Prophet Elias, and ruins of the renown Roman road of “Via militaris”. There have been two hydro power plants built on Nišava River in Serbia – the Sićevo and Sveta Petka plants from 1908, which belong to the oldest hydro-power plants in Serbia and still today provide electricity of Nis. Sićevo Gorge provides its visitors various enjoyment in culture and history exploration, but also other outdoor activities as fishing, hunting, kayaking, rafting, hiking through magnificent nature, climbing and gliding.

The old and important ancient roads such Via Militaris – the ancient Roman road and later the Turkish caravan road to Constantinople or Tsarigrad used to pass through the Sicevo canyon. This part of Serbia recently became extremely interesting for archaeologists and anthropologists because of the Paleolithic settlement discovered in the Sicevo Gorge that is considered the richest in the Balkans. The fragment of a lower neanderthal jaw, complete with three teeth, and the neanderthal settlement and the remains of hominids were discovered in the small cave in the Sicevo gorge in the Canjon of Sicevo. “It is a pre-Neanderthal jaw that we believe is between 130,000 to 250,000 years old” say scholars.

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