Marble Cave/Mermerna Pecina Cave

Marble Cave-Mermerna Pecina Cave

Mermerna Pecina Cave /Marble Cave/ is situated in the village of Donje Gadimje, in Lipljan Municipality, about 20 km south of Prishtina and some 360 km south of Belgrade, on the eastern side of the Kosovo Valley, in Kosovo and Metohija Province, the southern part of Serbia. The Marble Cave got its name after the metamorphosed limestone of which it was formed, with the oldest rocks belong to the oldest Paleozoic Era, as the natural processes of forming of this cave have continued during whole geological periods, since 200 million years. The surrounding of Mermerna Pecina Cave was composed basically of the old Paleozoic marbles that can be found only at the eastern edges of the Kosovo Valley. These marbles are covered with volcanic lava dating back from the time of formation of the Kosovo Valley. Later on the whole region was overflown by the Kosovo lake that has withdrawn lately. Throughout its long evolution, many passages in the Marble cave become choked with mud and gravel which had to be removed for opening up to the public in 1976.

Mermerna Pecina Cave is about 1260 meters long, but the touristic part is around 440 meters long, with guided tours almost every two hours. Marble Cave has three natural entrances situated at 576, 582 and 584 meters above sea level, and only 6-10 m from the river bed. Mermerna Pecina Cave is separated in three galleries: western, northern and eastern gallery. Some parts of the ceiling are decorated with stalactites which take the form of organ pipes and transparent curtains. Temperature inside the cave is from 9,6 – 15 degrees Centigrade, dependent of season and gallery. All units of Mermerna Pecina Cave /Marble Cave/ have complex networks and true labyrinths of channels, hallways, and halls, distributed at several horizons. The abundance of all types of cave waters, from condensed and dripping, to flowing and stagnant, adds to the beauty of the cave. There are 29 permanent lakes in the Marble Pecina Cave. The largest number of those clear lakes is formed in compact marbles, and only a smaller number in the cave clay. The lakes are partly laying under the rock mass, thus it is not possible to measure their true dimensions. All types of luxuriant multi-colored cave jewelry can be found in the cave, from snow-white, blue, all shades of yellow, to red. The most numerous are stalagmites and stalactites, massif calcite pillars, cone-shaped flow-stone, drapes, sinter pools, and translucent tubular jewels. The variety and fantastic forms of relief and rare aragonite jewelry ensure that Marble Cave is not only the most important of its kind in southern Serbia, but making it the most important tourist attraction in the Balkans area. Large part of the Marble Cave is still unexplored due to river deposits that block many of its passages. With annual rainfall average of 610 mm the Gadima region belongs to the areas with small amounts of rainfall. The snow falls in the Kosova Basin in November, until March, but the highest quantity it is in December and January months. During the winter with strong winds in the Kosovo basin snow reaches the height of 1.5 meter. The snow in the Klysyr River basin greatly influences the surface and ground waters, especially the underground flow and the lake system in the Marble – Gadime cave.