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Veternica cave / Spilja Veternica

A cache by Denis Cigir Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/29/2009
Difficulty:
1 out of 5
Terrain:
4 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:




This is first Earthcache in Zagreb, hope that you will like it as much as I doo.

Visit to Veternica cave...

How to reach Veternica Cave?

Public transportation

Take the ZET bus for Gornji Stenjevac, bus line no. 124 from the terminal at Crnomerec (takes about 15 min.). Access (hiking) trail no. 3 to the cave goes along the valley of Dubravica stream, and the hike takes about 15-20 min.

Bus schedule: www.zet.hr

By car

Take the car to Bologna Avenue to the west, and after Gajnice (immediately after gas station) make a right turn in Dubravica Street . If you want to reach Veternica from the bottom access trail, from Gornji Stenjevec, continue driving along Dubravica Street (on the second crossroad turn left) to the end of the road. If you plan to reach climbers' lodging “Glavica”, you have to make a right turn on the second crossroad to Zelena magistrala and drive to the end of asphalt road and parking place at Ponikve meadow.

In a 30 minute walk (hiking trails 8 and 1M) from Ponikve you will reach climbers' lodging "Glavica", from there downhill along hiking trail no. 3, and in 5 minutes you will come to the cave.



How to reach Veternica cave? Veternica cave map

Geology

Why was Veternica cave formed exactly in this part of Medvednica?
Southwestern part of Medvednica is a karst area, and in that way it reminds of southern Dinaric region of Croatia . Like other karst regions this area is built of limestone and limestone similar rock called dolomites. Water easily dissolves these rocks and causes the formation of different surface and underground karst shapes. Veternica cave was formed during Pleistocene, which begun 1.8 million years ago, and ended about 10.000 years ago. In the Pleistocene era glacial and interglacial periods exchanged. Veternica cave was formed by water sinking in Ponikve area along the rock fissures in the northwest – southeast direction. Water has found the easiest path in the underground, and has flown on the contact of two types of rocks: lithothamnium limestone and dolomites underneath it. Porous lithothamnium limestone can be seen on the ceiling of the cave. In its formation during the geological period called Miocene (about 16 million years ago), red algae Lithothamnium had an important role. In it we can notice fossilized tubers of algae, shells and residues of sea urchins (for example genus Clypeaster - *SOUVENIR) , and shark teeth were found as well. Grey dolomite, which is placed underneath it, has been settling in shallow sea of the Triassic period (about 225 to 195 million years ago).
Veternica - passage

Cave ornaments

Underground water on karst locations is “hard” because of the dissolved limestone. By extracting the dissolved limestone through evaporation, and other reasons, “cave ornaments” - dripstones (curtains, etc.) form. Dripstones differ from each other by their form and origin. In Veternica we find stalagmites, stalactites, curtains, helictites, spaghetti (numerous thin stalactites which represent the beginning stage of stalactites) and many others. Average growth rate is 1 to 2 mm annuall
Veternica - stone waterfall

Paleontology

The surrounding inhabitants have always known the entrance to the Veternica cave. Our geologist D. Gorjanovic-Kramberger mentions it for the first time in 1899 in his paper.
Paleontology researches in Veternica cave were conducted on a couple of occasions since 1950's. Academician Mirko Malez led the diggings. Numerous findings that were dug from the sediment, analyzed and scientifically processed, resounded in scientific world and placed Veternica cave as one of important paleontology sites in this part of Europe.
Researches

Layers are divided into two parts:

The upper layer settled during Holocene. It begun about 10 thousand years ago and lasts until today. The findings from this layer belong to a period of early Stone Age, Bronze and Iron Age and the Roman period. Roman emperors', Valentine II, Gracian, and Theodosius I, money dating 4 th century B.C., oil-lamp and bronze clasp for buttoning clothes – fibula, were found here. Tomb from early Stone Age that consisted of uneven stone blocks laid in the shape of half circle was discovered here as well. Human bones ( Homo sapiens sapiens sculls) , spear made of deer horn, various ceramics and ornaments were found, too.

Beneath these are older layers that were formed during the last glacial period during the younger Pleistocene (period of geological past which begun 150 thousand years ago and finished about 10 thousand years ago). These layers the most abundant are findings of cave bear, and they constitute nine tenths of all findings in Veternica. Some of bear sculls, found in the front part of the cave, were “immured” in rock niches and pointing in the same direction. These findings indicate that the people that used to live in Veternica probably worshiped the cult of the bear. In the entrance of the cave we can see “bear grindings”. Those are the rocks that were polished by cave bear scratching. Besides cave bear findings there are numerous residue findings of other animals which lived in these parts at that time: cave lion, wolf, various deer's, rhinoceros, rodents, and many other animals.

1. yaw (cave bear yaw, can be seen in the cave) 2. scull (cave bear scull, HAZU) 3. scull - cult (rock niches with "imkmured" cave bear scull)

Besides animal bones different tools (SOUVENIR!) of Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) were found as well, which prove the cave was used by many hunters as a shelter and home. In Neanderthal culture (Mousterian culture) the most typical handicrafts were quartz spires, scrapers, daggers and other stone and bone tools. They were used for wood or leather treatment, cutting meat, or in hunt.

Tools from Veternica
(Photo from booklet “Zagreb before Zagreb”, 1994. Zagreb city museum)

Traces of burning fire and burned animal bones were found as well. It is assumed that early man often settled Veternica cave. However, at one point in time the entrance caved in, and it was almost completely covered up. Since than, people stopped living in it and just dwelled occasionally while bear hunting.

Most findings from Veternica cave are currently deposited in the Institute for Quarter geology and palaeontology of Croatian Academy of Science and Art http://www.hazu.hr/Zpal-geo.html.


Life in Veternica

At the first glance most visitors of Veternica might think life in these conditions is not possible – darkness, bare sharp rocks, little nutrients … However, observing through eyes of bio-cavers, besides bats we can find many different organisms adapted to underground life. Which are the adaptations? Loss of pigment, wings, eyes, decreased metabolism and the need for food, and development of touch and smell are just a few adaptations of these animals.

Where do they live?

Cave organisms have two basic habitats: aquatic and terrestrial. Water is one of the most important factors in underground habitats. In Veternica, in channels behind tourist part there are 15 water streams that originate from a wider catchment area of southwest part of Medvednica. Although rich with streams, it does not abound with water fauna in the same degree. Until now determined are crayfish Niphargus stygius likanus, and leech from genus Trocheta.


Crayfish, Niphargus stygius likanus

Terrestrial fauna dominates in species and abundance, as well as exceptional number of endemic species. Some species never exit the cave, they are born, live and die here (Troglobiontes) for example Coleoptera Anophtalmus kaufmanni weingärtneri , endemic subspecies in Medvednica's underground.


Coleoptera, Anophtalmus kaufmanni weingärtneri

Other species occasionally exit to the surface (Troglophiles) – for example bats, and some butterflies. On remains of timber myceliums of fungi genus Coprinus occur.


Greater Horseshoe Bat, Rhinolophus ferrumequinumButterflies, Scoliopteryx libatrix

The ones that accidentally wander into the underground are called Trogloxenes.

Cave ornaments

Underground water on karst locations is “hard” because of the dissolved limestone. By extracting the dissolved limestone through evaporation, and other reasons, “cave ornaments” - dripstones (curtains, etc.) form. Dripstones differ from each other by their form and origin. In Veternica we find stalagmites, stalactites, curtains, helictites, spaghetti (numerous thin stalactites which represent the beginning stage of stalactites) and many others. Average growth rate is 1 to 2 mm annuall

Cave ornaments

Underground water on karst locations is “hard” because of the dissolved limestone. By extracting the dissolved limestone through evaporation, and other reasons, “cave ornaments” - dripstones (curtains, etc.) form. Dripstones differ from each other by their form and origin. In Veternica we find stalagmites, stalactites, curtains, helictites, spaghetti (numerous thin stalactites which represent the beginning stage of stalactites) and many others. Average growth rate is 1 to 2 mm annuall

 

Geological background

Veternica cave is located in southwest part of Medvednica, above village Gornji Stenjevec. The distance from the center of Zagreb is less than 9 km.
It is protected as a geomorphologic monument of nature since 1979.
It was named after the wind flow that appears at the entrance as a result of temperature difference of the air (cave adiabatic is about 10° C). Entrance to the cave is on elevation 320 m.
Veternica - a view from the inside

Since 1950's Zagreb 's cavers have continuously been exploring the cave and drawing maps of the underground corridors. Total length up to now explored passages is 7104 m, and the length of the main passage is 2622 m. Total altitude difference is over 200 m.
Veternica - caver

What can you see in the cave?

Since 1979 Veternica cave is protected by law as geomorphologic monument of nature.

The elevation of the cave entrance is 320 m. Total length of explored canals is 7128 m, and the length of the main canal is 2622 m. The first 380 m of the cave are adapted for visitors.

Veternica is in length the fifth cave in Croatia, and the longest in northern Croatia. It is an important archeological and paleontological site, and an enlightening example of karst phenomenon. In 1889 Dragutin Gorjanovic Kramberger attracts public attention to this cave.

The part of Veternica adapted for tourists shows geomorphologic phenomenon rarely seen in classically tourist adapted caves: oval erosion forms made by water vortexes, which tell us about former water stream, sand dunes left after the last underground stream which used to spring from Veternica, extinct cave bear's ( Ursus speleus ) lower jaw, fossil mud, the Well of wishes in Concert hall, fossil of a shell from genus Pecten , sea-urchin Clypeaster on the ceiling, Stone waterfall (a beautiful dripstone formation) etc. Fourteen species of bats hibernate in the whole cave.




It is possible to visit Veternica with an expert guide (45 to 60 minutes tour):

Work days – for organized groups, in agreement with the Institution (on below stated phone numbers). Maximum number of visitors in one group can be 30.

Saturdays / Sundays – from April until November with expert guidance from 10:00am to 16:00pm. Last entrance at 15:30. If it's raining the cave is closed.

 

ADVICE FOR VISITORS:

The whole year round the temperature in the cave is about 10 o C/50 F, for which reason during the warmer part of the year it is necessary to bring warmer clothes. Also, sports shoes are recommended because the approach trail to the cave is possible only along hiking trails through the woods, and in the cave in some parts there is mud.

Ticket price

- children 15 kn
- students and seniors 20 kn
- adults 25 kn
- family 50 kn

The cave cannot be visited without a guide authorized by Public Institution “Nature Park Medvednica”. Expert guidance is included in the price of the ticket.

Brochure «Veternica cave» 5 kn





Tourist map Nature Park Medvednica 40 kn

Souvenirs

Veternica cave - bat pendant 12 kn
Neanderthals tool 15 kn
Sea-urchin Clypeaster cast 15 kn
Female T-shirt with picture of bat 80 kn
Male T-shirt with picture of bat 90 kn

For all further information feel free to contact Public Institution “Nature Park Medvednica”:

Phone: +385 1 4586-317
Fax: +385 1 4586-318
e-mail: park.prirode.medvednica@zg.htnet.hr

Your task:

1. Take a picture of yourself (with GPS) at the Front of Veternica Cave.
2.
Answer following questions and send me an email. If the answers are correct, you get a permision to log. After logging as found, place the picture in your log.
a) What is called era in which Veternica cave was formed?
b) Entrance in the cave is on which earth side?

Logs and E-Mail only in english or Croatian

 


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