AN UNSEEN BEAUTY
The Kučajske Mountains slopes, in the East
Serbia, especially the surroundings of the Zlot village, are very rich with
speleological localities. The caves Lazareva, Vodena, Mandina, Vernjikica,
and Hajdučica should be pointed out. All these localities are famous under
the common name Zlotske Caves.
3 km far away from Zlot, 14 km far away from Brestovačka Spa and 21 km from Bor, at the exit from the canyon of the Lazareva River, on the left of its bed, at 291 m height above the sea level, there is Lazareva (Zlotska) Cave, a giant among Serbian caves and an extraordinary natural rarity. By its size, the wealth of the cave ornaments and fauna, the archaeological and hydrological characteristics, it belongs to the ten most important and in the tourist sense the most attractive caves in Europe.
The first researches of the Lazareva Cave were carried out in 1882, by Mr. Felix Hoffmann, and seven years later, the researches were carried out by Mr. Jovan Cvijić. The tourist arrangement of the cave began in 1953.
According to a legend, the cave got its name so that the remaining Serbian soldiers, headed by the Duke Lazar, found their shelter just in it after the Battle for Kosovo, running away from the Turks. By another legend, a Lazar had his blacksmith workshop at its entrance. During their rule, the Turks had the entrance closed by a wall, in order to prevent hiding of the Haiduks and refugees. Underground lakes occur at some places in the cave itself, which makes this space irreal. In this unusual world of the underground silence and darkness, especially attractive for the tourists is the Main Canal with the Entrance Hall. In addition to it, there are about thirty another halls, the largest of which is 70 m high and it is called The Cat's Canal. By the cave ornament beauty, the Bat Hall should be pointed out. However, it is not open for visitors, in order to prevent them from disturbing its inhabitants, who gather here every autumn. 27 bat kinds are registered in Europe, 23 of which make their nests just in the Lazareva Cave.
The stalactites and stalagmites, cave columns, drapers, calcium carbonate and calcite forms of any size and other cave ornaments decorate this magnificent underground space. The largest and most beautiful compositionsand sculptures have got their names - The Ruling Duke Lazar's Hall, The Concert Hall with the Tsar's Lounge, The Wish Fountain, Buffallo, Waterfalls, Conductor, etc. The total area of the underground space is 9,907 sq. m. A half of the arranged canals have been arranged for visitors.
Close to the Lazareva Cave, several village households have been trained to accept guests