NATURAL MONUMENT „LAZAREV KANJON“
NATURAL MONUMENT „LAZAREV KANJON“ A protected natural good of the first category - one of the most impressive elements of Kučaj relief and one of the most important biodiversity centres of the Balkans. Cut into thick karst rocks beneath Malinik, 9 km long, with steep, wild cliffs, crevices and caves, it represents the longest and the deepest canyon in the East Serbia. In the narrowest section it is just 3-4 meters wide. Depth reaches up to 500 m. At certain points, river runs between trapped stone blocks, which serve as natural bridges.
The area, which is a part of the natural monument “Lazarev kanjon” is known for its natural treasures: A set of karst canyon valleys of imposing size and pronounced morphological shapes, numerous and significant speleological objects, phenomena and process of karst water circulation in the basin of Zlotka river, floristic and phytocenological diversity which includes 26 forest units described and more than 20 meadow plant communities, while some of the hardly accessible parts of the canyon with rich fauna have not yet been fully explored.
Zlotske Caves East foothills of Kučaj, in particular the area around Zlot village, is very rich in speological locations. W8de public is familiar with Lazareva Cave, Vodena, Mandina, Vernjikica and Hajdučica. Karst cave Stojkova ledenica has also been explored. All these spelological locations are jointly known as Zlotske caves. All of them, except Lazareva cave, can currently be accessed by speleologists only. Only Lazareva Cave can receive visitors.
Lazareva Cave At the end of impressive Lazarev canyon, over a hundreds of thousands of years a monumental, active cave - Lazareva cave, was formed in 56-meters high limestone hill Pripor. The explored cave system consists of two levels of cave channels: Old and dry - fossil level and younger and alluvial - active level. Total length of explored cave channels is more than 10000 meters, while speleologists have reason to believe that the underground area is much larger.
Total length of tourist paths is 900 meters. Cave area consists of monumental, beautiful halls with powerful names: Throne Hall, Block Hall, Concert hall, Bat Hall, etc. As for the cave formations, there are, among others: Stacks, Fountain, Haystack Bison, King’s Lodge, Conductor, Orchestra...
Lazareva Cave is a significant arachnological site, as well. Three cultural horizons have been discovered in the cave. Lazareva cave contains numerous, insufficiently studied life forms. Caves, being closed systems, lead their residents on a separate path of evolution. Today, the most numerous inhabitants of the cave are bats. The cave is a habitat for 24 out of 27 species registered in Balkans.