A destination where the nature and Man have joined together in a stunningly beautiful way has proven its grandeur
The special nature reserve Uvac is a protected natural heritage of huge importance, not only for the Balkans but for the European context as well. The centerpiece of the reserve consists of the canyon valley of the Uvac river as well as a number of its tributaries. Its most attractive part for the visitors and nature lovers yet are three different lakes which have been formed by way of overflowing of its adjacent valleys upon the completion of three dams on the mountain river Uvac: The Uvac one, the Zlatar one and the Radonjsko one.
Having all that you can see, learn, taste and experience there in mind in this part of Western Serbia, we shall commence from the southernmost part of the reserve: the Uvac lake and the regal dweller of this region , the griffon vulture ‘the nature sweeper’.
GRIFFON VULTURE (lat. Gyps fulvus)
A huge and proud bird of prey with the wingspan of almost three meters and its average weight of eight to twelve kilos, it has found its home in this very part of Europe. Given that the female hatches only one egg per year and the griffon vultures being a monogamous species….lie on their eggs together for almost two months, they have been an endangered species for quite a while, the number of which has risen thanks to the due care of the humans and their efforts to protect their habitat. They nestle in the cracks and crags of the rocks and they belong to gregarious birds, both amongst themselves and in case they get in contact with the humans. So if you visit the Uvac meanders you are bound to get a chance to watch them flying above you, dominating the vast expanses of the skies above.
A MONOGAMOUS SPECIES
One of the most beautiful facts related to these stunning birds is that they feed only on the mammals’ carcasses of mammals, most often on those of cows, horses, sheep, donkeys, deer, roebucks, foxes, rabbits etc They rarely attack live prey, unless it happens to be a diseased or weakened animal. Therefore they tend to be one of the best ‘nature sweepers’ . In amongst twelve halls, the first two are available for visitation; The Red and the Crystal ones.
The Uvac caves system, one of the longest in Serbia, is comprised of two caves: Usacka and Ledena ( the Ice Cave), which are linked by way of a pit, creating an access made possible through the cave vaults with the picture perfect cave stalactites and stalagmites formations , the height of which is up to fifty meters. Its most beautiful part, the Ice Cave, is 2.5 km long and open for visitors and nature lovers. It has gained its name thanks to ever present cold temperatures, which continue to level off all year round, irrespective of the conditions outside , which is 8 degrees Celsius. Apart from the limestone cave on a great number of stone pillars, one can see rimstone cave pools out of which one can drink crystal clear water. The access to the Ice Cave is possible only by boat, which makes it even more outstanding in its own right.
The Uvac meanders
The surroundings of the canyon are mainly rocky and enveloped in the undergrowth, with anecdotal pastures and thin woods. On the right banks of the canyon, the village Muhovici is located, and in close proximity of the village there is the vantage point Molitva (the Prayer), one of the most beautiful vantage points in Europe, cossetted away in this pristine nature.
The whereabouts of the second vantage point is in close proximity of the Devojacka Stena (The Young Woman’s Rock) , the origin of which dates back to a young woman who died a tragic death because of her unrequited love so tragic that she jumped off its cliffs into the abyss.
Another interesting legend dates back to the exact origin of the meanders and its snakelike form. It tells a tale of the Pester, the right side of the canyon; there lived a three headed dragon putting the lives of the locals at risk.
However , the knight Sveti Djordje managed to murder it but the overpowered dragon apparently whipped its tail, disfiguring the forest, ripping right through the mountains and ‘poured the water which spilled out ’ creating the Pester lake through its cracks and crags, and in doing so shaped its intricate, snakelike winding form of its river course and the canyon itself.
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