Kraljeva peć, Dugopolje – King’s Cave

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A visit to Dugopolje, by Secret Dalmatia.

A few weeks ago I heard about the King’s cave near Dugopolje from Mr. Tonči Radja and I immediately accepted the invitation to go there and visit. There are thousands of caves and pits in Dalmatia alone but it is hard to find them. Really hard. Even a cave of this proportion!

Kraljeva peć or King’s Cave is one of the most impressive caves with a huge opening spanning over 50 meters. The name King’s Cave probably comes form the mere grandeur of it but, with all the events happening in the region for past thousand years or so, it would be no wonder if someone important hid there. The cave is large enough to accommodate few hundred people so it, almost undoubtedly, served as a refuge at difficult times.

There are large boulders at the very entrance probably as a result of a collapse of the entrance at some point long, long time ago. The bushes and trees are already covering part of the entrance and there is only a narrow trail that leads inside.

The cave is truly of grand proportions! The entrance is over 50 meters wide and it is about 20 – 30 meters high. It narrows as one descends inside probably because of all the layers of rocks and soil but it is still quite large.

The interior is not much decorated but there are few interesting cave decorations and shiny rocks.

…and some interesting mushrooms.

We also saw an owl but we did not want to disturb it so we did not try to get photos of it. It silently few around us twice.
There is a lot of evidence of human activities in the cave: from the remains of bonfires to empty bullet cases of local hunters. We don’t like disturbing or ruining so our goal was just to enjoy this spectacular space and to admire it’s beauty. And to hunt for some interesting bugs: this cave – with another one near by – are the only known habitat of an endemic cave centipede. It also lives only at one side of the cave. And nowhere else in the world! Unfortunately, there were no bats..

Of course, we went with a professional and besides, we all have licences to enter caves as we are licensed members of famous Speleological Society “Špiljar”, Split.

As we climbed our way back, the sun seemed much stronger and all the sounds of nature sounded louder. The peacefulness of caves cannot be replicated in the day light.


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