Natural phenomenon near Niska Banja: Jelasnica Gorge is ideal for free climbing lovers
Among other species of plants, Serbian and Natalie's ramonda grow in the area of the Jelasnica River and the gorge that has the same name. Otherwise, the whole area is rich in numerous other endemo-relict plants
As only nature knows how to arrange it, the Jelasnica River managed to find its way through the limestone rock. This is how the natural phenomenon, known for its numerous morphological forms but also for endemic and relict plant species, was created.
The Jelasnica Gorge reaches a maximum depth of 580 meters, while it is only 30 meters wide in its widest part. Since the vertical cuts are arranged in that way, it is only about 7 to 8 meters wide in the area between the location known as Zdravacki Kamen and Grdjenica.
Serbian and Natalie's ramonda grow here
The Jelasnica gorge is located about 3 kilometers from Niska Banja (Spa) and about 15 kilometers from the town of Nis, on the road that connects Nis and Gornja Studena. After the turn for Niska Banja, you come across nother leading to the village of Jelasnica. After exiting the village, the beauties of this gorge appear before travelers.
Since 1995, it has been under protection of the Republic of Serbia as a 1st protection category nature park. The main reason for this status are natural rarities in the form of endemic and relict species of ramonda, namely Serbian (Ramonda serbica) and Natalie's (Ramonda nathaliae). Apart from them, other endemo-relict species also thrive in that area.
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Due to the steep cuts of the Jelasnica River, rich geomorphological forms formed in the area of the gorge, which are particularly attractive. Shapes such as abrasions, caverns and dolomite pillars can be seen here. Among the geological windows, the ones called Kupina and Sveti Ilija stand out, as well as the caverns known as Skrivnica and Latinska Crkva.
Otherwise, these windows are especially interestinh since they are classified as geomorphological forms, which do not occur often in nature. Caverns are, in turn, extensions of karst canals.
Ideal location for free climbing
In addition to several good picnic and camping locations, there are also great places for free climbing in the Jelasnica Gorge. The height of all 58 routes for free climbing, which is how many there are in this gorge, ranges between 5.5 and 70 meters. Fans of this sporting activity have their favorites, Potkapina and the "Big Wall." The rock they climb is dolomite limestone, and the difficulty ranges from V+ to IX/IX+.
One of the most interesting picnic spots in this part of the country is Bojana's Springs. There are also two small caves in that area, called Jelasnica 1 and 2. Among the rocks of the Jelasnica Gorge is the well-known Ripaljka Waterfall.
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