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CRYSTALS AND SPELEOLOGY

Rarely at a global level is possible to find such a small area with so much diversity of minerals as in the case of Kreševo. Abandoned mine shafts, adits, tailings, ponds, structural remains and other traces testify to a long and active, ore mining, smelting activity. Gold, silver, mercury, arsenic, barite, copper, quartz, quartzite, iron, limestone, dolomites and marble were all found here, which is a very rare phenomenon in a such restricted area.

Richness and diversity both in mineralogical and petro graphic terms make this region unique and ideal for the education of geologists, miners, hydro geologists, chemists as well as for other researchers of nature and natural resources.

In June every year the Native association “Kreševski Citrin” organizes a geo-camp for two days, where admirers of minerals and crystals are introduced to geology and the history of ore mining in these regions. Participants are taken to the terrain and introduced to different ways of finding crystals and minerals. They are taught about methods of recognizing, cleaning, maintaining, and preserving them. Everyone gets a chance to excavate their own personal crystal from one of the sites. 

The seat of the camp is located in Zečevo, where the “Citrin house” is situated too, the house where lovers of nature and crystals can spend the night, while other accommodation is available in a nearby facility named “Šumarija”.

In the region of Kreševo there is a large number of caverns and caves. Lovers of the mystical underground can experience the thrill of the unknown. Most of the caverns and caves are only partially explored, which is not unusual taking into consideration their large number, so those who have the spirit of adventure will not go home from Kreševo unsatisfied.

The best known site among speleologists  is “Oberska rupa”, a cave in a canyon by the small river Kostajnica, near Vranci village. It is striking in its rich decorations of – stalactites, draperies, and other impressive natural formations.

The cave entrance is located at an altitude of 740 meters. The cave used to be a medieval ore mine, probably of cinnabar , and it was the last mine of this type in the area. The cave itself has not been systematically explored, and previous data about it are only the result of individual research work of those who appreciate nature and geological rarities. The whole area of Kostajnica throughout history, from the time of Saxons up to recent days, has been subjected to mining and many abandoned mine shafts and tailings prove it. Inside the cave traces of gold panning are still visible. The National Institute for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Rarities of BiH in 1960 recognized this location as a rare natural geological phenomenon and placed it under the protection of the State. The cave is constantly open to visitors thanks to the members of “Kreševski Citrin”, and it has been declared a natural monument of BiH, as well as the caves “Mali oklop” and “Veliki oklop”, near the Franciscan monastery. 

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