In a picturesque scenery you can find one of the most beautiful caves in the area, on the path formed in the Gramensca river valley. At the entrance we discover the relics of an XIX th century fortress. Going deeper into the cave, almost like in the Prince Dracula’s legends, we encounter numerous colonies of bats roaming around. At the level under the cave there is a massive arch which in winter time is covered by a natural courtain made up of a few meters long icicles. The main gallery it’s like a rocky maze crossed by an interior rivulet on whose riverbed there are build ups of various debris to the delight of the cavers. The secondary gallery appear as one of the most unusual entrances in a cave area in the country, with it’s unic, panoramic view on the Danube and the Serbian shore, distinguishing even the impressive medieval fortress of Golubac.
This cave, formed as a result of water infiltration in the rock, inspired and aroused the interest of many tourists and artists, photographers and even bloggers.
The story says that the cave got its name from a fly species, named “columbaca” fly which wreaked havoc amongst the people’s animals during the Middle Ages. It is said that the fly was born from one of the 7 heads of the dragon that lived in the cave. The dragon was slayed by Iovan Iorgovan, known in the folk history as “Mace Arm”. He went in search of his sister who was close of being swallowed by the dragon. As soon as he finds the lair of the beast, he fights it and manages to cut one of his heads and then kills it.The dragon’s spirit takes his revenge in transforming his body into a fly that would infect the locals’ animals.
Actually, legend aside, in this area lived in the old times a venomous fly, called “colombaca”. Mircea Rusnac, a local historian, studied in-depth the phenomenon and discovered that the fly became a real threat to the locals. He found that Italian naturalist and botanist Francesco Griselini described this fly as one similar in size with a mosquito, which flew in big swarms resembling heavy smoke clouds or steam columns. These swarms attacked the cattle, sheep, goats or even horses and could be seen from May to June. As a dramatic detail, the historian points out that in the XVIII-th century, the peasants were forced to light big hay fires in their desperate attempts to ward off at least partially the pesky insects. The locals used a boiled wormwood to alleviate and cure the bites on the bodies of their poor animals.
To our day there are still other mysterious stories narrated by the descendants of the local peasants.
You can pretty easily get today to the cave starting from the road that cuts the Danube Gorges along the river, even though you should be taking seriously the advice of the locals to be careful to the vipers in the area (as in the Herculane area). Fortunately, this tourist sight, with it’s many mysterious legends, can be visited all year long.