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The cave of Starina Novak

Romanija is a mountain that inherits a rich history, and is also known as Hajdučka gora because of the stories and epic songs that can still be heard today. Hajdučija (“Banditry”) was active on Romanija until the end of the 19th century, and the most famous hajduk from Romanija is certainly Starina Novak, whose cave is today a historical and tourist attraction of the municipality of Pale.

Novak’s cave is located on the steep cliffs of Romanija, at 1,515 m above sea level, and it can be reached mainly by mountain paths that are today marked and secured (it is not recommended to tour without expert knowledge or a guide). The ascent road in the immediate vicinity of the cave is reinforced with cables because it is quite steep and difficult. The cave is about 10 m deep and up to 7 m high, and it is assumed that it was used by the Illyrians, Celts, Romans and Slavs. Below Novak’s cave there is a Novak’s field – a clearing ideal for camping. Every year, St. George’s Day dawn is organized on this glade, and Novak’s spring (source of mountain pure water) is nearby. This whole area is rich in forests, herbs and beautiful nature.

Not far from the cave there is a hunting lodge on Majdani and a mountain lodge in Stajna. Beneath the cave there used to be the Constantinople Road (which for a time was one of the most important roads in Bosnia). Along this road you can reach Careve vode (the Emperor’s Waters) – a famous source of mountain water that has quenched the thirst of all who passed or lived there for centuries. According to some data, at the beginning of the 20th century, the bones of Starina Novak were transferred to a common tomb next to the old church in Pale and buried together with the fallen Serbian fighters from the First World War. Starina Novak has left a deep mark in Serbian history and epic songs. He was a Hajduk who traveled around Serbia and Herzegovina, but mostly stayed on Romanija.