Veterani Cave – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

The Veterani Cave is located on the left bank, in the Ciucarul Mare Mountain.

Veterani Cave is another attraction for those who take a trip by boat (the cave is accessible only on water).

It has dimensions, it is easy to visit; it was inhabited by man over 400.000 years ago and since antiquity to the middle ages it was used for military purposes. It is the first mapped cave.

The cave is known from ancient times and was a strategic point for the Dacians, Romans, Austrians and Turks and can accommodate many soldiers.

The name of the cave comes from Veterani, an Austrian General who fortified the cave, he made a wall from the cave to the water’s edge, a wall guarded by soldiers.

Primitive man used the cave as a sanctuary. Here were made all sorts of religious rituals and offerings given to the Gods. Even Dacians came here to worship Zamolxis. The birds were sacrificed on an altar, you can see even today. What makes this cave special is that in the morning for about half an hour, the sun’s rays penetrate through an opening located at a heigh of about 15 meters and fall perpendicularly on the altar. This seems to be the time when birds were sacrificed to worship the Gods”.

Veterani Cave’s Legend

Veterani Cave is located on the left bank, near the cataracts. It is a cave that has a heigh of about thirty feet from the water surface, now the water rose and appropiate it; it is not too deep and has over a opening where the light penetrates inside. Under the cave was an old road circulated in upstream and downstream to the edge of the Danube where there is the road itself. Durng the war between the turks and the austrians, Veterani General has ordered to completly block the road. For this he made a dig from the cave to the water’s edge and soldiers quarded it. At one point after making the dam and began to fight, the austrians were surrounded by the turks and at the end the general managed to escape from this. But the soldiers had to defend the strategic port and being constrained by the turkish armies, they hid in the cave. The turks built the cave entrance and they were left inside without water and food and so they all died there.

Later in this area, near the cave they found some thorns of metal, in three corners , which were sharp and however you thrown this thorn, it falls with a corner up; they were used to prevent horses from moving as this thorns entered in the hoof’s horse and the horse certainly could not walk anymore. The soldier was forced to descend and by descending there was a rumble and the others on the cliff, upstairs, could easily kill them. Many thorns were found; it was a military tactic, but it is the only place where such thorns have been found. Veterani General took refuge in Transylvania. There, he was caught and was put in prison,where he died. He was of Austrian origin.