Sipun Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Cavtat in Dubrovnik area.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Dimension: L=100m.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Vlado Božić (2000): Antic legends of Sipun Cave near Cavtat in Croatia, ALCADI 2000, 5 th International Symposium on History of Speleology and Karstology in Alps, Carpathians and Dinarides, May 23rd-28th, 2000, Zadar, Croatia.
Vlado Božić (2006): Legends of the Sipun Cave at Cavtat, Subterranea Croatica, Vol 4 No 6 June 2006, 64 pp, many photos, 2 loose surveys. ISSN 1334-5281. pp 41-46
Published by Speleo Klub "Ursus Spelaeus", Kurelceva 3, 4700 Karlovac, 47000 Croatia.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1584 Nikola Vitov Gucetic mentions the cave in his book Sopra le Metheore d' Aristotile (About Aristotle's meteors)..
1978 cave opened to the public.
1991 cave closed by the war.


Spiljia Sipun (Sipun Cave) is a small and easily accessible cave. It is easily accessible an thus it was known for millennia. It is located near the small town Cavtat. During Roman times this town was called Epidaurum, it is first mentioned by the Roman writer Pliny. Numerous writers have written about Sipun Cave and its legends, including Jakov Sorkocevic, Nikola Gucetic, Trogiranin Lucius, Franjo Appendini, and the English writer Arthur Evans. Nikola Gucetic named the cave Scipun.

The best known legend is about the dragon named Voaz, who lived in the Sipun Cave. He terrorised the inhabitants of Epidaurum, until one day Saint Ilar came and killed the dragon. This legend is believed to be an allegory regarding the end of paganism and the conversion to Christianity.

Another legend tells about a treasure, which was buried in the Sipun Cave during the wars of Caesar and Anthony. Such legends are very common, and concerning ROman times they often have some truth. Treasures, which were hidden during times of war get lost if the owners died in the war. They are an important source for archaeology. However, it seems the treasure in the cave has never been found.

Nearby, on Snjeznica Hill at Konavli there is Eskulap Cave. A legend tells, a snake-dragon lived in this cave. The exiled Greek King Kadmo sought refuge in the cave and brought the religion of the god Eskulap with him. This is how the cave got its name, and probably explains the legend, as the well known symbol of Eskulap is a stick with a snake.