The Vidovec and Zdenc karst caves are located east of the village of Božakovo on the edge of the Bela krajina lowland karst. The stream disappears underground at the interface with the karst lowland, but remains clearly visible on the surface as a dry valley. It may be followed as far as the Vidovec cave, where the stream rises again and flows into the deeply incised Kolpa river valley.
Božakovo is located on the edge of the river terrace above the high ťMagdalenska stenaŤ (The Mary Magdalene wall) of the deeply incised Kolpa river valley. There are a number of places worth visiting in the village. Foremost is the baroque church of Sv. Marija Magdalena (St. Mary Magdalene). There is also the chapel of ťMarija PomočniceŤ, close to the village. A special characteristic of the village is the village wine cellar, where the villagers meet together in the evenings and drink their wine ťna pol drugoŤ, which means that if you drink one litre, you must give back one and a halflitres in the autumn. The village members also pay a membership fee of 10 litres of must just before Martinmass (11 th November). The village cellarman takes scrupulous care ofthe wine, which he also sells to visitors.
The Zdenc spring cave, containing a statue of Mary of Lourdes, is one of the best-kept spring caves in Bela krajina. The local people have dammed the small spring that flows from the cave below the village. A washing area and a drinking trough for animals were constructed at the cave entrance The walled entrance conceals a 78 rn long cave, which was probably formed by the subterranean course of the Vidovec stream. The underground passage of the low streambed gradually narrows along its continuation along the rock cleft. Underground water collects in the final section behind the artificial barrage and is piped to the entrance. Calcareous sinter is only present in isolated patches on the walls, appearing at the end as a semi-circular calcareous sinter pile.
The Vidovec cave is 270 metres in length and is also the longest water cave in Bela krajina. The entrance is marked by a rock shelter, behind which a spacious entrance chamber opens out. The cavern continues as a narrow underwater passage, which ends with a siphon. The walls, formed by erosion, are only more markedly covered with calcareous sinter in the entrance zone, but thick alluvial clay layers cover the cave floor, which make it impossible to visit the cave without caving equipment. Due to the presence of rich deposits of organic material, thc underground waters are inhabited by surface fauna and subterranean fauna, which is less adapted to the subterranean world.
A well-organized footpath is available to the visitor. It leads from the centre od the village to the Zdenc and Vidovec caves. Froim here it follows the Vidovec stream to the river Kolpa and joins the footpath beside the Magdalenska stena. which leads back to the village. It is impossible to visit both caves, if unaccompanied by speleologists. Information is available at the village of Božakovo.
(Vir: zgibanka Kraški jami Zdenc in Vidovec, Zavod za varstvo naravne in kulturne dediščine Novo mesto, Uprava RS za varstvo narave, 2000)
Mestni trg 1
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GPS Northing (N) : 45,6477
GPS Easting (E) : 15,3752