The Devon Karst Research Society & Speleološko Društvo "Zelena Brda"
Istočna Hercegovina, Bosna i Hercegovina.
Источна Херцеговина, Босна и Херцеговина,
Fatnica Polje, Eastern Herzegovina, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
updated 15 January 2006..
Fatničko Polje Section 1.0. Webpage Contents :

General Description. (opposite);
Karst Map.
Topographical Map 1 : 50000.

Click on the underlined Links above to move
down to the Sections quickly.

Fatničko Polje Statistics :

Area  =..9.8 km².  /  980 ha.  /  2 422 acres.
Polje-floor Elevation  =..460 - 480 m. asl.
....(1509 - 1575 feet asl.)
Length  =  5 km.
Average width  =..1 km - 3 km.
Polje Type  =..Closed Karst Polje.
Drainage system  =..Ponors only.

The residual limestone hill,.HUMAC
with Serbian Orthodox Church on top at 513 m.asl. :
(Photos : Hungarian Cave Diving Group, Nov. 2005.)


Photos FP1.6. and FP1.7.  (above).


This comparatively small karst polje is situated in the Dinaric Karst and centrally within the area known as Eastern Herzegovina. The nearest large urban conurbation is Trebinje, 51 km. by road to its south. Fatnica is situated 185 km. by road from Sarajevo. The Polje is just 21 km. from the border with R. Montenegro (R. Crna Gora).

The main settlement of the Polje is the village of Fatnica, after which it is named. This is situated along the middle of the north perimeter of the polje, where it straddles either side of the main road. Other villages bordering the Polje are Divin (650 m. asl.), Kalac (550 m. asl.), Narat (580 m. asl.), Orahovice (550 m. asl.) and Pađeni. There are other small settlements, either sparsely inhabited or totally deserted. Beside the main road at an elevation of 568m asl., immediately above Estavela "Obod" and few hundred metres south of the old settlement of Kalac, there are the remains of an old burial ground, which is still used today. This is a very interesting Stećci site.
The polje floor is divided into two areas; namely the Gornje (Upper) Polje and the Donje (Lower) Polje. In the mid-to-west polje floor area at Humac, is a residual limestone hill or hum, which rises to an elevation of 513 m. asl. [The word "humac" is the diminutive form of "hum", in this case meaning a "small hum".]

From a great distance, it would appear that the Polje is connected with the adjacent Dabarsko Polje to its west. However, the two polja are distinctly separated by a limestone corrosional plateau ridge (= "LJUT") of average 2 km. in width. Notwithstanding this, both polja do have the appearance of being separate karst depressions within an even larger karst depression. A possible hypothesis for this is that during their early stages of morphogenesis, both karst depressions may have begun as a single karst morphological / hydrogeological unit, sharing a common polje floor, before subsequent downward erosional evolution divided it into the now two separate polje areas. The karst corrosional plateau separating them is a remnant of a larger karst plateau (local term = zaravan) which is also evident to the south of the polje and at Pađeni at its south-east end and again even further east in the area around Plana, nominally at the 600m contour. (see Photos FP1.1. and FP1.2. below).
[It should be noted that near Plana, there is a further small karst depression developed within this greater depression. This additional small depression was formerly known as Plansko Polje and is dealt with separately in another part of the Society's Website.]

To date, the earliest "image" or representation of Fatničko Polje that we have been able to locate is that of a line drawing published by the Serbian Academic Jovan CVIJIĆ in 1926. The line drawing is reproduced below in Figure FP1. His drawing indicates the relative positions of various features within the Polje from a viewpoint above Estavela "Obod" in the north-eastern corner.

Figure FP1.0.
The original simplified diagrammatic representation of Fatničko Polje, published by JOVAN CVIJIĆ in 1926.
It shows the low residual karst hill of Humac, with its church on top, (left of centre) and the confluence of the Obod and Baba Rivers. The village of Fatnica is indicated in the centre-right.

(Photos :  B. Lewarne, 08 Sept. 2001.)


Photos FP1.8. and FP1.9.  (above). ancient Christian
Tombstones (stećci).

Photo FP1.1.  (above left). A view of the Plana Zaravan (residual karst corrosion plateau) to the left side of the approach road to Orahovice and Fatnica from the direction of Plana.
This area is pitted with dolines and is at the nominal elevation of 600m. asl.  A further karst terrace can be seen in the background at a higher elevation.
Photo FP1.2.  (above right). A view from the same location as above but looking towards the karst depression of Fatničko Polje in the middle distance.
The onward road to Fatnica can be seen snaking away in the distance in the far right of the view.
(Photos :  B. Lewarne, 04 March 2002.  using Digital Sony FD92.)


Philipp Ballif, (1896) gives us an analysis of the polje-floor useage of "Fatničkopolje" at the time of his survey of the area. He reported that in general, Fatničko Polje had a :-

"good covering of humus, very productive,  60% was under cultivation; 20% was given over for meadows; 10% was pasture; with the residue unproductive. The corn harvest had ended."

We have no comparative data about the present ground-useage of this karst polje.

[More historical information to follow.]

Photo FP1.3.   (Digital Sony FD92.  Photo :  Bogdan Prelević, 08 September 2001.)
A panoramic view of Fatničko Polje from Orahovica at its eastern end, looking towards the far north-western corner.
The view shows the area of the Upper Polje and reveals the 2 km wide residual limestone ridge (= Ljut) at the far end (crossing from centre-left to right)
at a much lower elevation than the surrounding limestone massifs. This ridge or plateau forms the dividing barrier between Fatničko Polje and Dabarsko Polje.

Photo FP1.4. (above Left)..and Photo FP1.5. (above Right).
A panoramic view of Fatničko Polje from near Divin in the far north-western corner, looking towards the Lower Polje to the southeast.
The steeply wooded slope on the right rises up to the plateau on top of the limestone bench which forms the barrier (LJUT) between this Polje and Dabarsko Polje further west behind the photographer.
The edge of the plateau surface can be traced across the view from right to left. This view shows more clearly that the Polje seems to be set in an even larger karst depression.
(Digital Sony FD71.  Photos :  Bogdan Prelević, 08 September, 2001.)

Photo FP1.6. (above Left)..and Photo FP1.7. (above Right).
A panoramic view of Fatničko Polje (Lower Polje area) from near Pađeni in the far south-east corner.
The steeply wooded slope on the left rises up to a plateau on top, before the next rise up the mountain massif, which forms the border of the greater depression.
(Digital Sony FD71.  Photos :  B. Lewarne, 05 March, 2002.)

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Survey by HET Co. (Originated by Ing. S. čerimagić, Drawn by S.Vlahović & checked by M. Milićević, July 1979.).
Subsequent additional karstographic annotation by P.T. Milanović.


.....PLAN VIEW .with the CROSS-SECTION  A - B..underneath
.......... 1.  Tapped (captured) karst spring-head  /  Kaptirani izvor  /  Каптирани извор.
 ..........2.  Permanent karst spring  /  Stalno vrelo  /  Стално врело.
 ..........3.  Temporary karst spring  /  Povremeno vrelo  /  Повремено врело.
 ..........4.  The "Baba Jama" Estavelle Great Temporary Karst Spring  /  Povremeno vrelo "Baba Jama"  /  Повремено врело "Баба Јама".
.......... 5.  Estavelle  /  Estavela  /  Еставела.
 ..........6.  The "Obod" Estavelle  /  Estavela "Obod"  /  Еставела "Обод".
.......... 7.  Ponor  /  Ponor  /  Понор.
 ..........8.  Ponor group  /  Zona bliskih ponora  /  Зона блиских понора.
 ..........9.  The "Pasmica" or Great Ponor  /  Ponor "Pasmica"  /  Понор "Пасмица.
..........10. The Great Cave  /  Velika Pećina  /  Велика Пећина.
..........11. Vertical Shaft  /  Jama  /  Јама.
..........12. Dolines  /  Vrtača  /  Вртача.
..........13. Temporary stream-course  /  Povremeni rječni tok  /  Повремени рјечни ток.
..........14. Reverse (Overthrust) Fault  /  Reversni rasjed  /  Реверсни расјед.
..........15. Fault  /  Rasjed  /  Расјед.
..........16. Eocene flysch  /  Eocenski fliš  /  Еоценски флиш.
..........17. Eocene Limestone  /  Eocenski krečnjak  /  Еоценски кречњак.
..........18. Karstified Cretaceous Limestone  /  Intenzivno okršeni kredni krečnjak  /  Интензивно окршени кредни кречњак.

.....We are now working on the possibility of scanning a detailed final image of the polje and using this to implant Links at various points of interest.
.....This may take some time.

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from the original Yugoslav 1 : 50 000 Series. (Image File size = 722 kB)

A Topographic Map showing the full length of Fatničko Polje from Selo Divin in the north-west to Selo Pađeni in the south-east, with the topographic barrier "Ljut" on the left
separating Fatničko Polje from Dabarsko Polje on the far top-left.
Unfortunately, the discrepancies in this view of the Map of the polje are caused by the different lithographic styles on 4 separate sheets of the same Series, produced at different times!

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