Translation from the daily paper (also available in Cro here ) :
"Dubrovnik airport is the only airport in the world that has a natural phenomenon such as the karst Durovic cave in its immediate vicinity. 'The cave will open to visitors and tourists this season', says Tihomir Kovacevic, the president of the Karst cave exploration and filming society.
A fascinating cave stretches for 130 meters in length at a maximum depth of 26 m, underneath the runway of Dubrovnik airport.
The interior is full of of variously interwoven stalactites and stalagmites. The whole project began in 2001. 'We've completed a very demanding project. The idea was to preserve the cave and open it to the public and passengers, and generally offer tourists a new product' said the director of Dubrovnik airport Tonci Peovic. 'Currently, access to the cave is via a temporary stairway, which will soon be replaced by stone steps. Temporary lighting was also set up at the beginning of the cave where the "Kapelica" (Chapel) is located, a depression from which an artificial stream will flow into a small lake, required to bring the humidity up', elaborated Kovacevic.
The end of the cave, where the most beautiful chamber, called Dvorana Dubrovacke Republike (Hall of the Dubrovnik Republic) is located, can currently be reached only at your own risk, across mud and slippery stone. But for the feeling of quiet and dark, spoiled only by hand torch light beams aimed at the interwoven stalactites and stalagmites, that is not a high price."
Before the outcries of "how can this airport be allowed to operate" begin, an additional text:
"The Durovic cave has been preserved thanks to General Trampus, who lead the construction of the airport at the beginning of the 60s. As the natural entrance was plugged and asphalted, he built a tunnel that connected the cave to the rest of the airport, but had it hermetically sealed, which led to the extinction of all life in it. However, speleologists and explorers are confident that its natural inhabitants - bats - will return in time."
Pretty interesting I must say, adds something new to the tourist map of Dubrovnik - and could at least make waiting for your flight more interesting . Any locals from that region know where the entrance is exactly? Are there any more such cases of interesting natural/geologic phenomena near the world's airports?