Vratna Gates – Vratna, Serbia - Atlas Obscura

Vratna Gates

Vratna, Serbia

These natural stone bridges are the largest on the European continent. 

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Tucked away in mountainous regions of eastern Serbia, the Vratna river gorge hides an unusual natural phenomenon. The Vratna Gates are the largest natural stone bridges in Europe. These three gigantic rocks loom over the swerving forest stream.

Two of the stone bridges represent the remains of a former tunnel cave through which the Vratna river once flowed, while the third was created due to river sinkage.

The Small and Large Gates are located near the entrance to the gorge, not far from the Vratna monastery, which coined them the “Monastery Gates”.

The Small Gate is 49 feet (15 meters) long and more than 100-feet (34 meters) tall, while the Large Gate is 148 feet (45 meters) long and 85 feet (26 meters) tall. The last stone bridge the Dry Gate, is located deeper in the river gorge and is the youngest and the hardest to reach. It garnered its name because the river sinks underneath the gate. 

Vratna River Canyon is rich in flora and fauna, and is home to a vast array of herbaceous plants, countless species of birds, numerous bats, otters, badgers, mouflons, deers, and other animals. 

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