The Soil Figures
The strangely named site the “Devil’s Town” is located in an also strangely named village Djake (Turkish word “gjak” means blood), at an altitude of 660-700msl, which belongs to the municipality of Kursumlija. The soil figures, or as the locals call them – pillars, are located in two gullies divided by a narrow watershed whose base parts are connected into a singular erosive formation, immensely destroyed by the erosive processes. The gullies also have strange names, one is called the “Devil’s Gully”, and the other “Hell’s Gully”.
There are 202 soil figures in total, in different shapes and sizes, the height ranging from 2 to 15m, width from 0.5 to 3m, all having the stone cap on top. They are created as a result of a specific erosive process which lasts for centuries. The figures are created, they grow and change, shorten and gradually (very slowly) disappear and appear anew. Under the impact of rain, the friable soil is dissolving and being washed away. However, the material beneath the stone blocks is protected from the “raindrop bombs” and washout, so it remains in place as a germinal soil columns – the pillars.
The increase in the pillar height is helped out by the accelerated linear water erosion, which flows around their base, washing the soil around them. As the slope of the terrain is rather steep, the vertical erosion prevails over side erosion, which accelerates the washing away of the soil and the creation of pillars.
The soil figures created in this way are shaped by the other climate factors (the wind, sunshine, change in temperature), so that they appear unrealistic when observed for a longer time, not only for their shape and size, but also for their incredible static constancy. It seems unreal that one soil figure that’s 3m wide at the base, 10m high and ends in 20-30cm in width, remains that way for decades and centuries under a stone block which weighs over 100 kilograms.
This geomorphological phenomenon is unique in our country and extremely rare in the world. In Europe, there are similar sites in the Alps (on both sides of the Brenner Pass in Austria and Italy, near Bolzano, and also in Valerian, in Upper Savoy in France, etc.) In America, the “Garden of the Gods” is very famous. However, in the “Devil’s Town”, the “pillars” are more numerous, larger in size and significantly more constant.