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Postojna Cave (Postojnska jama)

Postojna Cave

 

 

Location: Postojna, Inner Carniola   Map

Length: 20,570 m

Depth: 115 m

Tel. +386 5 7000 100

Entrance Fee: Adults €18

Children: €10.80

Email: info@postojnska-jama.si

Official site

 

 

 

Description of Postojna Cave

Postojna Cave is situated near Postojna, Inner Carniola in Slovenia. The total length of the underground tunnels reaches 20,570 meters (67,490 feet) and depth of 115 meters (377 feet). First description of Postojna Cave comes from the 17th century when Johann Weikhard von Valvasor described it in details. Later an extensive portion of the cave was discovered by Luka Čeč before it was visited by emperor of Austria Francis I. A year later in 1819 it was opened to the public. It became one of the most visited destinations in Europe. Thousands of calcite formations formed beautiful stalagmites, stalactites and other strange and picturesque shapes. In 1872 first rail road was laid through the halls and in 1884 electric light was brought here to light the underground system. Today rails are still in use, but locomotive is replaced by an electric car. It is quiet fast so keep your limbs inside. Additionally keep in mind that the temperature inside the underground tunnels and halls ranges from 8°C to 10°C all year round. Audio guides are available in English as well as 14 other languages.

 

Pivka river that carved these beautiful caverns and tunnels is inhabited by endemic olms, small, blind, harmless creatures that can be found swimming in the water. Please, don't try to handle them as they are very sensitive creature and can be harmed by a lightest touch.

 

 

Endemic Olm

Endemic Olm

 

 

 

 

Postojna Cave is now known as the cradle of speleobiology - the biological science of the life of animals underground. The most famous is the human fish . In 1797, it was discovered in the Black Cave - one of the entrances to the Postojna Cave - by Josip Jeršinovič pl. Löwengreif. In 2016, Postojna Cave - the first tourist cave in the world - managed to reproduce captive human fish. It was here in 1831 discovered the first cave beetle, drobnovratnik . Until then, it was believed that there was no life in the caves. The discovery of the collar has encouraged naturalists to find many new specimens of cave animals in Postojna Cave.

To date, over 175 species of animals living in the Postojna-Planina cave system have been listed in biological literature; of these, 115 are true cave species, which is a world record. Many representatives of several groups of cave animals were described for the first time on the basis of specimens from Postojna Cave. Therefore, in the Passage of New Signatures , 50 meters from the main entrance to the cave, renovated modern visitors interesting speleological station - Vivarium Proteus. This station was founded 100 years after the discovery of the collar, in 1931 as Stazione biospeleologica , at the initiative of Ivan Andre Perk . It was one of the first such laboratories in the world and at that time modernly equipped.

Tourism
The preserved signatures on the cave walls testify to the fact that they visited the Postojna Cave in the ancient past. The oldest of them date back to the 13th century.

Organized tourist development began after 1818, when the local man Luka Čeč discovered the inner parts of the Postojna Cave. As early as 1819, the first routes were arranged there. They set up a Cave Commission to look after the cave and set up the first cave guide service. In 1884, electric arc lighting was introduced into the cave - one of the first in the world. Walking through the cave was arduous, so as early as 1872 railway tracks were laid down to the foot of Velika Gora , at which cave guides were pushing carts with visitors. Today, trains are driven by smaller electric locomotives.

 

During World War I, Russian prisoners of war were forced to construct a bridge across a large chasm inside the cave.

 

In 1928, the Cave Palace was built in front of the entrance to the Postojna Cave, a monumental reception center for visitors, which still combines the interior of the cave with everything the modern guest needs outside.

A good 5 km of caves are open for regular tourist visits. They are accompanied by cave guides or an audio guide in one of 17 languages. In addition to regular visits, the cave offers the possibility of individual, sightseeing tours of the Karst underground.

The Postojna Cave is visited by around 700,000 visitors annually. With over 39 million curious people from all over the world, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe and in the world for two hundred years.

The cave has a rich geological and tourist history. It gave birth to the birth of karstology, speleobiology, and in the cave and its immediate vicinity are important archeological sites. More about this can be found at the EXPO Postojna Cave - Karst exhibit in the immediate vicinity of Postojna Cave.

The Second World War
During World War II , the German army stored fuel in the cave at today's exit from the tourist train and exit from the cave throughout the northern Adriatic Sea , from Trieste to Rijeka , to protect it from air strikes . The entrance to the cave warehouse was, of course, heavily guarded, but the sabotage platoon of the Vojkova Brigade managed to smuggle into Postojna Cave on April 23, 1944 and blow up the warehouse. Partisan saboteurs used the old, artificially made trench to lead the Postojna Cave from the Black Cave . The trench was half-covered and not engraved on German cave maps.

The fire was burning for a week. It caused the debris to fall off, the walls of the cave covered with soot . The black layer of soot is still visible in this part of the cave today.

Management of Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave is a natural monument and a natural value of national importance. It is managed by the private company Postojnska jama dd, which holds a 20-year concession contract with the state. The majority of the concession fee belongs to the municipalities of Pivka and Postojna, and it is intended primarily for investments that contribute to a better environmental and river basin status of the Pivka River. The current operator develops sustainable cave tourism in accordance with the principles of protection, which include investing in cave infrastructure, visitor safety, cave conservation and the development of quality offerings in and around the cave.

 

 

 

 

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