Postojnska Jama

Postojna Cave, Höhle von Postojna, Adelsberger Grotte, Grotta di Postumia


Image: The entrance of Postojnska Jama. The old entrance building on the right side is from the time, when Slovenia belonged to Austria and the cave was called Adelsberger Grotte.

Useful Information

Location: In Postojna, 1km from the centre. From Postojna exit follow road to the city, after 1km turn right into Postojna. In Postojna city center turn left, vast parking lots at the city limits. Well signposted. 50km south of Ljubljana.
Open: Nov-Feb Mon-Fri 10+14, Sat, Sun, Hol 10, 12, 14, 16
Mar daily 10, 12, 14, 16
Apr daily 10, 12, 14, 16, 17
May-Sep daily 9-18 hourly
Oct Mon-Fri 10, 12, 14, 16, Sat, Sun, Hol 9-17 hourly. [2003]
Fee: Adults 3,390 SIT, Children (6-14) 1,990 SIT, Students SIT 2,190.
Combi with Speleobiologic Station: Adults 3,790 SIT, Children (6-14) 2,190 SIT, Students SIT 2,590. [2003]
Classification:  Karst cave, cave system.
Light: electric
Dimension: L=21,500m, VR=138m, A=450m asl, T=8°C.
Guided tours: L=5,250m, 3,750m by train, 1,500m by foot. V=15,000 per day(!), 1,000,000/a, D=90min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Matjaz Kmecl (1990): Die Höhle von Postojna, Postojna, Postojnska jama, Turizem, 1990
Address: Postojnska Jama - Tourizem, Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Tel: +386-5-7000100, Fax: +386-5-7000130.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:12:22 $

History

Image: Historic image of Postojnska Jama.
 
1213first known of visit.
16th centuryin a period of protestant renaissance the visits of the cave reached a first maximum.
1689described in Ehre des Herzugthums Crain by  Johann Weichard Frh. von Valvasor, a monography about central Slovenia.
1818installation of the first light, pathways and discovery of new parts of the cave.
1819visit of Prince Ferdinand of Habsburg.
1824first dance events in the chamber now called Kongresna Dvorana (Congress Room).
1857the new railroad Wien-Laibach-Triest (Vienna-Ljubljana-Trieste) increases the number of visitors drastically.
1872first cave railroad.
1884electric light installed, second cave in the world with electric light.
1901modernization of the electric light.
1914gas fueled locomotive engines.
1928modernization of the electric light.
1959electric locomotive engines.
1968building of todays pathways.
12-SEP-1965IV. International Speleologic Congress held in the Kongresna Dvorana (Congress Room).


Description

Image: the historic cave entrance.
Image: The famous stalagmite called the Diamond.

Postojna is of course one of the most famous caves of the world. One reason is the good accessibility of the cave: the natural entrance on the hillside is rather big, the cave itself is really huge and horizontal. So people visited the cave for many years, left their names on the walls and blackened the formations with their torches. But on the other hand this country was inhabited for a long time, its in the center of Europe, many people visited this country and also explored this "easy" cave. And several of those visitor wrote descriptions,  Johann Weichard Frh. von Valvasor and others, and spread the word. At last there were numerous congenial cave administrators who developed the cave for tourism and made the cave well known all over the world.

The cave has a long history and was used for many purposes. It was used as storage room, as hideout, as bunker, and the Germans used it as an fuel depot during World War II. When the fuel was destroyed by partisans, the explosion and the fire, which burned for seven days, destroyed also a huge passage of the cave. The partisans were guided by a former cave guide and entered through Crna jama, and used the artificial tunnel dug by the Italians to enter Postojny from behind. The Italians took all cave maps with them when they left, so the Germans did not know about this rear entrance and did not guard it. Today this tunnel is used for an alternative cave tur which combines Postojna and Crna jama.

But the first part of the cave, several hundred meters, is black and dirty from visitors of the last centuries. And not only candles and torches are to blame. The visitors wrote their names on the walls, to tell anyone they were there. This behavior is today considered very impolite, a sort of vandalism. But several hundred years ago it was just common, no one had a thought about cave protection. And the former cave vandalism is today a reasearch area for historians, as several famous people left their names on the walls.

Today the visitors traverse this area very fast on the cave train, which takes them about 5km into the cave, where the tours take place. And the cave is so big, it has several other human installations beneath the train: a cave restaurant, a concert hall for more than 10.000 people, and the cave post office.

The building at the entrance of Postojna Cave was built in the last century. This was the time, when the growth of science made the whole area famous all over Europe. At the fact that Slovenia belonged to the Donaumonarchie (Austro Hungarian Empire) allowed many people to travel freely to Postojna and visit the cave. Thats a situation we do not quite have any more, despite Schengen.


Postojnska Jama Gallery

See also


Main Index | Slovenia | Postojna
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