Krška jama - izvir Krke


Useful Information

area map.
one of the springs.
Location: At Gradiče, Krška.
(45.8900249, 14.7711990)
Open: Springs: no restrictions.
Cave: APR to MAY Sat 13-17, Sun 11-17.
JUN to AUG Sat 13-18, Sun 10-18.
SEP to OCT Sat 13-17, Sun 11-17.
[2024]
Fee: Springs: free.
Cave: Adults EUR 4, Children (6-18) EUR 3, Children (0-5) free.
[2024]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=268 m asl., L=490 m, VR=17 m.
Guided tours: L=200 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography: J. Jurčič (): Jurij Kozjak
Address: Turistično Drustvo Krka, Krka 1b, 1301 Krka. Slavko Pajntar – Pinki, Tel: +386-41-276-252. E-mail:
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.

History

17th century first mentioned by J. V. Valvasor.
1748 examined by the court mathematician J. A. Nagel.
~1848 F. Erjavec found a previously unknown cave beetle, which he gave to the natural historian F. Schmidt.
~1887 first cave map drawn by U. Hrasky.
1927 added to the Slovenian cave registry with cadastral number 74.
1935 cave entrance widened to solve the problem of flooding on the Radenské polje.
1954 an attempt to open a passage around the sump with explosives fails.
1994 start of underwater explorations.
08-AUG-1995 electric light installed.
14-OCT-1995 siphon explored by Samo Morel and Pavle Košir.
1996 cave surveyed and opened for the public.

Description

Izvir Krke, the spring.
Cave entrance.
Poltarica spring.
Photograph of the hydrographic map of river Krka which is on display at the cave entrance.

Located in a wide and flat valley, a wide bay enclosed by forest, lies the spring of the river Krška. Krška jama (Krška Cave) is located right above izvir Krke (Spring of the Krška). The German name is Gurkhöhle. The huge passage is a river cave, which has a younger lower level. The lower level, only ten meters below, is always waterfilled and drains the cave to the spring in front of the cave entrance. The higher passage is generally dry, and only reactivated during spring, when snow melt increases the production of the spring.

The show cave is open only at low water levels, which means it is generally closed in autumn and spring. The visit shows an impressive river passage with little speleothems, which ends after 200 m at the start of a 100 m long siphon. Diving explorations have been made, but the end has yet not been reached. The area in front of the cave portal was made like a channel to allow the frequent floods to flow out freely.

The cave has a very long history. Although not ideal for living due to regular flooding, the closeness of potable water was always an important point. The cave contained Chalcolithic potsherds from the beginning of the 5th millennium BC. Krška jama was a place of refuge in dangerous times, the locals hid here during Turkish raids. A legend about a half built church in the cave inspired the writer J. Jurčič, who described Krško jamo in his short story Jurij Kozjak. The cave was first described by the famous J. V. Valvasor.

The use as a show cave is very new. The new epoch started with the increased interest in the cave in 1994, when cave diving research intensified. Today the first sump is dived, and a dry chamber behind discovered. Still, most of the underground bed of the Krka river from the swallow holes at Radensko polje is unknown. The cave was developed as a show cave which was rather easy because of the widened entrance. The entrance was opened and paved with huge rocks in 1937, thus forming a canal. The reason were numerous heavy floods in Radensko polje, and the cave was identified as the underground drainage. The widening of the entrance was an attempt to speed up the drainage.

On the first few hundred meters, the young Krka river is fed by various tributaries. There is the Poltarica, Lipovka, Podbukovški, Gabrovški studenec, and the Višnjica. The whole ensemble is an impressive collection of karst springs creating the Krka. Višnjica is the only one, which is not a karst river. The catchment area of the other springs is the Grosupeljska kotlina (Grosuplje basin) and the Rašica underground stream, coming from the Velike Lašce area. A little downstream water from Suha krajina and the Ribniško-Kocevsko polje (Ribnica-Kocevje basin) joins the young river.

Krka river is a typical stream of the Dolenjska region, and one of the most interesting karst rivers in Slovenia. It is the longest completely Slovenian river with a (surface) length of 94 km, from this spring to its confluence with the river Sava at Brežice. It is the only Slovene river, which forms tufa in its riverbed. Fed by numerous karst springs, it contains endemic species of subterranean animal life.