Slovenia is mostly known for its greenness. It’s wonderfully green indeed – because of the vast fields and woods with many trees Slovenian nature seems to be one large, lively, breathing organism. There’s even more to this country though. Under its surface, Slovenia hides some unbelievable gems. One of them is Postojna Cave, an impressive cave system located in the southwestern part of the country. If you’re planning a trip to Slovenia, you should include this site on your to-see list. If you haven’t thought of going to Slovenia yet, it’s time to consider it.
History of the Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave was discovered in the 17th century, yet it took a while before it became a widely known destination. In the 18th century, Archduke Ferdinand went to see this fantastic place and only then more and more people got interested in visiting it as well. Years later electric lighting was installed inside of the cave, then rails and trains were added too. A dark time in Postojna’s history started along with the World War II when German occupants used it to store their fuel. At the end of the war, Slovenian partisans blew up the storage, together with some parts of the caves. Nevertheless, Postojna got its fame back once the war finished and finally became one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions.
About the Postojna Cave’s Park
The Postojna cave system was created by Pivka, a karts lost river. For its protection, the Postojna Cave’s Park was designated. The park consists of the Pivka Cave, the Black Cave, the Cave under Predjama Castle and the Postojna Cave itself. Altogether, there are over 20 kilometers of passages, tunnels, and galleries. You can see all of these wonders in one day.
The caves are not only full of amazing sculptures shaped by the Mother Nature, but they’re also a home for various animals. One of the Postojna’s most special inhabitants is the olm, the world’s largest troglodytic amphibian. The somewhat odd animal was long believed to be the offspring of dragons. The olm is the only vertebrate in Europe that lives underground. You can go to the adjoining vivarium and see these extraordinary creatures. In addition to the olms, in the vivarium, you can also take a look at a collection of over 3000 butterflies brought from all around the world.
How to visit
The caves were visited by over 36 million of people since they were discovered. Impressing, isn’t it? Not surprising though – it’s a worth-seeing place. Now visiting the caves is easier than ever, there’s a variety of options. If you just want to see the main attractions, you can get a ticket for the basic tour. Prices vary – it’s 23,90 € for adults, 19,10 € for students, 14,30 € for children aged 15 or less and 1,00 € for children who’re 5 or younger. Professional guides assist guests during the sight-seeing, but you can use audio guides in several different languages if it’s more comfortable to you than listening to explanations in English. Some of the caves can be entered by a special train, which makes the experience even more fun. The short tour lasts about 1,5 hour.
For venturesome visitors, the park staff is organizing special adventure tours. Some parts of the cave system are harder to reach than the others. Adventure tours give you the chance to see the dark tunnels, mysterious passages, and deeply hidden gems. If you’re up for such a trip, you should inform the organizers ahead.
In addition to the caves, you can also see the Predjama Castle situated nearby. This architectonic wonder is the world’s largest cave castle and thus included in the Guinness World Records. Visiting the castle is a unique experience – for several reasons. The unique atmosphere is made not only by the particular character of the construction but also the lack of electric lighting. You’ll be given a torch before the exploration begins. As you can probably imagine, it’s quite an adventure to see a large cave castle with four levels, hidden passages and fascinating history in the darkness softened only by modest torchlight.
Summing up, the Postojna Park is a great destination for a day-trip. You can choose only to see the Postojna Cave or include surrounding attractions in your itinerary. To find out more about the available offers, prices and other practical issues, look through the Park’s official website.
Would you be up for such a trip? Have you ever been to any caves? Let us know! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends, especially if they love such mysterious places!