Postonja Caves. Cave in Slovenia, Europe

Postonja Caves

Cave in Slovenia, Europe

Train ride Photo © Iztok Medja

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Postonja Caves

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Postojna Cave - Postonja Caves
Postojna Cave - Postonja Caves. Photo by Rob Flickenger
The Postojna Cave system, a series of tunnels, passages, galleries and halls some 20 km long and two million years old, was hollowed out by the Pivka (Wikipedia Article) River, which enters a subterranean tunnel near the cave’s entrance. The vast and fantastic rock formations are breathtaking and there’s also an opportunity to catch a rare glimpse of the cave-dwelling “human fish”, a blind amphibian that can live for up to 100 years.

An electric train system takes you to the famous sites such as the Big Mountain Cavern and the Concert Hall. The cave has a long history and was used for many purposes. It was used as a storage room, a hideout, a bunker, and the Germans used it as a fuel depot during World War II (Wikipedia
	Article). What is interesting is that Postojna got electricity as early as 1884, even before Ljubljana, thus becoming the third cave in the world with electric lighting.

All tours of the Postojna Cave are guided; visitors are presented with the beauty of the cave by Slovene, English, German and Italian speaking guides. During the main season, tours are available every hour, whereas outside of the main season, there are three to four tours daily. Each tour last approximately an hour and a half; a part of the tour is a cave train ride and part of it is taken on foot. The Postojna Cave is also home to a subterranean Concert Hall with celebrated acoustics, and classical music performances are common, large enough to comfortably seat over 10,000 people. In the week between Christmas and New Year, the Live Christmas Crib (Jaslice), the biblical scenes performed by miming actors, also takes place in the cave. Visits to Postojna Cave is not cheap but is definitely worth the money.

 - Postonja Caves
Postonja Caves. Photo by Galileo Travel d.o.o.

Olms (Proteus anguinus_
	- Postonja Caves
Olms (Proteus anguinus_ - Postonja Caves. Photo by SanShoot

Vivarium Proteus

Vivarium Proteus is a biological station located inside the Passage of New Signatures, 50 meters from the entrance into the Postojna Cave. It consists of two sections – the research section and the exhibition one. The exhibition section introduces visitors to special features of the subterranean environment and the most characteristic representative of Slovene cave animals. Most attention is, however, devoted to the human fish. The proteus, also known as the ‘olm’ or the ‘human fish’, is the largest cave-dwelling animal. It is 25 to 30 centimeters in length and is the only vertebrate in Europe that lives solely in the subterranean world.

Travel tips

  • Postojna Cave has a constant temperature of 8°C to 10°C with a humidity of 95%, so appropriate clothing is advisable
  • You are not allowed to take pictures or use a video camera in the cave. If you want to take pictures, do it carefully and show respect to the cave animals, which require darkness and quietness.
  • Try to stay close to your tour guide as there are a lot of additional things you can discuss with them that will help further enrich your experience in Postojna Cave.
  • Getting There & Around

    By Train

    Postojna enjoys good transport connections. It is only a 40 minutes drive from Ljubljana, making it close enough to visit as a day trip. The town is on the main train line between Ljubljana and the coast. There are very frequent trains between Ljubljana and Postojna and also trains from Koper to Postojna. In July and August, there are free shuttles from railway station to Postojna Cave.

     - Postonja
    Postonja Caves. Photo by Elvira S. Uzábal - elbeewa

    By Bus

    Buses run even more frequently with one stopping around every half hour. Most buses that stop here are those that run between Ljubljana and the coast, but there are also several buses a day to Maribor (Wikipedia
	Article) and other destinations east of the capital city. International buses run from Postojna to Poreč, Rijeka and Zagreb in Croatia and to Trieste in Italy.

    By Car

    It can be reached by car on the A1 motorway from the directions of Ljubljana or Koper (exit Postojna). It can also be reached on regional roads from the directions of Idrija, Logatec, Cerknica, Ilirska Bistrica, Sežana or Ajdovščina.

    Tours begin with a 4 km train journey into the cave system through several chambers before visitors get off and do a guided walk (around 1 km) through stalagmite-studded caverns. The train then returns you to the surface.

    Other nearbly landmarks

    Predjama Castle

    The picturesque Predjama Castle is perched high up on a vertical cliff, not far from the Postojna Cave, in the idyllic village of Predjama. With its mysterious charm and the romantic legend of Erazem of Predjama, the castle offers a solid insight into the Middle Ages' construction and gives an idea of how people once lived and worked in the castle.

    Pivka Cave

    The Pivka Cave and the Black Cave are the final two caves along the subterranean Pivka River before the river finally disappears and resurfaces in the Planina Cave. The Pivka Cave entrance is located 5 km from the Postojna Cave. The 65-meters deep entrance can be reached by walking 317 steps. The tour takes an hour and a half, no special equipment is needed.

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    Author: Ayda. Last updated: Apr 04, 2015

    Pictures of Postonja Caves

    Postonja Caves (Postojnska Jama) 106 - Postonja Caves
    Postonja Caves (Postojnska Jama) 106 - Photo by Leng Leng


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