Not far from the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, just 55 kilometers away, is the city of Postojna. Near this city is a huge karst cave, known under the name “Postojnska” or “Postojna Pit” (Slovenia). The word “pit” in this name should not be confused, since in Slovenian it means “cave”.
Postojnska Jama is an amazing underground formation in karst rock, built by nature itself, more precisely, by the waters of the small and not too remarkable river Pivka. Beer flows through the cave itself – here its channel stretches for 800 meters, it can also be observed near the caves, you can even see the place where the water goes underground.
The length of all the studied passages of the Postojna Pit cave in Slovenia is 25 kilometers. Over the millennia, a grandiose stone labyrinth with a rich content has been formed: grottoes and tunnels, passages and descents, ups and downs, dips, halls and galleries, stalactites and lakes, rivers that go underground.
Is it worth saying that this fantastic natural splendor arouses increased interest and attracts the attention of many tourists? Postojnska Jama, one of the grandest and most mysterious caves in Slovenia, has a huge number of visitors over the past 200 years – their number has reached 38,000,000.
Excursions in the Postojna Pit
In 1818, only 300 meters of cave passages were accessible for tourists to visit, and now there is the opportunity to explore more than 5 kilometers of underground formations during sightseeing tours, lasting an hour and a half.
There are almost always a lot of people who want to see the Postojna Pit, and it is best to come to the opening – there may still not be any queues at this time. Entrance to the cave complex takes place every 30 minutes. Exactly at the time indicated on the ticket, visitors go inside and take an organized train to the underground train – this is how the excursion begins.
Until 1878, visitors could inspect the cave only by walking on it on foot. For the last 140 years, a train has delivered travelers to the very “heart” of the Postojna Pit – its 3.7-kilometer journey starts on a unique platform, not unlike a large railway station. The pedestrian part of the tour lasts one hour, and then, in the same organized manner, everyone returns to the underground train stop and travel from the cave to the sun.
The first place where the train brings tourists is the Old Cave – in 1818 it was discovered by the Slovak Luka Chech, who lives nearby. The cave became interested in cavers and archaeologists who managed to see other previously unnoticed passages. Postojna Pit contains many unusual rooms, but the Conference Hall is considered the most beautiful and famous part of it. Its enormous size, walls with a coating of unusually curved smooth stone and excellent acoustics create a special atmosphere of solemnity and set them up in a serious way. During the Christmas holidays, a huge Christmas tree is set up in the Conference Hall and shows are presented in biblical scenes, which are accompanied by live music and excellent lighting.
The “Diamond” is recognized as the most interesting and amazing stalagmite in the entire labyrinth of caves – this unique 5-meter formation of shining white limestone is considered a symbol of the caves. “Diamond” was formed on the site of a continuous flow of streams of water from the ceiling, which are saturated with calcite. The latter makes this formation white and surprisingly radiant.
Before entering the Postojna Yam cave system, you can buy individual tickets to visit the vivarium. But it doesn’t make much sense to go into it – the most interesting local creature lives in the cave itself. This is a European protea. Proteus is an amphibian resembling a lizard, reaching a length of 0.3 meters, but at the same time completely smooth. This is the only vertebrate species in Europe that lives exclusively underground. The organism of Proteus is adapted to the conditions of living in the dark, and this animal does not tolerate sunlight. Local people call these underground inhabitants “fishmen” and “human fish”.
After a tour of the Postojna Pit, you can walk around the shops with souvenirs – there are a lot of them. The main assortment of these shops is reduced to an insane amount of various jewelry made of gems, unprocessed semiprecious stones and standard souvenir products.
Cave opening hours and cost of visiting
Every day, even on public holidays, the Postojna Yama cave complex (Slovenia) is waiting for visitors – the opening hours are as follows:
- January – March: 10:00, 12:00, 15:00;
- in April: 10:00 – 12:00, 14:00 – 16:00;
- in May – June: 09:00 – 17:00;
- in July – August: 09:00 – 18:00;
- in September: 09:00 – 17:00;
- in October: 10:00 – 12:00, 14:00 – 16:00;
- in November – December: 10:00, 12:00, 15:00.
You will have to pay for tickets for an excursion to the cave complex:
- for adults 25,80 €;
- for children over 15 years old and for students 20.60 €;
- for children from 5 to 15 years 15.50 €;
- for children under 5 years of 1.00 €.
Prices are valid for January 2018. The relevance can be checked on the website www.postojnska-jama.eu/en/.
The price of tickets is indicated for one person, it includes basic accident insurance and the use of an audio guide. Audio manuals are available in many languages, including Russian.
For the use of parking, equipped in front of the complex, you need to pay 4 € per day. For travelers staying at the Postojna Cave Hotel Jama, parking will be free.
Postojna Cave – the place is not very pleasant in terms of climatic conditions. The temperature does not rise above +10 – +12 ° C, and the humidity is very high.
Tourists traveling to explore the underground labyrinths need not only to dress warmly, but also to wear comfortable shoes, which will be convenient to walk along wet paths. At the entrance to the attraction for 3.5 € you can rent a kind of raincoat.
How to get to the Postojna Pit
Postojna Jama (Slovenia) is located 55 kilometers from Ljubljana. By car from the capital of Slovenia you need to go along the A1 highway, moving in the direction of Koper and Trieste before turning to Postojna, and then focusing on the signs. From Trieste you need to go along the A3 highway, focusing on Divac, and then along the A1 highway to Postojna.
Video about the Postojna Pit.