Visiting the Postojna Cave Park is a fascinating journey into an enormous and mysterious subterranean world.
Just two hours by car from Venice, you will find the major Karst caves in Europe: they are the Postojna Cave, in a Slovenian city halfway between Ljubljana and Trieste.
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24 kilometers of galleries and tunnels, large rooms with unique characteristics and a splendid series of stalactites, stalagmites and limestone columns all different in shape and color.
The caves are the result of the Pivka river’s perseverance, that with its incessant flowing has forged in the subsoil a fascinating world, made of ever-changing limestone formations.
Their constant growth is extremely slow: just one centimeter every 100 years.
In the modern fast-food era, stopping to admire what nature has managed to create drop after drop, over millions of years, is a constructive experience.
So get ready to live this subterranean trip, putting on some warm clothes, as the temperature during the visit you will keep on 8-10°C.
Visiting the Postojna Cave Park, how the tour is.
Get on the electric train and admire the marvels around you.
Already the first limestone sculptures will amaze you, but what is coming will blow your mind.
After leaving the train, the visit to the Postojna Cave continues for 1 km on foot, crossing the Russian bridge and then a series of rooms, one more beautiful than the other:
the White Room, the Red Room and the Spaghetti Room, the most particular one.
The thin “spaghetti”, so white and tapered, have the slower growing period: even a centimeter every 400 years.
It is astonishing the pace at which these wonders were formed and continue to grow and change, so absolutely imperceptibly to our eyes.
The 5 colors of the caves
During the Postojna Cave’s visit, a team of prepared and available guides will reveal the secrets of the caves and will respond to your curiosity.
You can learn and see for example that the colors present in the caves are only five: three are natural and two artificial.
The three natural colors of the limestone formations are the pure calcite’s white, the iron oxide’s red and the manganese oxide’s gray.
Instead, the only two artificial colors are the green of mosses and the black caused by the the smoke of torches and candles and by the hands contact with the rock.
The Postojna Caves were used as shelter already in prehistoric times, and as a hideaway and ammunition depot during the wars.
But their tourist era began in the nineteenth century, when it was built the internal railway network and the electricity was introduced.
Bringing the electric light in the caves was a far-sighted intervention, as the explorations and sightseeing illuminated by torches – as it was in the past – would have ruined them much more quickly.
Therefore, the visit to the Postojna Cave drew soin the area millions of tourists from all over the world, including Heads of State and celebrities, attracted by this magical underworld.
The Proteus: THE SMALL DRAGON SYMBOL OF THE Postojna Caves
Postumia is also a center of excellence for the biospeleology, that branch of biology which studies the animals that live in the subsoil.
Among the 150 animal species which have been found, the protagonist is certainly the Proteus, which became the symbol of the entire caves.
Similar to a cute pale pink lizard and completely blind, it perfectly adapted to this environment.
The Proteus can live more than a hundred years and fasting for over twelve years thanks to its very slowed metabolism …a real force of nature.
When in 2016 the “proteus mum” laid the small dragons eggs, the news has gone around the world, attracting the researchers interest.
The Proteus is indeed a protected species, present on earth from 200 million years and survived thanks to its environmental adaptability and its poor need of food.
After the Proteus protected aquarium, a last wonder awaits you: the Brilliant.
A stalagmite 5 meters high, white and bright for the layer of pure calcite that constantly gets from the ceiling.
To finish, the Concert Hall, which thanks to its perfect acoustic has hosted spectacular events with more than ten thousand guests.
It’s time to get back on the train, but before you return to the surface, sent a postcard from the only underworld post office, built at the end of the nineteenth century in the depth of the caves.
And if you want to make the visit to the Postojna Cave Park even more special, a few suggestions you will like:
Every year at Christmas time, inside the caves a living nativity scene is set up, with scenes represented along the path.
Whereas, for those looking for adventure, it’s possible to visit the Postojna Cave Park in a more unusual and adrenaline way: not the classic one hour and a half tourist path, but a longer and more articulated tour, where you can go into the caves meanders and relive the experience of the first adventurous explorers.
Visit the PREDJAMA castle, dug into the rock
At the end of the visit to the Postojna Cave Park, continue for a dozen km and you reach the picturesque Predjama Castle.
Only example of a castle in the cave you can visit in Europe, the Predjama Castle was built in the middle of a rocky wall, more than one hundred meters high.
The castle’s facade melts with the natural rock’s wall in such a perfect way that the point where the wall becomes cave it’s nearly imperceptible.
An interesting glimpse, not to be missed for the unique way in which the structure is inserted into the natural environment.
| Thank you to the Postojna Cave Park for their kind hospitality |
| Image credits: Postojna Cave Park |