Postojna cave, Slovenia
It is one of the natural wonders of the world and a millennial work of the river Pivka. A walk in Postojna Cave is impressive and this is not only because of its enormous size and beautiful cave shapes and formations, but also because a visit to Postojna Pit, as it is called in Slovenian, is a kind of show from the first to the last minute spent inside it. Undoubtedly, three of the most beautiful cave galleries of Postojna are Spaghetena, White and Red. The names of these galleries corresponded very accurately to the shapes and colour of the formations within them.
The Postojna cave is located about 10 kilometres outside the Slovenian town of Postojna. It is the longest cave system in the country and one of its most important tourist destinations. It offers the longest hiking cave route in the world at 5.23 kilometers. Postojna Cave maintains a constant 8° C-10° C and a constant humidity of around 95%.
Postojna Karst Cave is one of the largest karst caves in the world. This natural wonder is located in Slovenia and is spreading the country's fame by making it onto its list of landmarks. As such, Postojna Cave has become a commercialized place, a tourist site with many attractions, cafes, restaurants, administrative complexes and recreational facilities for visitors. The main reason this place has such an attraction is that the stalactite and stalagmite formations are truly unsurpassed in beauty.
The Postojna Cave is a complex system of passages and passages whose total length amounts to 20.5 km. The age of Postojna Cave is about 2 million years. It is about 2 million years old. The halls and passages in the cave were carved out by the waters of the Pivka River, which enters an underground tunnel near the entrance to Postojna Cave. During its deep underground journey, the Piwka River creates a series of caves, and comes back to the surface as the Unica River.
The Postojna Cave is a unique natural creation that has been known and visited by the people of this area for many centuries. Graffiti dating back some seven centuries bears witness to this. The graffiti is located at the entrance of Postojna Cave and is separated in the so-called Gallery of Old Inscriptions. Since in the Middle Ages people only explored the entrances of Postojna Cave, the interior of the cave remained unknown until April 1818, the time at which Emperor Ferenc I visited the site. Postojna Cave was first described in the 17th century by Janez Weikard Walvasor, and new discoveries were made in 1818 by local resident Luka Čeč while preparing the then-famous part of the cave for a visit by the first Austrian Emperor Ferenc I. The following year, the first group visit took place, with celebrities such as Archduke Ferdinand in the group, and Chec became the first official guide through the cave system. This visit marked the beginning of the existence of Postojna Cave as a tourist site. Since that day, it has been counted that the cave has been visited by about 30 million people.
In 1872, in order to facilitate the tour of Postojna Cave, rails were laid for a tourist train, which was at first pushed by the guides themselves, and by the early 20th century was powered by a steam locomotive. After 1945, the steam locomotive was replaced by an electric one. The cave became even more popular after 1884, when it was electrified, overtaking even Ljubljana, then the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Duchy of Carniola, in whose territory Postojna then lay. The train provides a ride through multiple galleries, each one different from the next - some larger, others smaller. The train slows and speeds up, the Walls now moving away, now moving closer. From so much riding in cave tunnels and galleries, one gets the impression that the cave has no end. The beginning was really impressive. Apart from the train, the Postojna Cave can be explored on foot. The concrete path on which the tour is made is extremely stable. It is made of a special concrete that does not slip even with this high humidity of 80% of the air in the cave.
A brief overview of the tour of Postojna Cave looks like this. The tour of Postojna covers 5 kilometers, packed with unique formations. The galleries of the cave are dry and are decorated with a rich array of white stalactites shaped like icicle needles. The stalagmites are in the familiar shapes - pear, cauliflower and sand castles. Formations with quite interesting and unusual shapes - columns, pillars and translucent curtains - are also distinguished. As we said in the Postojna cave, the Pivka River has formed several unique cave complexes. One of them is the Velikaya Gora cave, which leads to the so-called Russian Bridge. From it one reaches the 500-meter "Beautiful Caves", filled with banded stalactites and stalagmites about 2 million years old. The Halls of the Beautiful Caves is the furthest point the tour of Postojna Cave can reach. The cave complex also includes the Black Cave and the Winter Hall, which contains the stalagmites that are the symbols of Postojna - the Diamond and the Crown. Also of interest is the Concert Hall, which is the largest in the entire cave complex and is characterized by excellent acoustic properties and the capacity to hold about 10,000 people. Concerts are regularly organized in the Postojna Cave due to its good acoustics.
At the end of a tour, one visits a tank that breeds an interesting creature - the cave prothean - a pink creature, a unique human fish. The endemic cave protist is the largest cave-dwelling amphibian in the world.