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Destination Details

Postojna, Slovenia

 

A fantastic web of tunnels, passages, galleries and halls, the astonishing diversity of Karst features as well as easy access are certainly the main reasons for such popularity of the cave and a large number of visitors, which has already reached 34 million in 200 years.
Postojna Cave is the best-known cave in the world. It is also the greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia and one of the world's largest karst monuments. Many books and other contributions have been written about Postojna Cave; speaking of tourist guides regarding the cave itself, almost 100 have been produced over 200 years.
 
A fantastic web of tunnels, passages, galleries and halls, the astonishing diversity of Karst features as well as easy access are certainly the main reasons for such popularity of the cave and a large number of visitors, which has already reached 34 million in 200 years.
Postojna Cave is the best-known cave in the world. It is also the greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia and one of the world's largest karst monuments. Many books and other contributions have been written about Postojna Cave; speaking of tourist guides regarding the cave itself, almost 100 have been produced over 200 years.
 
For 140 years, the Postojna Cave, as the only cave in the world, offers a unique and adventurous ride with a special train, which will take you into the cave, under spectacular underground arches, which are embellished with chandellier look-alike stalactites, through a beautiful subterranean world full of playful limestone sculptures.
From 300 metres of accessible routes in 1818, a visitor today can enjoy the tour of 5 km through  tunnels and passages which takes about an hour and a half. The tour begins at the entrance platform of this unique cave railway, where particularly in the summer you can feel a lively bustle otherwise  typical of the biggest train stations in the world. This is where 3.7 km long railway tracks begin.
 
21 km of passages, galleries and magnificent halls offer a unique experience of the underground world. The Postojna cave is definitely one of the most diverse cave systems in the world.
The tour, which lasts approximately 90 minutes, will take you on a 5 km long journey through amazing passages and incredibly diverse cave 'landscape'. The visitors can see one part of a scenic underground maze from the train, and then enjoy the second part on foot and admire playful stalactite forms in no hurry.
 
In 1819 Archduke Ferdinand I visited the cave and became the first official visitor. This gave rise to the tourism in Postojna and this date is considered the official start of modern cave tourism although signatures dated from the 13th century can be found in the cave.
The entrance portions of the cave must have seen their first visitors in the 13th century, but the largest part of its interior was discovered on 14 April 1818 by the local cave lamplighter Luka Čeč. During preparations for the Austrian emperor's visit, he wandered off from the group of workers in charge of the ceremonial decoration and illumination of the front part of the cave with the Great Hall. Climbing a wall, he found a so far unknown passage. When he returned, he cried out to his friends: "There's a new world here, a paradise!"
 
His discovery was a turning point in the history of Postojna Cave and Postojna. It opened a way far into the heart of the underground, where the karst world was hiding its millennium-old creation. Postojna was quick to realise the importance of the new discovery. The district authorities immediately closed the cave to protect it from any uninvited guests.
 
On 17 August 1819, the first visitor to walk through the newly discovered part of the cave was the Austrian Crown Prince Ferdinand. His visit threw the door to Postojna tourism wide open in 1819; by introducing register books for visitors, which were in use until April 1941, it marked the official launch of modern cave tourism. The register books show how the number of cave visitors increased, and the variety of their occupations and origin testify that Postojna Cave was even then known not only in Europe but also beyond.
 

 

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