Training through Postojna Cave Slovenia

The subterranean world is a fascinating place and although the Earth is riddled with many thousands of cave systems there are some that are very special indeed.

One of these is the Postojna Cave in Slovenia which is a 20 kilometre long karst cave system.

Unlike many caves for which you have to don a hard hat, and carry many hundreds of metres of rope with you to facilitate negotiation the narrow passageways and steep drops, in Postojna all you need do in order to view the cave from the inside is board the train, which will carry you through much of the cave.

Postojna is Europe’s most visited cave and over 33 million people have traversed its tunnels and admired its chambers and galleries since it was discovered in 1818.

One of its chambers, called Concert Hall, is so large that concerts are actually held there, and it can easily accommodate an audience of up to 10,000 people.

The cave became an instant hit with visitors after it was first opened to the public in 1819. So great were the numbers who flocked to experience it, that Postojna Cave had electric lightning even before Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana.

The great size is due to the Pivka River, whose rushing waters cut through the soft sandstone rock to create the cave system.

Visitors to the cave are often dazzled by a wealth of speleothems: calcite formations, stalactites and stalagmites which abound in a variety of shapes, colours and ages. The constant temperature in the caves range from a chilly 8 to 10° C. A normal guided visit will last an hour and a half.

Although the most common way to see the cave is by train, in times gone by wealthy visitors were carried through the cave in velvet line sedan chairs.

One of the unusual creatures to inhabit the cave is the amphibian Proteus Anguinus, which is called `the human fish’, because it has appendages which look like arms and legs, and it has a striking similarity to a human swimming. It is just one of 84 species of animals and insects which live in the cave and are found nowhere else in the world.

Postojna is located in the south west of Slovenia and is easily reached by train, bus and car. Due to its popularity it is almost impossible to get lost when you go there, all you have to do is to follow the crowds and enjoy the experience.

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