The lakes

Lake, no lake. These intermittent lakes fill with water mostly in the autumn, and drain away in the spring. Although the lakes are certainly fascinating regardless of the season. When full of water, they are especially magical, but when dry, they turn into magnificent, densely populated pastures, or into “dry pictures” with cracked and parched surfaces. Lake Cerknica is Europe’s largest intermittent lake and inspires visitors through its diverse fauna and flora, as well as countless natural landmarks. The River Pivka, when water fills the lower smaller and larger hollows, forms seventeen intermittent lakes. In the Municipality of Ilirska Bistrica, the artificial lakes Klivnik and Mola can be found.

Source: RDO Postojnska jama

Notranjska Regional Park

The Notranjska Regional Park is located in the Municipality of Cerknica and measures over 222km2. It is characterized by its well preserved natural habitats, numerous natural monuments, exquisite biodiversity, and simultaneously by its distinctive cultural landscape affected by the long-term and quality fusion of man and nature-it boasts extreme ecological, biotic, and landscape diversity.

This diversity of habitats has enabled the evolution of several terrestrial, wetland and aquatic plants and animals. These places provide the habitat for as many as three quarters of all butterfly, two thirds of all bird, and three quarters of all amphibian species in Slovenia. The Cerknica plain and the intermittent Lake Cerknica is one of Slovenia’s most important habitats for plants and animals as it provides unique growing and development conditions.

Source: RDO Postojnska jama

The Karst lowlands

Along the north-eastern edge of Snežnik and Javornik, following the Idrija tectonic rupture line, there is a string of karst fields and waters which comprise the network of the upper, karst portion of the River Ljubljanica. In the characteristic northeast to southwest Dinaric direction, Babno plain with the River Trebuhovica is followed by the Loka Valley and the River Obrh, then the Cerknica plain and Stržen and the renowned intermittent Lake Cerknica, Rakovo hollow, near which the collapsed valley of Rakov Škocjan and the River Rak are located, and the Planina plain and the River Unica. Each of these karst plains lies at a lower sea level than the previous; this is why all the listed rivers are subterraneanly connected, and for the eastern karst portion of the River Ljubljanica basin, labelled by Prof. Šušteršič as the “river of seven names”.

Source: RDO Postojnska jama

The Postojna Cave

The Postojna Cave is a system of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries, and chambers, which have been visited by over 33 million visitors accompanied by experienced guides over almost two hundred years. At the same time it is the largest Classical Karst cave and the most visited cave in Europe. Already in 1872, railway tracks were installed in the cave, and in 1884, electricity was also installed. Today, visitors can satisfy their curiosity by learning about the origin of the caves, by examining the passages and chambers, and especially by observing the rising stalagmites or hanging stalactites, the joining columns, the creasing curtains, and the strings of endless fantastic shapes. The cave is easily accessible and has no steps or steep inclines; part of the cave is viewed from the train, and the rest can be observed on foot. The Postojna Cave is also considered the birthplace of speleobiology. The Postojna-Planina cave system is the home of as many as 85 completely adapted animal species, making it the world’s largest cave ecosystem, and the crown jewel of biological diversity. The most famous inhabitant is of course the olm, or the human fish (Proteus anguinus).

The Pivka in Black Caves

The Pivka and Black Caves are also part of the Postojna cave system. The Pivka cave offers a magnificent insight into the subterranean riverbed of the Pivka River and is also the only location of the cave system which allows visitors to observe the underground water passages. A walk through the cave sheds light on the mysteries of the formation of subterranean passages and is a wonderful monument to the power of water. Through an artificial passage, visitors can access the Black cave, where thousands of tiny crystals glitter marvellously, making the cave come alive with magic.

Fun fact: The Križna Cave is a world famous karst cave. It is noted for its 47 subterranean lakes, and the discovery of cave bear bones.

Source: RDO Postojnska jama



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