Stalactite paradise on every corner
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.
The part closest to the entrance is a web of passages leading into the underground world. In the artificially extended area behind the Jamski dvorec Restaurant, there is the cave entrance and the cave railway stop where visitors board the train. Both natural parts on the other hand serve as exits from the cave. In the part close to the entrance there is also the Passage of Old Signatures, whose walls bear witness to visitors dating back to 13th century. One of the most magnificent sights is the river Pivka mightily flowing into the depths of the cave.
The Old cave
The old cave is the part of the cave which was discovered in 1818. It was on the route visitors were guided on in the early days of cave tours. This is where the cave railway mostly runs today and parts of the old footpath are still preserved. Beautiful flowstone creations are found in it and traces of the river can still be seen on parts of the walls. The part that stands out most is the Congress Hall (previously known as the Ballroom), where magnificent festivities used to be organized. Not far away from the Congress Hall, on the left side of the track, there used to be a small building which housed an underground post office. It was set up in 1899 and used to operate on this spot until 1927, when it was moved further into the cave. The Great Mountain
The great mountain (Calvary)
The great mountain (Calvary) is an underground hall formed due to the collapse of the ceiling, proof of which is a mound of collapse rocks and debris. The ceiling reveals precisely where individual limestone layerscollapsed. Water seeps through the cracks and deposits calcite in the form of speleothems on the ceiling. On account of crumbling, the stalactites are smaller and younger, while the ground is covered in giant stalagmites over half a million years old. The top of the Great Mountain offers an amazing view, in particular of the Russian Bridge. Located at the foothills of the Great Mountain there is the exit station of the cave railway, where visitors leave the train and continue the tour on foot.
The Beautiful caves and the Russian passage
The Beautiful caves and the Russian passage are passages leading to the north where the natural part of the Postojna Cave ends. The end of the Beautiful Caves is namely linked to the Russian passage with an artificial tunnel, so visitors do not have to return along the same route and come back under the Russian Bridge. The Beautiful Caves are the most magnificent and strongly calcified part of the Postojna Cave, which in some places extends into halls named after the characteristics of flowstone.
The first is The hall of tubes, where white, needle-thin, transparent tubes hang from the ceiling. The ceiling of the hall reminds of rock rain, and is also called Spaghetti hall.
The white hall got its name after extremely white flowstone and white stalactites made of pure calcite with almost no admixtures. Here we can also find the typical pool rims. Some of them are extremely big they almost look like big bathtubs, which can hold a few thousand litres of water.
The next hall is called the Red room due to its reddish colour of the flowstone. The colour of the flowstone depends on the admixtures brought into the cave by water or from a rock formation above the cave and is deposited there together with the calcite. Water usually turns red because of admixtures of iron and clay, while manganese, carbon or dark soil make it black.
From underneath the Russian Bridge the route continues towards the Concert Hall. On the left-hand side in a widening of the passage, visitors can catch sight of the best known symbol of the Postojna Cave, a calcite column with beautiful grooves and next to it a 5-metre high shiny white stalagmite called the Brilliant. For this reason the stalagmite maintains its amazingly white and shiny appearance and has thus understandably been the symbol of the Postojna Cave for decades. The walls in the background boast calcite curtains and a calcite cascade called The Organ. Tiny stalactites hang from the ceiling. A truly breathtaking sight.
The Concert Hall
The concert hall is one of the largest halls in the Postojna Cave and can accommodate several thousand people at a time. Concerts have been organized in the hall for over a hundred years and the venue is still very popular, which is understandable its uniqueness creates an amazing atmosphere for special events. The visitors may here wander around for some time, buy souvenirs and then heads towards the cave railway stop in the passage below the Concert Hall and exit the cave by train. Changing and toilet facilities are available within the hall.
The Congress Hall
The Congress Hall got its name after the World Speleological Congress which was held here in 1965. Prior to that, it was called the Ballroom hall due to the Whitsuntide Festival which was celebrated here soon after its opening. According to the cave archive, the first festival was organized in 1825. On that day, the cave and the Ballroom in particular were festively illuminated and the dance accompanied with music was organized.
Source: Postojnska jama