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Postojna Cave – Breathtaking Underground Landscape

The Postojna Cave lies below the Karst Plateau of the Notranjska region in Slovenia. It is one of the most beautiful caves in the world and the only cave that has an advanced electric train system. The Postojna cave system originates from the Quaternary period (1-2 million years ago). There are large dripstones (stalactites) and other Speleothems which have been possible because of the age of the cave and abundant rainfall.
postojna cave_Over the last 100,000 years alternating periods of worm and cold climatic conditions have occurred across Slovene territory. Several generations of calcite dripstone have been established:

– from the interglacial period (80,000 years ago)
– from the worm interglacial period (50,000-30,000 years ago)
– from the postglacial period (last 10,000 years).

postojna cave_1The youngest generation of stalactites are still growing today (one millimetre every ten years). Only the first part of the cave is without stalactites.
postojna cave_2The innermost depths of the cave were discovered in 1818 during the preparation for a visit by Austrian Emperor Francis I. A local man Luka Cec tried to place a sheet with a slogan and noticed the innermost parts of the cave. Newly discovered units were immediately arranged for the tourism purpose. In 1914 a train line with locomotive double seat coaches was installed. The breaking point for tourism was the year 1964 when a circular double line for an electric train was installed.
During the second world war the cave was used as a German fuel dump. In the 1944 Partizans entered the cave by the north side and set fire to it. This act blackened the stalactite formation in the initial adit.
The characteristics of the Postojna Cave are darkness, scant quantities of organic substances, high humidity (almost 100%) and constant temperature. In 1831 Luka Cec found an unusual beetle. The beetle was named Narrow neck and it is the first known troglodyte. The famous creature is the albino ┬╗cloveska ribica┬ź which was believed to be the whelp of a dragon. Their bodies are usually pigmentless or white, they have no eyes. They can perceive the light with the surface of their bodies.

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