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Slovenia, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle and Piran

Leaving the beautiful Slovenian mountains, visiting a world famous cave and making our way to the Mediterranean coast


Early in the morning we checked out and went on our way to the south. The roads are beautiful and easy to drive and because it was only may, the traffic was very light. Our destination for today was Piran on the peninsula of Istria, at the Mediterranean Coast. Slovenia is unique in the sense that it has it all: mountains up to almost 3,000 meters, hills, plains and coast, all packed in a country about half the size of the Netherlands!

On the way we made a stop to see the world famous Postojna Cave, one of the most stunning examples of how caves are formed in a karst landscape. Postojna is the best known of Slovenia's caves, but there are other choices including the Skogdar Cave which is a World Heritage Site and reportedly less crowded than Postojna. However, because it seemed so quiet on the roads, we believed we would still enjoy Postojna without crowds. We were not disappointed.


It is obvious that Postojna Cave is fitted out for receiving huge numbers of people. There is a very large parking area and reception center, including eateries, an exhibition hall etc. The exhibition about the geology and the backgrounds on the cave is quite interesting. The little trains take people into the cave every hour or so, and visiting the exhibition is a nice way to spend the waiting time.

(Will upload video about the train ride into the cave later).

There were not many people and the organization of getting people onto the little trains was smooth. They group the visitors according to language, not so much for the train itself but for the guided tour once inside the cave.


Postojna Cave was already discovered in the 13th century but it took until the 17th century until they were for the first time scientifically recorded by Johann Weikhard Von Valvasor, a scientist from Central Slovenia, which in those ages was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The cave is the second largest stalactite-stalagmite type of cave in the world, with an overall length of more than 20 km. of which almost 6 km accessible to the public.


It is an amazing, wonder world. The train ride is quite interesting and at the end, there is an underground "station". From there, visitors are guided along a labyrinth of well paved, but steep paths. The explication by the guides is good. But the things you see are even better than the explanation by the guides. Stalagmites and stalactites in many sizes, forms and shades all around. Many parts of the ceilings are literally covered with thin, delicate white stalactites that look as if they started to grow yesterday, although of course this is a process of decades and centuries.

After our excursion in the cave, we continued our trip to Piran. On the way, we just made a brief stop at Predjama Castle. This castle is built half inside of a cave, or better an arch inside the cliff. The original castle was first referred to in journals of the year 1274 A.D., but has been destroyed during a siege in the 15th century when the Governor of Triest together with the Austrian emperor were chasing the lord of the castle, a notorious knight and robber baron called Erazem Lueger. A second castle was built at the same place in the early 16th century, but this one was already destroyed after fifty years. The ruins were then leased by the Archduke of Austria, who rebuilt it between 1567 and 1570 A.D. The present castle has been unchanged since that time. In the time of the Yugoslav federation it became property of the communists, and has been turned into a museum.

Slovenia, Predjama Castle

Slovenia, Predjama Castle

We continued our trip to Piran, where we reached our hotel (Hotel Fiera) after about an hour's drive. The location of the hotel at a bay, with the city of Trieste (Italy) at the horizon is very nice, and the fact that it is a short but very nice walk away from Piran's high town made it even better.


Posted by westwind57 14:54 Archived in Slovenia Tagged train cave geology colors slovenia impressive karst postijna predjama_castle

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