Saturday, March 27, 2010
Postojna Cave, Slovenia
The cave was first discovered in the 17th century and opened to the public in 1819. The cave has a long history and was used for many purposes. It was used as storage room, a hideout, a bunker, and the Germans used it as an fuel depot during World War II. When the fuel was destroyed by partisans, the explosion and the fire, which burned for seven days, also destroyed a huge passage of the cave. The partisans were guided by a former cave guide and entered through Crna jama, and used the artificial tunnel dug by the Italians to enter Postojna from behind. The Italians took all cave maps with them when they left, so the Germans did not know about this rear entrance and did not guard it.
From there, visitors join a tour available in Italian, English, or Slovenes and walk amongst the calcite formations for another 1.5km. Some of the tour hot spots are the Russian Bridge, where the formation known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa can be spotted, the pool to spot the Proteus Anguinus, and the formation known as the Brilliant. The Brilliant is a pure white calcite formation known to be 300 million years old.