Horvatove Stube

Useful Information

Location: 49240 Sljeme.
(45.9189687, 15.9649405)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: Horvat's steps: L=300 m, VR=103 m, St=500.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Horvatove Stube, 49240 Sljeme.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Horvatove Stube (Horvat's Steps) is a trail on Mount Medvednica, a green hill on the north side of Zagreb. The trail is actually a long staircase with 500 steps, which was built by Vladimir Horvat. He enjoyed hiking in the hills and forests, and so he discovered a beautiful place in the wilderness which was very hard and dangerous to access. One day when he spent time at this place, he thought how nice it would be to share the beauty with others, and so he decided to build a path. As it is quite steep, he used the natural limestone rocks of the hill to build a long staircase.

As we do not list staircases on showcaves.com you probably guessed that there is a connection to caves. Actually, the whole hill is karstified and full of caves. About half a dozen are located along the trail, there are wooden signs and trails to the cave entrances. They are typically small, horizontal, and easy to visit, nevertheless be careful. At the upper end of the staircase, at the 10th step, is the Patuljkova špiljica (Dwarf Cave), if you are going down on the left. It's not only a cave, but also a lookout. This cave is actually quite small, and someone dumped some dwarfs in the cave, garden gnomes, which is quite funny. In the lower part, after the bench, there is Tisin Ponor on the left, and a second ponor nearby. Ponor is the croatian word for swallow hole, so the name is a hint that water flows into this cave. Further down on the right is a short trail to Špilja Medvednica Donja and Špilja Medvednica Gornja. This is a 25 m long through-cave, and the trail actually goes through the cave. After the end of the staircase, there are two more cave entrances. Here are memorial plaques for Vladimir Horvat and Tomislav Jutrović.

There are numerous trails of different length on the web. Probably the shortest, if you just want to see the steps and the caves, is the out-and-back trail which starts at the Mala Hunjka Restoran at the road 2219. Hunjka is the name of this small hamlet, which has a bus stop, hotel, restaurant and ski lift. From here the trail goes continually downhill from 870 m asl to 640 m asl. The staircase is the last part, from the top of Medvednica hill to its foot. There is a picnic site named Izletište Srnec at the Bistri Jarek brook with benches, desks, grill and a shelter, which is a good place for a break, before the strenuous way back starts. The tour is 1.3 km long one way, in total 2.6 km. The trail is named Staza 1/41, or better, the trails are numbered and trail 1 and 41 lead to the steps. With the cave exploration, you should plan about 1 to 2 hours.