Krška jama - izvir Krke

Useful Information

area map.
Location: At Gradiče, Krška.
Open: Spring: no restrictions.
Cave: [2006]
Fee: Spring: free.
Cave: Adults SIT 250, Children SIT 100.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=268 m asl., L=326 m, VR=17 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Turistično društvo KRLA, Tel: +386-41-276-252.
Guides: Podržaj farm, no. 6, Gradiček, Tel: +386-1-780-66-66.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


one of the springs.
17th century first mentioned by J. V. Valvasor.
1748 examined by the court mathematician J. A. Nagel.
~1848 F. Erjavec found a previously unknown cave beetle, which he gave to the natural historian F. Schmidt.
~1887 first cave map drawn by V. Hrasky.
1927 added to the Slovenian cave registry.
1937 modern cave entrance opened wide to solve the problem of flooding on the Radensko polje.
1994 start of underwater explorations.
14-OCT-1995 siphon explored by Samo Morel and Pavle Košir.
1996 cave surveyed and opened for the public.


cave entrance.

Located in a wide and flat valley, a wide bay enclosed by forest, lies the spring of the river Krška. Krška jama (Krška Cave) is locate right above izvir Krke (Spring of the Krška). The huge passage is a river cave, which has a new lower level. The lower level, only ten meters below, is always waterfilled and drains the cave to the spring in front of the cave entrance. The higher passage is generally dry, and only reactivated during spring, when snow melt increases the production of the spring.

izvir Krke, the spring.

The show cave is open only at low water levels, which means it is generally closed in autumn and spring. The visit show an impressive river passage with little speleothems, which ends after 200 m at the start of a 100 m long siphon. Diving explorations have been made, but the end has yet not been reached. The area in front of the cave portal was made like a chanel to allow the frequent floods to flow out freely.

Poltarica spring.

The cave has a very long history. Although not ideal for living due to regular flooding, the closeness of potable water was always a important point. The cave contained Chalcolithic potsherds from the beginning of the 5th millennium BC. Krška jama was a place of refuge in dangerous times, the locals hid here during Turkish raids. A legend about a half built church in the cave inspired the writer J. Jurčič, who described Krško jamo in his short story Jurij Kozjak. The cave was first described by the famous J. V. Valvasor.

photograph of the hydrographic map of river Krka which is on display at the cave entrance.

The use as a show cave is very new. The new epoch started with the increased interest in the cave in 1994, when cave diving was intensified. Today the first sump is dived, and a dry chamber behind descovered. Still most of the underground bed of the Krka river from the swallow holes at Radensko polje is unknown. The cave was developed as a showcave which was rather easy because of the widened entrance. The entrance was opened and paved with huge rock in 1937, thus forming a huge canal. The reason were heavy floods in Radensko polje, and the cave was identified as the underground drainage. The widening of the entrance was a try to speed up the drainage.

On the first few hundred meters, the young Krka river is fed by various tributaries. There is the Poltarica, Lipovka, Podbukovški, Gabrovški studenec, and the Višnjica. The whole ensemble is an impressive collection of karst springs creating the Krka. Višnjica is the only one, which is not a karst river. The catchment area of the other springs is the Grosupeljska kotlina (Grosuplje basin) and the Rašica underground stream, coming from the Velike Lašce area. A little downstream water from Suha krajina and the Ribniško-Kocevsko polje (Ribnica-Kocevje basin) joins the young river.

Krka river is a typical stream of the Dolenjska region, and one of the most interesting karst rivers in Slovenia. It is the longest completely Slovenian river with a (surface) length of 94 km, from this spring to its confluence with the river Sava at Brežice. It is the only Slovene river which forms tufa in its riverbed. Fed by numerous karst springs, it contain endemic species of subterranean animal life.