Pivka Jama and Crna Jama

Useful Information

the outlook.
Location: 2,4 km north of Postojnska Jama, 3 km north Postojna. From Postojna exit follow road to the city, after 1 km turn right into Postojna. In Postojna city center turn left, follow road for 2 km, turn right and follow road to the camping. Tickets at the camping entrance. Well signposted. 50 km south of Ljubljana.
Open: JUN-SEP daily 9, 13, 15. [2003]
Fee: Adults SIT 1,590, Children (6-14) SIT 890, Students SIT 1,000. [2003]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=20,000 m.
Guided tours: Pivka Jama L=794 m, D=77 m, H=540 m asl
Crna Jama L=3294 m, D=39 m, H=540 m asl
Address: Postojnska Jama - Tourizem, Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Tel: +386-5-7000100, Fax: +386-5-7000130.
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.



the lower part of the doline.

Pivka Jama and Crna Jama are two parts of the Postojna cave system. They are connected with an artificial tunnel and the tours always show both caves together. There is also a possibility to see both, Postojna, Pivka Jama and Crna Jama on special tours (only by appointment) as they are connected.

The river Pivka is the main branch of the underground river system which formed the Postojna cave system. Its spring is southeast of the village Postojna, an area with many dolines and seasonal lakes. At the border to not soluble flysch rocks the river starts to flow over ground, until it reaches the border to the limestone at Postojna. Here the water sinks into Postojna cave, flowing through the lower level of the cave system. Many parts of this cave are under water and still unexplored. Various parts of the upper level, though not connected any more, were discovered through different entrances and got different names. There is a doline going down to a huge chamber which was called Crna Jama, and there is a second doline going down to a huge river passage called Pivka Jama.

The connection between this caves is obvious, a view on the map is enough. Later the data was completeted by dye tracing experiments. During the development at the beginning of the 20th century the cave was completed by varius tunnels, which now connect the different parts of the upper level. Several parts are developed, generally guided separately. There are special tours which used the tunnels and show more caves at once.

main passage of Pivka Jama.

Pivka Jama is located at the bottom of a steep doline, the collapse of the ceiling of its huge cave passage. The debris was continually removed by the flowing water, and so today the cave is open and accessible from the surface. However, accessible is not the right term. Originally the steep hole in the ground, in the middle of nice forrest, was just a danger to careless hikers. But after World War I the area around Postojna became Italian, and the border was nearby. In order to portect their border, and probably get a connection to Planinska jama, which is only a siphon away and crodded the border underground, the Italian Army developed the cave with paths and electric light. A tunnel to Planinska Jama was abondoned and is today a dead end.

View into the main chamber of Crna Jama.

If you visit Pivka Jama today, you follow the signs to the cave and the campground. The road ends at the campground, which is located in the forest around the cave entrance. You can park your car at the visitor parking in front of the door and purchase your cave tickets at the camground office. After two minutes walk you reach the cave entrance. A belvedere, an outlook, is worth the few additional meters, as it shows the whole entrance doline. The rest of the time to the next tour you can spend comfortable at the campground restaurant.

The first part of the tour is a 70 m deep descend into the doline, until you reach the river passage. The path now follows the river upstream, mostly along the water, sometimes through side passages, where the river cave is too narrow. Finally the path leads through a side passage and a shor tunnel up into Crna Jama.

Crna Jama (Black Cave) was named after the black colour of the speleothems. Typically man with torches and other fire produced smoke which stains the speleothems. In this cave it was different. The speleothems were already black when man forst entered the cave. A theory sais that smoke from huge fires outside entered the cave and dyed the speleothems. During the Ice Age, when the temperature was rather low, the area was more or less like steppe, and often the dry remains of trees and bushes caught fire. This make the stalagmite of this cave a valuable resource for climatology research.

Crna Jama is more or less a single big chamber. The floor is leveled ant the room was used for festivities, as many other caves of the area. A tunnel at the far end leads to Postojna Cave. However, the hall, although the biggest of all, was not used very often. The problem is the entrance, which is formed like a huge bowl, a cold trap, which alows cold air during winter to flow into the cave.

Pivka Jama and Crna Jama Gallery