800 m northwest Postojna.
50 km south of Ljubljana. 2,4 km north of Postojnska Jama, 3 km north Postojna. Motorway E61 exit Postojna, towards the city, straight ahead through first roundabout, keep right at second roundabout. Turn left towards Postojna Cave, follow road for 1 km, parking lots on both sides of the road. Well signposted.
APR to JUN daily 10-16.
JUL to AUG daily 9-18.
SEP daily 9-17.
OCT daily 10-16.
NOV to MAR daily 10-15.
Adults EUR 11.50, Children (6-16) EUR 6.90, Children (0-5) EUR 1, Students (-25) EUR 9.20.
|Classification:||Cave and Karst Museums|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Postojnska jama d.d., Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Tel: +386-5-700-01-00, Fax: +386-5-700-01-30. E-mail:|
|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.
|11-MAR-1857||Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth visited the cave in sedan chairs.|
|1872-1923||guide pull two carriages called Phaetons, each carrying four visitors.|
|1923||Italian cave manager developed and extended the railway line, with gasoline-powered locomotive.|
|1956||two battery-powered electric locomotives purchased.|
|1964||first phase of circular line completed.|
|1967||second phase of circular line completed.|
Expo jama kras (Expo Cave Karst) is a museum about the Slovenian karst, the history of its exploration, and the history of the show cave. It is intended for all visitors who are interested in gaining a detailed insight into the Karst world. Children are guided around the exhibition interactively by an olm and a slenderneck beetle. They can play with interactive exhibits and drive a real cave train. It also has two more exhibitions, the development of life on Earth during the last Billion years, and an exhibition about Butterflies of the World.
This museum is quite modern and the fun ascpect is very important, which means it is intended for people who normally find museums quite boring. It's not boring at all, and it shows and explains a lot of the things we try to convey on showcaves.com. For us the exhibition was a sort of déjà vu.
The road from the bus station to the cave entrance of Postojna cave is short, but it offers anything a tourist could want or need. It starts with the Hotel Jama, pubs, fast food, restaurants, bakery, souvenir shops and kiosks. Then there are the sights, this museum, the secret rooms of Hotel Jama, the Vivarium, and the show cave. All together they offer a full day of interesting sightseeing. And actually, this museum is dedicated to the caves and the karst, but unlike the others it is not underground in a cave. But it has cave replicas of certain aspects of caves.
We enjoyed the section about the history of the underground train most. It shows photographs, flyers, maps, and even original carriages and locomotives. Today a modern narrow gauge train transports visitors deep into the cave, and the actual tour takes place about 4 km from the entrance. There are several reasons for this, one is the fact that the most impressive speleothems are located in this section. Another is that the partisans during World War II set a German fuel store on fire, which was located in the first section of the passage, so the entrance of the cave is blackened by the soot and very unsightly. But the train is much older, it started with the comment by Schmidl in 1853 why there were no riding animals in the cave, no donkeys or ponies to ride on. The trip to get to the interesting parts by torchlight was arduous and long. On 11-MAR-1857, the Südbahn Wien (Southern Railway Vienna) was opened, which connected Vienna with Trieste, the only harbour of the landlocked Ausro-Hungarian Empire. The train station at Postojna brought visitors to the cave. But on the day of the opening Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth were travelling on the inauguration ride and visited the Postojna Cave. For this event sedan chairs were set up for the imperial couple. The idea of a cave train was born.
The first documented railway in an underground cave was inaugurated on 16-JUN-1872. There were railroad tracks in the passage and waggons with benches, which were moved by the cave guides. Each guide pulled two carriages called Phaetons, each carrying four visitors. The tracks were 1,534 m in length and had a track gauge of 620 mm. It was in used until 1923.
At the end of World War I, Postojna became Italian, the border was right behind the town towards Planina. The Italian cave manager developed the cave and in 1923 the railway line was completely renovated and extended. There were now small trains seating 20 passengers pulled by a gasoline-powered locomotive. The first locomotive was a converted mine locomotive called Montania 803. Soon more trains became necessary and the next was called Montania S 10 no. 2044, and it was far better than the one before. With 25 carriages with 6 seats each, the train took up to 150 visitors into the cave. And even a third one was bought, the locomotive CEMSA 20 G No. 20-779 in 1926.
After World War II Slovenia became a part of Yugoslavia and a socialist country, the train were unchanged. But in 1956, the cave management purchased two battery-powered electric locomotives. They were less noisy and did not produce exhausts, and they were reliable. The new locomotives replaced the old one and the fleet was extended to twelve.
The next step in the development was the single track. Trains were driving in and out ón the same track, so it was not possible to do both at the same time, which restricted the numebr of trains. In the sixties the decision was made to build a circular line. At both ends there is a loop tunnel which allows the trains to turn around, and there are two tracks along the main tunnel. The first phase was completed in 1964 and the second one in 1967, 400 m of tunnel were excavated, a 19.4 m long bridge was constructed, and in winter of 1969/70 a new train depot was built. The last addition was a new exit platform in 1979.