Škocjan Caves ID

The Škocjan Caves
Classical Karst, Slovenia, Europe
Several million years
 Protected area:
413 hectares
 Area of influence of the Park:
45 000 hectares
 Number of inhabitants in the Park:
 Managing authority:
Javni zavod park Škocjanske jame, Slovenija
Škocjan 2, 6215 Divaca
Telephone: +386 (0)5 70 82 100 
Fax: +386 (0)5 70 82 105

skocjan caves foto jame id 1
World heritage site since 1986.
Regional Park since 1996.
Underground wetland (Ramsar) since 1999.
Karst biosphere reserve (MAB) since 2004.

Basic information on the caves:

Length:6,200 metres (all cave passages)
Depth:223 metres (from the surface to the lowest point)
Highest point:435 metres (the Crown Princess Stephanie viewpoint)
Lowest point:212 metres (Dead Lake)
Temperature in the caves:12°C in dry areas,
0-20°C in areas with flowing water

Air humidity:
80-100 %
The most interesting stalactite formations in the caves:
Paradise – flowstone deposits;
the Organ Hall – stalactite formation in the form of organ;
Great Hall – giant stalagmites;
Rimstone Pools' Hall – large rimstone pools
The largest stalagmite:
Giant - in the Great Hall, 15 metres in height
Cave animals:Large nursery colonies of several bat species, world-famous cave salamander (Proteus anguinus), endemic species of underground crustaceans and beetles
Disappearing river:
Reka River
Reka River flow:
min. 0.03 m3/s
max. over 380 m3/s
on average around 9 m3/s
Number of waterfalls in the caves:
Last flood in the caves:
1965 – 108 metres in height
(10 metres above the Cerkvenik Bridge)
Length of all old passages in the caves:
app. 12,000 metres
Height of the Cerkvenik Bridge (in the cave):
47 metres above the Reka River
More on the subject:

Outstanding features of the Škocjan Caves system:

Underground canyon of the Reka River:
2,600 metres in length,
from 10 to 60 metres wide,
up to 146 metres in height
One of the largest underground chambers in Europe:
Martel Chamber – 2.2 milllion m3,
146 metres in height,
120 metres wide and 300 metres long
Rimstone pools:
Large dimensions
Natural bridges:
Between Velika and Mala dolina, natural bridge in Mala dolina
Natural windows:
Natural windows in the Mahorčič Cave and on the bottom of the Okroglica abyss
Waterfalls and rapids:
Thirty (30) up to 10 metres high waterfalls and rapids
Collapse dolines:
Active – Velika dolina and Mala dolina;
Fossil - Lisična, Sapendol, Sokolak, Globočak, Mali dol, Dol Jablanc, Lesendol, Lazni dol and Bušljevec 

Natural monuments:

The Škocjan Caves system:
Caves, passages and dolines that form the Škocjan Caves system
Velika dolina:
Collapse dolina, 163 metres in depth from the viewpoint to the Reka River sinkhole
Mala dolina:
Collapse dolina, 120 metres deep
Okroglica abyss:
In the village of Škocjan, 116 metres deep
Walls and banks of the Reka River valley:
The largest blind valley in Slovenia, up to 100 metre-deep gorge


First documented visits to Velika dolina:
2nd half of the 18th century
The carving of the first tourist trails:
Velika dolina, 1823
Start of visits to Velika dolina:
Since the 18th century
Visitor's book:
Since 1819
First tourist trails in the cave:
Reconstruction of the Cerkvenik Bridge:
Electricity in the cave:
Since 1959
Current length of the tourist trail:
Around 3,000 metres and around 500 stair steps
Inclined elevator from Velika dolina:
Since 1986, approx. 90 metres of difference in altitude
Number of visitors per year:
Approximately 90,000 (in 2006)
More on the subject:

History of exploration

First written references on the Škocjan Caves:
Poseidonius of Apamea, around 60 B.C.
First tracing experiment:
1599, Imperato
The Mahorčič Cave:
1815, Eggenhofer
The Rudolf Hall:
1839, Jakob Svetina, Ivan Rudolf
The Müller Hall:
1851, Adolf Schmidl
First map of the cave:
1888, Anton Hanke
Mrtvo jezero (siphon):
1890, A. Hanke, F. Müller, J. Marinič, P. Antončič, brothers Cerkvenik
Tiha jama:
1904, Anton, Franc in Jože Cerkvenik, Jože Nedoh
Discovery of new parts of the cave behind siphon Mrtvo jezero:
1991, Janko Brajnik, Samo Morel
More on the subject:

Archaeological sites

Škocjan hillfort:
Prehistorical hillfort – Late Bronze and Iron Ages, Antiquity
Velika jama na Prevali (the Mušja Cave):
Cave site - sacrificial activities, Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, Antiquity
Necropolis below Brežec:
Flat cremation burial site – late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age
Tominčeva Cave:
Cave stronghold, skeletal remains at a burial site – the Eneolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, Antiquity
More on the subject:

Other interesting points in the Park

Museum collections:
Ethnographic collection,
archaeological collection,
biological collection,
the history of exploring the Škocjan Caves, in Škocjan
Cultural monuments:
The villages of Škocjan and Betanja,
Church of Sv. Kancijan
Education trail:
Around Velika and Mala dolina, through the villages of Betanja, Škocjan and Matavun
More on the subject:

Prepaired by: Samo Šturm, Tomaž Zorman, Borut Peric

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