Dinaric mountains, stretching along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea - a classic area of karst caves and related natural phenomena: the surprise round, as if drawn with a compass, lakes and flops craters, bottomless vertical shafts, wells and mysterious rivers that suddenly disappear at some section of its valley, to reappear two or three kilometers downstream. The word "karst" means the totality of the processes occurring during dissolution of rocks came from the name of the limestone plateau in the Dinaric mountains. And on the west end of the Karst, near the picturesque mountain Sovich, where towering ruins of the ancient castle of the XIII century, is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in Europe - Postojna Jama. ("The Pit" in Slovenian - Cave.)
The castle on the hill, by the way, stood for four centuries, and would stand still, if in 1689 the lightning did not hit his tower was stored gunpowder. Fortress, soaring into the air, did not begin to recover, but instead built a new castle at the bottom, under the mountain, in the center of the small town of Postojna. Now the castle is located Slovenian Karst Research Institute. For objects of research scientists do not have to go far: after five hundred meters above on the hillside is the entrance to one of the longest and beautiful world of underground cavities.
Stretching nearly twenty kilometers a grand maze of halls, passages, slopes, tunnels and corridors was opened and investigated by scientists in the middle of the last century. Now the cave became a popular place, which tend to get travelers from all over Europe. Postojna is well equipped to receive tourists. Narrow Gauge Railroad length of seven kilometers allows visitors to look into the remotest corners of the underworld, without overcoming the difficulties faced by the first explorers of the cave. It is only necessary to stock up on warm clothes (because the temperature in the halls of Postojna in winter and summer - eight degrees Celsius), as well as throw raincoat to hide from the underground dripping.
Many of stone masterpieces can be seen in the underground halls. Among them are a large stalagmite Cypress, really like a slender tree, sculptured by nature of Tom Thumb, peeking out from behind the stone columns, delicate stalactite draperies, woven from the finest filamentary sag. Illuminated from within, she poured all sorts of shades of red, from pink to scarlet.
The walls of the rooms seem to be cast from metal, then made of ivory, faded from the dust covering it. Huge columns of the most intricate shapes prop arches decorated with multi-ton stone "icicles." Sometimes a palisade columns fills the space of the hall, and train rides like a stone in the forest.
In some places the ceiling, bringing dissolved therein lime, water drips. From the floor of the cave stalagmites rise. Many thousands of years they will need to meet with stalactites hanging from above: because they grow very slowly - one millimeter for a hundred years!