The Škocjan Caves Attractions
The Škocjan Caves are a unique natural phenomenon, the creation of the Reka River. The Reka River springs from below the Snežnik plateau and flows some fifty-five kilometres on the surface. After reaching the Karst, that is the limestone surface, the river not only deepens its riverbed through erosion, but also by means of corrosion – it dissolves the limestone. In the first part of its course on the limestone, the Reka still flows on the surface, along an approximately four-kilometre-long gorge that ends with a magnificent wall under which it disappears underground. The Reka River blind valley is the largest in Slovenia. In the distant past, probably in the Early Pleistocene, that is a few hundred thousand years ago, the ceiling of the cave collapsed some 200 metres from the sinks; as a result, the collapse dolines Velika dolina (up to 165 metres deep) and Mala dolina (120 metres) were created, separated by a natural bridge, a remnant of the original cave ceiling. Above the caves, between the wall above the sink and the walls of Mala dolina, lies the village of Škocjan. Close to the houses, there is another entrance to the underground, a ninety-metre-deep abyss called Okroglica, which ends just above the underground Reka River.
The Škocjan Caves remain the only monument in Slovenia and the Classical Karst region on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites. Thus, they hold a significant position among the world’s natural monuments. The entry itself is important from different perspectives: most significantly, that the Škocjan Caves have gained worldwide recognition and that the state has committed itself to doing everything in its power to conserve and protect this outstanding natural site.
Javni zavod Park Škocjanske jame, Slovenija
Phone: +386 (0)5 7082110
Fax: +386 (0)5 7082111
E-mail: [email protected]