200 years of Postojna paradise celebrated this year
"This a new world, it's paradise," were the words with which cave lights technician Luka Čeč announced his discovery on 14 April 1818.
He stumbled on the previously unknown cave halls by chance during preparations for a visit by Austrian Emperor Franz I.
Čeč climbed the rocks from a makeshift bridge as he was preparing the lights in the Great Hall when he suddenly disappeared only to later surprise his colleges with the new discovery.
Until the mid-19th century the credit for the discovery of the new halls was wrongfully assigned to the Postojna district cashier Löwengreif.
It was only in 1854 that Čeč got his rightful place among the discoverers of the Postojna Cave.
The new platform, which will replace the 40-year old one, will be named after him. "We wanted to 'soften' the visual appearance of the platform, improve the acoustics, and foremost state that whatever we do in the cave we try not to make it more beautiful that the cave," said the head of the cave operator, Marjan Batagelj.
Photo by: postojnska-jama.eu
In the last 200 years, more than 38 million people from all over the world have seen the cave, which is Slovenia's number one tourist attraction.
Last year, more than a million visitors were recorded, a new record, and the Postojnska Jama company posted a turnover of EUR 25m and a net profit of EUR 6.5m.
Postojna is the cradle of cave and karst studies and is home to the biggest institute for karst research in the world.
A series of events will be held throughout the year to mark 200 years of Postojna Cave with the main ceremony scheduled for November.