is a karst show cave.
It is considered to be the oldest show cave in Europe,
as the local landowner conferred the cave upon the local parish which managed it as a resource
and opened it up to visitors in 1633.
Entrance to Vilenica is down into the collapsed roof of the entrance hall.
The cave is well decorated with a series of nice speleothems
and is noted for large chambers.
The first one, the so-called Ballroom, is entered by steps.
The second chamber is another long stair down and back up on the other side.
Middle part of the cave is decorated with dripstones,
followed by the chamber with enormous curtains and red coloured speleothems.
In the final chamber, the path is cut out of massive flowstone.
Visitor are standing on a balcony, gazing into the huge stalagmites,
the largest of them having 10m / 33ft diameter in its lower part, and being about 20m / 66ft high.
The biggest stalagmite here is 20m high and has a circumference of 10m at the base.
- cave length: 1300m / 4265ft (450m open for public access)
- cave depth: 179m / 587ft
- tour length: 900 m / 2953ft
- duration: 1 hour
difference 90m / 295ft
- light: electric
- temperature: 10 °C / 50 ºF
clothing adequate for one hour inside the cave at 10 °C,
rubber sole (its slippery inside), headtorch is an useful asset.
Vilenica cave has a long history.
The first guided tour was recorded in 1633.,
In 18th century, cave was visited by Baltazar Hacquet, pioneer karst geomorphologist
remembered as the first scientist to perform extensive exploration of the Julian Alps
(in 1777 he was the first to try to ascend to the top of Triglav) and few years later of the northwestern Dinaric Alps
At about the same time, cave was visited by Alberto Fortis,
Italian priest, physician and naturalist with a special interest in geology.
His extensive travels in Dalmatia and its karst between 1770 and 1774 resulted in the books for which he is best known.
His travelogs from 1771 describe his visit to the Mramorica cave near Brtonigla (Croatian Istria) in 1770,
and a journey over the karst from Pula to Rovinj in 1771.
Fortis visited Vilenica cave in 1777, with his companion, mineralogist Frantisek Dembsher.
They left their signature at one of the stalagmites, which is still clearly visible.
Vilenica cave remained the most visited cave of the classic karst through mid 19th century.
When Postojna cave was developed for mass visits, the popularity of Vilenica sank and the cave visits almost stopped.
Cave was revived again in mid 1960's.
on the road from Sezana to Lokev, 7km from Sezana.
Ljubljana-Postojna-Sezana-Trieste motorway, exit Divaca,
drive toward village of Lokev, another 1km from Lokev direction Sezana,
follow the (signposted) road for cave forking due right.
Parking lot not far from the cave entrance.
- by train:
nerest train stop is Divaca, Sezana train station also not too far away
Slovenian Railways query
- by air:
Nearest internaional airport is Ronchi dei Legionari, Trieste.
Low cost airlines operate mainly international flights from this airport.
Only Ryanair offers low cost flights to this airport.
Cave can be reached by foot as well:
follow any of the marked hiking trails to Lokev,
there's one from the Škocjan Caves,
another one from the Lipica Stud farm,
as well as marked hiking trail from the Mt. Kokos hut.
Approximate walking distance:
Vilenica cave - Lipica - Škibini - Kokoš hut, about 2 hours
On Sunday and holidays.
April, 1st- October, 31st
at 13pm and 5pm
November, 1st - March, 31st
only organized groups by prior arrangement.
Sezana caving club (Jamarsko drustvo Sezana)
phone: +386 5 7344 259
E-mail: [email protected]