Original name: Jama Pekel
Region: Savinja-Šalek regija
The length of the cave: 1159 m
The depth of the cave: 42 m
Altitude: 275 m
Temperature in the cave: 10°C
Geographical coordinates: 46.289857, 15.132953
Google map: Pekel Cave
The Pekel Cave is a karst cave with a long history. More than 3 million years old, it lies in the middle of the Ponikvanski kras region, about 4 km north of Šempeter v Savinjski dolini. The cave was created by the Ponikvica Stream that disappears in front of the cave and reappears in the cave as the Peklenščica Stream. The 1159-meter long path through the cave is easy and well maintained.
Water and dry parts of the cave
On two floors, the visitor can see two faces of one cave: the water part and the dry part. Through the lower, water part of the cave runs the Peklenščica Stream, leading to the greatest monument in the cave, the 4-meter high waterfall. It is the highest underground waterfall in Slovenia that can be seen from the immediate vicinity. The upper part of the cave is dry and full of cave structures. Because the water is carrying many substances, the dripstones glitter in the various shades of red and brown.
Through the galleries of the lower, water part of the cave, the Peklenščica Stream is running, forming many rapids and small pools. Spacious chambers and narrow passages lead to the end of the cave. The cave ends with a siphon from which a 4-metre high waterfall is bursting. It is the highest underground waterfallin Slovenia that is accessible from such vicinity. In the water cave many stalactites, stalagmites and columns can be seen, as well as calcite crystals that glitter wonderfully in the light.
When you walk through the lower part of the cave, the sound of water is always there. The only exception is Tihi rov (eng. the silent gallery) which is completely silent and has great acoustics.
A path leading from the lower part takes you up to the dry part of the cave. The ascent is similar to walking up to the 13th floor of a building. The upper part of the cave has stalactites and stalagmites, rimstone pools and small lakes. It is really a treasury of cave structures with spaghetti-like stalactites, large stalactites resembling a stalk of bananas, bulbous dripstones and a great stalacpipe organ. There is also a natural bridge arching over the path to the upper cave. In the past, there was running water in this part of the cave as well, but it gradually moved to lower areas.
Life in the cave
The Pekel Cave is home to many different life forms. Lichen, moss and algae thrive on the walls and in the water. Beetles, spiders, slugs, crabs and bats have also found shelter in the cave.