Caves and remnants of World War I
Armies used the Pečinka Cave, Krompir Cave and Lojz Cave as military shelters.
The turmoil of World War I also came to the Karst and the rampaging war also left its mark in the karst underground world. All armies which fought in the Karst during World Wars I and II used natural caves as shelters. Regretfully, some caves were permanently destroyed by soldiers. A visit to such caves sheds some light on past warfare methods and helps acknowledge the vulnerability of karst caves that nature has shaped over millions of years.
The entrance to this 150-metre-long cave is on the northern side of the Pečina Hill. The largest part of the cave, as seen today, is natural in origin but continues into an artificial passage that was dug through the ceiling to the top of the hill, where an observation post was established. This natural cave was used to provide shelter for soldiers in World War I by both armed forces, and in World War II it was used by the partisans. Natural formations from calcareous sinter are clearly visible, although the dripstones and other formations are considerably damaged.
The Austro-Hungarian army used to keep its supplies in this cave, mainly potatoes, after which the cave was named (‘krompir’ means potato in Slovenian). In the winter between 1916 and 1917, it was rearranged to accommodate military troops. It was a shelter for 500 soldiers. The cave featured a periscope, a water reservoir, a kitchen, a telephone exchange, an ammunition arsenal, a commander’s room and a toilet. Bunk beds including three or four levels were installed. The space was naturally ventilated. A stone stairway leads to the cave entrance.
It was named ‘Lojzova jama’ during World War I, whereas its earlier name was 'Golobja jama’. In the 1916–1917 period, the Austro-Hungarian army reconstructed it as a shelter for 1,000 soldiers, featuring three storeys. All specialised detachments which participated in the construction are inscribed on a plate mounted near the cave entrance.
Organised groups can visit the cave at any time, by prior arrangement.