Dimnice Cave – Markovščina, Slovenia - Atlas Obscura

Dimnice Cave

Markovščina, Slovenia

Deep underground, the rusting remains of a German water pumping station from World War II. 


The Dimnice Cave is spectacular enough on its own. A vertical cave mouth opens up from the earth with a railed path spiraling tens of meters down from the forest above. Once past the locked gate, your guide leads you into a largely unspoiled natural karst cave system. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of geological formations and small animals eking out a life underground.

Far down in the cave system, along the underground river, you’ll encounter decaying manmade walls, rusting handrails, and a concrete slab. On the floor are the damaged footings where once stood a water pump. During the German occupation, this pumping station was installed to supply water to the troops above.

During your initial descent, you might have noticed a curious circular hole going straight down into the cave, and a channel along the slope seemingly pointing at an angle towards the surface. These were the locations of pipes that fed water up and out of the cave. After the war, locals decided they wanted nothing to do with water provided by enemy hands and dismantled both the pump house and the pipes.

Know Before You Go

The cave is locked with a gate regularly so visits are only possible with a guide who has cave access. There is typically a standard weekly visit time on Sundays where a guide will wait for a group to form before leading them in. There may be a cap to these groups, and/or also a fee per person check in advance to be sure.

Important: The geologists and custodians of the cave have installed grip fabric paths in spots, and cut steps in other places to provide better footing for visitors and minimize wear to the cave floors. Even with those additions, very grippy hiking boots or trail running shoes with appropriate traction are a must. The cave floor is naturally damp and uneven. Normal street sneakers will slip all over.

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December 12, 2022

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