Cross Cave

Cross Cave[2] (Slovene: Križna jama, German: Kreuzberghöhle[3]), also named Cold Cave under Cross Mountain (Mrzla jama pod Križno goro), is a cave in Slovenia's Lož Valley. The cave is named after nearby Holy Cross Church in Podlož.[4] The cave is particularly noted for its chain of over 45 subterranean lakes of emerald green water. With 45 species of organisms, some not discovered until 2000, Cross Cave is the fourth-largest cave ecosystem in the world in terms of biodiversity.[5] The cave was first documented in 1832, but the part of the cave that includes lakes and stream passages was first explored by Slovene cavers in 1926. Over two thousand cave bear bones have been found in the cave.[5]

Cross Cave
Cold Cave under Cross Mountain
Cross Cave at the Port of Venice (Beneški pristan)
Locationsoutheastern Slovenia
Coordinates45°44′39″N 14°27′52″E
Depth32 m (105 ft)
Length8,273 m (27,142 ft)
Geologydolomite, limestone
Accessby foot and by boat
Cave surveyplan
RegistryCave E-Cadastre[1]


At Calvary (Kalvarija, the best-known symbol of Cross Cave), the cave splits into two branches: the Muds (Blata) to the north and the Variegated Passage (Pisani rov) to the northeast. The passage through the Muds is more difficult, and so most visitors choose to continue through the Variegated Passage, which requires the use of small boats. Cross Cave continues into New Cross Cave (Nova Križna jama). In the direction from the entrance to the cave, the Variegated Passage is the left gallery of Cross Cave at the confluence with the Muds at Cavalry. The access requires the use of boats. Part of the way along the Variegated Passage is a side gallery named the Matjaž Passage (Matjažev rov), and it contains several large columns. Continuing along the Variegated Passage, visitors enter the Crystal Mountain (Kristalna gora), the largest room in the cave. They can climb a mountainous pile of collapsed rocks to a point well above the stream.


  1. "Križna jama" (in Slovenian). Cave E-Cadastre. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  2. Copeland, Fanny Susan; Kuščar, Ludvik (1930). "The Unexplored Caves of Slovenia". Discovery: The Popular Journal of Knowledge. 11: 160.
  3. Laas und Čabar (map, 1:75,000). Vienna: K.u.k. Militärgeographisches Institut. 1903.
  4. Notranjski regijski park: Križna jama Archived 2015-01-09 at the Wayback Machine (in Slovene)
  5. Prelovšek, Mitja. "Križna jama" [Cross Cave]. In Šmid Hribar, Mateja; Golež, Gregor; Podjed, Dan; Kladnik, Drago; Erhartič, Bojan; Pavlin, Primož; Ines, Jerele (eds.). Enciklopedija naravne in kulturne dediščine na Slovenskem – DEDI [Encyclopedia of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Retrieved 20 August 2012.
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