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The Škocjan Caves are a natural cave system found in the south-eastern Karst region of Slovenia. The caves rank as one of the most important natural treasures on Earth. They were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1986.
See the fact file below for more information on the Škocjan Caves or alternatively, you can download our 22-page World Heritage Sites: Škocjan Caves worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
History of Skocjan Caves
- In the 2nd century BC (Antiquity), the Škocjan Caves were first written about and marked on published maps of the area.
- It is known to have been inhabited more than ten thousand years ago and is an extremely intricate piece of archeology.
- Artistic proof of the Škocjan Caves came in the form of landscape pieces by French painter Louis-Francois Cassas.
- They were known as being one of the most important features in the uncharted area of Trieste, in northeastern Italy.
- The exploration of the Škocjan Caves began in 1884; in the years following, explorers reached Dead Lake, Silent Cave, and other natural wonders.
- The exploration of these areas came about as there was a desire to know more about where Trieste was getting its drinking water.
- Geographically, the Reka River disappears underground under a rocky wall, flows through the caves, and exits into the Dead Lake.
- About three thousand years ago, the caves are said to have been significant in terms with cult connections with the afterlife and communicating with ancestral spirits.
- Some other archaeologists and scholars point out that there is evidence that the area was historically used as a burial ground as well as for spiritual rituals involving the dead.
- Ongoing archaeological sites continue to reveal more details of a long history of human occupation since prehistoric times.
- As a result of an exploratory swim, Slovenian divers also discovered over 200m of new cave passages in 1990.
Scope and Geography of the Škocjan Caves
- A special and unique ecosystem has developed in the caves due to its particular microclimatic conditions.
- The cave length is just over 20,000 feet (and that is only what has been explored so far!); the River Reka still flows along and through the bottom of the caves.
- At some points, the caves expand into huge underground chambers; during rainy times, major flooding can occur.
- The largest underground chamber in the caves is Martel’s Chamber.
- The caves themselves are made up of limestone, collapsed sinkholes and dolines, and include a number of waterfalls.
- Some of the caves are approximately 656 feet deep.
- You will also see deep chasms, intricate underground passages, small lakes, and stunning waterfalls in the caves.
Flora and Fauna in the Caves
- The Škocjan Caves support many endemic and endangered species due to its unique conditions.
- Alpine and Mediterranean species of plants grow right next to each other.
- The Cave Salamander (pictured right), other invertebrates, crustaceans and rare and threatened flora and fauna exist within the caves and surrounding areas.
Fun Facts About the Skocjan Caves
- The pools and bodies of water in the caves have attracted scientists and artists for years since the late 1800s.
- The geological diversity in the caves has supported a wide variety of biological diversity which has been helpful in supporting the land and water in the surrounding area.
- The caves are found in the Škocjan Caves Regional Park, which is part of the larger Karst Biosphere Reserve.
- According to historical record, tourism in the caves began around 1819 when the county councilor ordered that steps be built in the caves to allow visitors to walk through them.
- Škocjan Caves see about 100,000 visitors per year, with tours operating in Slovenian, English, Italian, and German.
- Following its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia made an effort to protect and preserve the Škocjan Caves by creating the Škocjan Caves Regional Park and taking steps to make sure it was managed locally.
- Water levels in the caves can rise over 328 feet following heavy rainfall.
- It is expected that tourism will continue to grow in the years to come.
- The caves are an integral part of research surrounding the Karst and karstic phenomena.
World Heritage Sites: Škocjan Caves Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Škocjan Caves across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use World Heritage Sites: Škocjan Caves worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Škocjan Caves which are a natural cave system found in the south-eastern Karst region of Slovenia. The caves rank as one of the most important natural treasures on Earth. They were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1986.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Skocjan Caves Facts.
- Caves Comprehension.
- Geological Match-Up.
- Diary of an Archeologist.
- Skocjan Caves Wordsearch.
- Journey Through the Caves.
- The Karst Phenomena.
- Famous Contributions.
- Skocjan Caves Crossword.
- Cave Maze.
- Skocjan Caves Unscrambling.
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Link will appear as Skocjan Caves Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 18, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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