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Ice and Alpine Caves in Slovenia in older literature (17th to 19th century)
Andrej Kranjc - (33/1,2004)
The first printed literature mentioning caves in a nowadays Slovenia dates to the 16th century already (description of Cerkni¹ko lake, research of underground water connections) but description of alpine and ice caves does not appear before the 17th century. The most important and the best known is Valvasor's work "Die Ehre des Herzogthums Crain" (1689). In the Alps he describes 3 caves, but none of them is a real cave. Exception is a spring of Savica which proved 250 years later to be really a spring cave. He described also some ice caves and ice formations in them. B. Hacquet visited some of the same caves a century later and in his work "Oryctographia carniolica …" (1778 - 1789) explained the formation of ice more realistically. In the middle of the 19th century appears a real speleological literature, as Schmidl's work "Die Grotten und Höhlen von Adelsberg …" (1854) is regarded as the first "modern speleological work". At the end of the 19th century the Gratzy's list of caves in Carniola (great part of the today's Slovenia) includes 7 caves from the Alps and 30 ice caves. The last are practically all out of the high mountains, where the ice caves are a normal feature. The 19th century literature including alpine and ice caves is very diversified, there are "classical" speleological works on ice caves as Fugger's "Eishöhlen und Windröhren" or Schwalbe's "Über Eishöhlen", and local literature or reports talking about extracting of ice for example.
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