Sgonico – The Giant Cave
The Giant Cave is a karst cave, explored in 1840 and opened in 1908. Formed at least ten million years ago, it is located on the plateau of Karst. It is located a few kilometers from the city of Trieste and the border with Slovenia (Monrupino pass).
Its main characteristic is to be the tourist cave containing the largest natural hall in the world. The hall is a single chamber about 114 meters high, 280 meters long and 76.3 meters wide. Firmly present in the Guinness Book of Records since 1995.
Its hidden immensity gives those who visit it an exciting and unique underground experience. A specialized guide accompanies visitors for about an hour along an 850-meter route. From the visitors’ center a natural entrance leads to the first gallery. From here the descent is divided into ramps made safe by solid railings and non-slip cover.
After five hundred steps you reach the “Great Cave”, which opens at a depth of 80 meters. The deepest point reached by the tourist route is 101.10 meters below the entrance. The path enters among thousands of limestone formations, while the guide introduces the visitor to the knowledge of the underground world. Here the secrets of the formation of karst cavities and their evolution are revealed. But the characteristics of the main speleothemes are also illustrated: stalactites, stalagmites, columns, etc.
The visit continues in the “Hall of the Altar”, a smaller environment from which you can see the entrance to the “Secret Cave”. This is a side branch that develops along a series of vertical shafts until it reaches a depth of 252 meters.
The ascent begins by taking the “Carlo Finocchiaro” path, a panoramic staircase that offers a spectacular view of the entire cavity. It continues, then, through an artificial tunnel dug into the rock. The tunnel leads visitors to the Belvedere, an evocative terrace inside the cave. From this point you can look out 95 meters over the Great Cave.