Postojna Gate (Slovene: Postojnska vrata), named after the local
town of Postojna, is a major mountain pass of the Dinaric Alps. It
lies in southwestern Slovenia, between the Hrušica Plateau to the
north and the
Javornik Hills to the south, at an elevation of 610
metres (2,000 ft). It formed due to tectonic subsidence and
fluvial erosion by the Pivka River, which in the
superficially in this section. The terrain is significantly
karstified. This relatively wide pass enables for the easiest passage
Italy and northwestern
Adriatic Sea to the Pannonian
Plain, and had a very important strategic role in the past. Today, a
rail line and the Slovenian A1 freeway traverse it.
The gate was used by a section of the
Amber Road that connected the
Baltic lands with the Adriatic. It has been proposed that the voyage
Argonauts is based on the possibility to travel the Danube, the
Sava, and the
Ljubljanica rivers upstream, cross the
and come to the
Adriatic Sea downstream on the western side.
It was the central part of the ancient Illyro-Italic (or
Italo-Illyrian) Gate between the southeastern
Alps and the Kvarner
Gulf, connecting northern
Italy to the west and the
Pannonian Plain to
the east. The Romans were well aware that their core territory was
threatened by easy access through the
Postojna Gate and they created a
network of strategic roads, fortifications, and walls, the Claustra
Alpium Iuliarum, to stop possible invaders. At the center of these
fortifications was the fortress of
Castra ad Fluvium Frigidum
Castra ad Fluvium Frigidum in the
Vipava Valley controlling the Roman road between
Aquileia and Emona.
The Illyro-Italic Gate was nonetheless crossed by the Alemanni, the
Goths, and the Huns. By about 600, Slavs populated the area and
crossed the gate to enter the Istrian peninsula. In the Middle Ages
several castles were built in vicinity, including Predjama Castle,
Prem Castle, and Sovič Castle.
In modern times, the gap was crossed by the Austrian Southern Railway
(Südbahn), the railway that was built between 1839 and 1857 to
Ljubljana to Trieste.
^ Perko, Drago; Orožen Adamič, Milan (1998). "Vzhodne Karavanke".
Slovenija: pokrajina in ljudje [Slovenia: The Landscape and the
People]. p. 370. ISBN 9788611150338.
^ a b Andreja Penko. "Regio Carsica Militaris". Archived from the
original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved