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The Pantz Cableway is the oldest existing forestry cableway in Europe.
The lower station is located next to the main road from Bled to Bohinj, in the area called Soteska. The old cableway route, that connects different parts of the cableway system protected as a monument, is also interesting for hikers.
The Pantz Cableway is situated in the Sava Bohinjka gorge. The lower station is located by the main road from Bled to Bohinj on the slopes of the Jelovica plateau. The intermediate station or beksel is located above the waterfall. The upper station is located just above the precipitous slopes of Jelovica. There is an original system of conic drums for rope winding under its roof. All these parts are connected by an old cableway route that is also interesting for hikers. It leads from the Zoisov most bridge to the marshes on the Rovtarica and further on to the steep slopes of Jelovica.
The cableway was built in 1882 by Kranjska industrijska družba (KID), a company that owned the woods of the Jelovica and Pokljuka plateaus. The project was planned and patented by its technical manager, Mr. Lambert Pantz. KID bought the forests in 1871 from Ruard, the bankrupt owner of iron mining and processing facilities. The accessible areas of the forest were severely cut down. In 82 years of its operation, about half a million m3 of timber, charcoal, chopped wood and bark were transported from the Jelovica plateau. With all the wood harvested from Jelovica, a 4-metre wide dam could be built in the Soteska gorge that would fill up half of the valley. Wood transport began in autumn.
Horses were used to transport timber to the upper cableway station at the first snowfall. Charcoal, chopped wood and bark were transported with man-drawn sledges. The capacity of the cableway was 30 m3 of timber per working day. If necessary, it also operated during the night. In peak times, as much as 40 drivers transported timber to the upper station. At the lower station, logs were rolled down to the Sava river on timber slides and flown on the water to the sawmill in Soteska. Here they were directed to the channel leading to an industrial rail where they were pulled out manually.
After the logs were split, the wood was transported with horses to the railway station in the town of Lesce. In 1906, the Bohinj railway was opened. Due to the forest facilities, a train station was also set up in the Soteska area.
The original Pantz idea was a cableway system that operated on a single support rope. Two carts went up and down the rope, meeting at the siding. A complicated device with conic drums at the upper station managed the winding of the ropes. At the same time, it reduced the influences of the different length of the upper and lower part of the cableway, because the sliding is not located in the middle of the route due to the terrain. The line of the cableway is fractured at an angle. The cableway is 660 meters long with a 305-metre difference in altitude.
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