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Cerkniško jezero
The park contains the intermittent Lake Cerknica, which appears in rainy months but then completely vanishes during the dry season – a phenomenon that has attracted scientists to the region for generations. Foto: BoBo

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A Little-Known Park in the Heart of Slovenia

Slovenia Revealed
9. June 2017 ob 06:49
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Slovenia’s Notranjska (Inner Carniola) region is best known as the region between the country’s interior and the sun-drenched Adriatic coast. But from architecture to natural landscapes, Notranjska has a character all its own, and the Notranjska Regional Park is now helping to preserve that uniqueness for future generations.

The park was set up in 2002 when the municipality of Cerknica to protect all its natural landscapes as a single protected area. The park contains the intermittent Lake Cerknica, which appears in rainy months but then completely vanishes during the dry season – a phenomenon that has attracted scientists to the region for generations.

Other sights within the park include natural bridges ad caves of Rakov Škocjan, as well as Križna Cave, with its extensive system of underwater pools and lakes.

The area’s limestone landscape of caves, streams, and underground pool is also a paradise for water-loving animals. No fewer than fifteen species of amphibians thrive here, as do approximately 250 species of birds. Lynx, wolves, and even bears are all a common sight in the local forests.

The park’s architectural legacy is just as interesting. For years, this was prime logging country, and several dozen sawmills can still be found throughout the park in various states of repair. Traditional homes with open-hearth kitchens, and barns with thatched roofs can still be seen in remote parts of the park. Visitors can observe the making of charcoal using traditional methods. Even trees recall the history of human habitation in the area; numerous orchards complement the areas forests and meadows.

In recent years, the park is also promoting more environmentally friendly tourism based on working farms that accept guests. The area will likely never become a major tourist destination, but for those in the know, the Notranjska Regional Park provides an exceptional opportunity to experience a truly unique part of Slovenia.

Jaka Bartolj

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