Technical heritage

Awareness of the significance of natural phenomena as an essential part of one's heritage can be gained through appropriate education and the well-planned presentation of key significant sites.
The Škocjan Caves Park carries great responsibility in this respect. In its presentation, we rely on historical facts, the rich local culture and the unique nature of the Karst. Century-old paths running throughout the Škocjan Caves system represent part of our technical heritage that is well worth preserving and presenting to visitors.
An overview of the history of trail construction in the Škocjan Caves
Numerous local inhabitants from nearby villages, especially Škocjan and Matavun, participated in the construction of trails, exploration and study of caves. They were guides, escorts and workers. Among those deserving special mention are: Jurij Cerkevnik - G’mboč with his sons Toni and Jože, as well as the famous Jožef Cerkvenik – V’ncek and Miklov France Cerkvenik, who was the leader of workers and cave guides after the First World War and after whom the renovated bridge across the Hanke's Channel is named (the tourist trail crosses the underground Reka River across the bridge).

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With their relentless work, through which they supported their large families, the local people chiselled nearly 12,000 metres of trails in the caves; this is twice the length of the Škocjan Caves system. The work was manual, difficult and dangerous. Nowadays, very few visitors walk along the steep trails, which fill them with great awe. It was these brave men who chiselled all these climbing, and later tourist, trails with their own hands, fitted them with wedges and protective wire or fences and built wooden galleries and bridges, thus putting their lives and health at stake. Their work remains a monument to their skills and dedication.

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Prepared by: Samo Šturm, Tomaž Zorman

Additional information on the topic:
Historical renovation of the old trail in the Hanke's Channel in the Škocjan caves
(Project description ...)