Nature Park

Sečovlje Salina Nature Park covers about 750 ha along the Slovene-Croatian boundary in the extreme south western part of Slovenia, in the southern part of the Community of Piran. Its northern part, where active salt-making is still taking place, is called Lera. From the Park's southern part, called Fontanigge, it is separated by the bed of the Drnica stream.

The Fontanigge is full of large basins which, however, are being gradually overgrown by the characteristic salt-loving vegetation –halophytes. The basins are crisscrossed by the system of ancient levees, amongst which mostly the larger ones have been preserved. Along the wide channels, the former salt-pan houses are scattered, which with their characteristic appearance co-create the truly unique image of the salina landscape. The main freshwater vein is the Dragonja river, which after few tens of kilometres of its course joins the sea at the Sečovlje salt-pans.

At Fontanigge, salt-harvesting was abandoned in the 1960s, but the tradition of salt-making, which originates from the 14th century, is still practiced within the Museum of Salt-making. Here, each salt-field used to constitute an independent salt-pan with its own basins for seawater condensation and crystallisation.

At Lera (still »active« pans), the salt-fields used for crystallisation of salt are separated from the fields used for condensation of seawater (evaporation basins). The difference between the two procedures of salt-making therefore lies in the technological process, associated with the preparation of brine, harvest and storage of salt, and in very diverse implements. Their common characteristics, however, lies in the fact that at Fontanigge and Lera the salters cultivate, on the bottom of salt-fields, the so-called petola, a special type of biosediment that prevents sea mud from merging with salt and at the same time restrains separate ions from building in salt.

Projekt SOLJKE

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