Karst gmajna festival

Karst gmajna festival

  • Where
    Sežana, Divača, Lipica, Škocjan Caves, Štanjel
  • When
25. 4. – 3. 6. 2019 / 15. 9. – 7. 10. 2019

The Karst gmajna grassland is one of Europe’s, even the world’s, oldest cultural landscapes and richest habitats . The Karst Gmajna Festival is a unique festival of natural/scientific and heritage tourism and is dedicated to this extraordinary landscape. Visitors can take part in various activities and explore the natural and cultural heritage, the special gmajna fauna and flora as well as traditional folk wisdom and knowledge. Learning about how the local cuisine intertwines with the seasons of the year is particularly interesting.

Festival visitors can join in different thematic walks, culinary workshops and lectures. The Karst gmajna is exceptional any time of the year and so the festival is designed in segments that follow the rhythms of nature.

Festival organisers and initiators:

Equestrian Park Lipica, Javni zavod Park Škocjanske jame, Javni zavod Komenski Kras, TIC Sežana, Razvojni center Divača, Zavod Jerbas 

TIC Sežana
T: +386 5 731 01 28
E: tic.sezana@visitkras.info

TIC Štanjel
T: +386 5 769 00 56
E: info@stanjel.eu

Razvojni center Divača
T: +386 5 7310 941
E: tic@divaca.info


Thursday, 25 April 2019

Festival Opening: Dry-stone wall = our identity = UNESCO heritage; dry-stone walling from cultural and environmental aspects – a round table
Location: Mladinski hotel Pliskovica, Pliskovica 11, 6221 Dutovlje
Time: 17.00

The mastery of dry-stone walling was included on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2018. Dry stacking of stones without using any binding material is a basic and autochthonous building technique of the Karst. This building method results from people’s struggle to survive in the stony area of the Karst since prehistoric times. Dry-stone walls have proven to be a solid building structure that will even outlive some modern types of construction. While there is today less of a need for dry-stone walls, their aesthetic aspect should not be overlooked as they help make the Karst landscape more attractive and are an important tourist asset. Both the dry-stone walls and landscape in the Karst must be protected and preserved for future generations. The round table will be attended by Eda Belingar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia), Jasna Fakin Bajec (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts), Bojana Fajdiga (Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation) and Karin Lavin (Anima Mundi Institute and Karst Dry-Stone Walling Partnership).

The round table will be hosted by Petra Mezinec.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Guided tour of the Debela Griža hillfort at Volčji Grad

Meeting point: parking area at the village entrance

Time: 14.30

Debela Griža, the remains of a fortified settlement from the Bronze and Iron Ages, is one of the best known and researched hillforts in the Karst. The defence wall measures 1,100 m in total, whereas the volume of inbuilt stones exceeds 60,000 m3. The wall is now 2–7 m in height and 5–15 m in width; the remains of the original gradually built construction are visible throughout its length.

The guided tour is free of charge and will be provided in cooperation with the Debela Griža Society from Volčji Grad and the Kaštelir Project (Interreg SLO-CRO, co-financed using ESRR funds).

Prior registration not required. We recommend hiking footwear and, in the event of bad weather, appropriate clothing/rain protection.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Exhibition: “Karst House” contest, exhibition
Location: Štanjel Castle
Time: 14.00
Exhibition opening and awarding of prizes for the “Karst House” contest. The winning art works will be exhibited and prizes awarded to the contestants. The ceremony will be followed by a guided tour of the Štanjel village.
Participants: “Karst House” contest, Jelena Uršič in cooperation with Javni zavod Komenski Kras

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Opening of the travelling exhibition: LIVING LANDSCAPE OF THE KARST
Location: Štanjel Castle, Fabiani Hall
Time: 16:00
The exhibition that formed part of the Living Landscape cross-border project led by the University of Primorska focuses on man and anthropogenic factors that have shaped the Karst (materially and non-materially) over the centuries. Historical maps of the Karst, photographs of open spaces in the Karst landscape, dry-stone walling and mythical-folklore parks in the villages of Rodik and Gropada will be displayed.
The exhibition was arranged by Monika Milic in cooperation with Javni Zavod Komenski Kras.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Initial workshop for reconstructing a dry-stone hut near Coljava
Meeting point: Izletniška kmetija Ostrouška Pelicon (farm), Coljava 5
Meeting point: 8.00–8.30
Workshop led by: mentor Boris Čok 
Prior registration required by Friday 26 April 2019 at tic@stanjel.eu or +386 5 769 00 56.
After Boris Čok explains the dry-stone walling technique and we have a morning snack, we’ll move to the construction site by foot or car. In order to look after nature, take with you a glass, dish and cutlery for lunch. You are advised to wear practical clothing and footwear (hiking boots), a cap, work gloves and also bring a bucket for gravel, pruning scissors and, if you want, a camera. The workshop will only be cancelled in the case of persistent rain.
Participants: Javni zavod Komenski Kras, Karst Dry-Stone Walling Partnership, Ostrouška Pelicon Tourist Farm, Karst University of the Third Age, TIC Sežana

Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 10:00

Butterflies and fauna in and around Karst dry-stone walls
Location: Kosovelje, “Šuštarjeva gmajna” grassland
Price: free
For curious boys & curious girls and their families: To get acquainted with the identity of the landscape that is a legacy of generations of our ancestors, we’ll stop at a typical Karst gmajna grassland to experience and feel what is happening in nature all around us by doing a sensibilisation exercise. Then, we’ll take a walk alongside dry-stone walls and observe butterflies and other animals that find their home in the Karst gmajna. A true peasants’ snack will be provided and the villagers will take us on a tour of Kosovelje, alongside dry-stone walls and the Pliska Trail, all the way to some shepherd’s corbelled huts.
The event is intended for families with children. The workshops will be led by Jošt Stergaršek from the Kosovelje Village Community as well as Jerica Hlad, Silvana Lozej and Mojca Može Škapin, three preschool teachers from the Sežana Kindergarten – Povir Unit. In the case of bad weather, the workshop will be cancelled.
Registration and information: TIC Sežana, tic.sezana@visitkras.info, +386 5 731 01 28

Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:30

Workshop: dry-stone walling
Location: Famlje
Price: free
Dry-stone walling is an integral part of the cultural landscape of the Karst and forms vital knowledge passed down from one generation to another. The fields, gmajna grasslands and meadows are crisscrossed with dry-stone walls, silent witnesses to Karst people’s attitude to their homeland and stone. Led by different partners, the workshops will be dedicated to renovating a section of dry-stone wall,of which many can be found in this part of the Karst. We will learn the ancient dry-stone walling technique. Participation is free; you’re advised to wear appropriate working clothes and gloves. A snack will be provided after the workshop.
Participants: Divača Development Centre, TKŠD Urbanščica, Karst Dry-Stone Walling Partnership, Bogomir Magajna Primary School from Divača, Škocjan Caves Park
Registration and information: turizem@divaca.info, +386 51 223 201

Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 9:00

Botanical walk in the Divača Karst
Location: Museum of Slovenian Film Actors
Price: free
The Karst is a special landscape on the global scale and its geological features include caves, dolines and collapse dolines along with many more karst phenomena. Other special features include its extraordinary biodiversity. We’ll get to know better the flora and fauna of the Divača Karst during our walking tour. The walk starts on a trail dedicated to karst science and other natural sciences, and passes by the large Risnik collapse doline, three natural rock shelters, some valleys and the Divača Cave. We’ll discover a world that often remains unnoticed but is very much alive and rich. We will get first-hand knowledge about plants and their life. Sports clothing and footwear are advised. After the walking tour, we’ll return to the Museum for a snack.
Participants: Divača Development Centre, Slovenia Forest Service – Sežana Regional Unit
Registration and information: turizem@divaca.info, +386 51 223 201

Saturday, 18 May 2019 at 10:00

Trip: Among dry-stone walls with electric bikes
Location: Informacijski center of the Škocjan Caves Park, Matavun 12
Price: free
Join us on a cycle trip across typical Karst gmajna grassland. We’ll enjoy spending time in nature, surrounded by lush, late-spring vegetation and several kilometres of dry-stone walls. During a break in the middle of gmajna, we’ll have a snack from our backpack. Electric bikes will help us fly up all the Karst slopes, so the trip will be a piece of cake. Prior registration is required as the number of participants is limited. Participants will borrow electric bikes for free.
Participants must provide: a bicycle helmet, appropriate footwear and a drink for carrying.
Length of trail: about 40 km
Duration: about 4 hours
Fitness level required: Low
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, SloActive
Information and registration: psj.info@psj.gov.si, +386 41 309 771

Saturday, 18 May 2019 and Sunday, 19 May 2019

Let's get to know reptiles better
Location: Pr' Nanetovh Promotional and Congress Centre, Matavun 8
The Karst’s mosaic-like landscape and its hundreds of kilometres of dry-stone walls provide a wonderful habitat for many reptiles. We can mostly see the black subspecies of the Green whip snake, which is our fastest snake. The horned viper and European green lizard are seen less often. The role played by reptiles in nature is extremely important as they prey on populations of other species of animals and so regulate them. The greatest threat to reptiles is destruction of their habitat and killing. To get to know these gentle animals better, join us at an exhibition, a workshop at which all our fears of reptiles will be overcome, and a lecture.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Bioexo Society

Saturday, 18 May 2019 and Sunday, 19 May 2019 from 9.00 to 18.00

Exhibition of reptiles
Free entrance
During the exhibition, we’ll get to know better some of the autochthonous species of reptiles and their more exotic relatives.Together with experts, we will observe their characteristics and behaviour while learning many interesting facts about every species.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Bioexo Society

Saturday, 18 May 2019 and Sunday, 19 May 2019 from 9.00 to 18.00

Workshop to overcome fear of reptiles
Do you have a fear or reluctance towards snakes, lizards or other ‘creepy-crawlies’ and want to get rid of it? Then our Workshop to overcome fear of reptiles is exactly what you need. With the help of experts, we’ll try to overcome the fear of snakes, lizards, spiders... Are you ready for this challenge?
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Bioexo Society

Saturday, 18 May 2019 at 18.00

Lecture: Reptiles of Slovenia
Price: free
The Karst is a biodiversity hotspot on planet Earth and the diversity of its reptiles is further proof of this. Which species of snakes, lizards and turtles live in Slovenia and which can be seen in the Karst will be revealed in a very interesting lecture that will acquaint us with the life of reptiles.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Bioexo Society
Information: psj.info@psj.gov.si, +386 41 309 771

Saturday, 18 May 2019 and Sunday, 19 May 2019

The colourful world of butterflies in the Karst
Location: Interpretation Centre of the Škocjan Caves Park, Škocjan 3
The mosaic-like landscape of the Karst created together by man and nature over the centuries is an extraordinary treasure trove of plants and animals. There are more butterfly species in the Karst than in all of Great Britain. In Slovenia, 200 species of day-flying butterflies have been discovered and more than 3,600 species of night-flying butterflies. These delicate aviators are threatened by habitat destruction due to the abandoning of traditional farming on one hand and intensification of agriculture on the other. During our walking tours, the exhibition and presentations of registers of butterflies, we’ll come to better know this highly colourful facet of Karst nature.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Fauna and Flora Cartography Centre

Saturday, 18 May 2019 and Sunday, 19 May 2019

Time: 9:00­–18.00
Exhibition of Butterflies
Relying on exhibited photographs and prepared pinned butterflies, we’ll learn something more about the butterfly species that live in the Karst. Together with experts, we will look at their characteristics and learn many interesting facts about every species.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Fauna and Flora Cartography Centre

Sunday, 19 May 2019 at 10.00 and at 16.00

A walk into the colourful world of day-flying butterflies of the Karst
Price: free
Guided by experts, we’ll go for a walk across the Karst gmajna grasslands and become familiar with the colourful world of butterflies. The Karst is considered a treasure trove of butterfly species. We will learn when is the best time to observe butterflies, how to identify individual species, which are the most common Karst species together with many interesting facts about their life. The walk starts in the village of Škocjan, at the Jurjev skedenj barn.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Fauna and Flora Cartography Centre

Sunday, 19 May 2019 from 20:00 to 24:00

Workshop: Let's meet the night-flying butterflies of the Karst
Price: free
More than 3,600 night-flying butterfly species live in the Karst. During the lecture, experts from the Fauna and Flora Cartography Centre will present this interesting group of insects and some interesting facts concerning their nocturnal life. We’ll find out how endangered they are and why they are so attracted to light. The lecture will be followed by a walk to the nearby meadows where we will use light traps to attract such butterflies and take a closer look at them. Observing night-flying butterflies is a special night experience, especially for the attractive light traps.
Participants: Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia, Fauna and Flora Cartography Centre
Information: psj.info@psj.gov.si, +386 41 309 771

What’s up in the Karst?

Don’t miss out on interesting tradition-inspired events accompanied by genuine flavours of the local culinary scene ...

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