The Beka Landscape Park – Glinščica Valley
The extremely picturesque landscape along the Glinščica River surprises with its natural phenomena.
On the edge of the Karst, a special world beckons you to visit it – different in appearance, unspoiled, and irresistibly attractive. The Beka Landscape Park encompasses the gorge of the Glinščica River and the Griža Valley, the sinkhole caves near the Ocizla village and the archaeological sites Lorencon, Tabor above Botazzo and Sela on Mali Kras. The entire area, declared a landscape park in 1992, is praised for the extraordinary beauty of its natural sights and unspoilt nature.
The gorge of the Glinščica River and the Griža Valley
On the north-western edge of the Petrinje Karst one finds a 2-km long gorge carved through a narrow strip of flysch terrain, considerably differing from its karst surroundings in terms of surface phenomena and vegetation. The waters of the Glinščica sub-basin gather here and flow north-west into the Gulf of Trieste, together with the water of mostly periodical streams which sink where the flysch meets the limestone – below the villages of Beka and Ocizla. This picturesque gorge is carved 50–100 metres deep into the flysch terrain, the rock walls are almost vertical and reveal folded flysch sediments.
The Griža Valley is a ravine with steep flysch slopes, and its sediments are clearly visible here as well. On its right bank a stronghold rises up, Tabor above Botač, which dates back to the 15th century and is now a cultural monument.
There are several active caves and former sinkholes beneath the villages of Beka and Ocizla, composing an important case system: the Ocizla Cave (‘Blažev spodmol’), the Maletova Cave (‘Korošica’), the Miškotova Cave and the Jurjeva Cave. While Blažev spodmol and Jurjeva jama are periodical swallow holes, the Maletova Cave is an active sinkhole of the Korošica Brook and the Miškotova Cave an active sinkhole with a 50-metre-long gorge and several collapse dolines.
On the Žerjalski vrh Hill, above where the Griža and Glinščica rivers meet, the remains of a medieval fortification are still visible today. They feature a large defence trench and the remnants of a majestic defence rampart, most likely of prehistoric origin. Other prehistoric remains have not been found here. The ruins of the St. Lorenzo Church near the defence trench indicate people may have lived here even in the Late Gothic period. Lorencon is one of the most important strongholds in the Karst edge, rising above the Gulf of Trieste, that was most likely already inhabited in prehistoric times.
Tabor above Botač
High up on the edge of rock walls in the Glinščica Valley, a medieval stronghold was built on a spot that is very difficult to access. Its remains are relatively well preserved. Part of the fortified defence system remains visible today, along with the walls of the inner building. The stronghold is one of the few preserved medieval fortifications on the edge of the Karst.
The prehistoric hillfort at Sela stands on the edge of a wide rock ledge on the southern bank of the Glinščica River gorge, right opposite the Tabor stronghold above Botač. With its characteristic prehistoric hillfort defence architecture, it is a typical example of fortification on the Karst’s edge. The construction of trenches during World War I severely damaged the hillfort’s interior, although the monumental defence ramparts on the southern and eastern sides are still well preserved.