ljubljansko barje

Human influence

The issues of how to curb the marsh waters and to subdue them to their needs have been dealt with by humans for millennia. If the legendary Jason preferred to shift his ship on land when running out of rivers, and if the inhabitants of the Barje, the pile dwellers, were still able to adapt to the natural environment, it was the Romans who were the first to actively reshape the landscape. In the area of the present-day Ljubljana, an important town, called Emona, was built, donned with marble brought from under Mt. Krim. The enthusiastic builders found it not at all difficult to dig a regulation channel for an easier transport of marble blocks from the Podpeč quarry. The black Podpeč marble, the building material of which Emona was actually built, is still in great demand. Its true beauty was perhaps presented by the architect Jože Plečnik, who equipped the interiors of his unforgettable creations with it.

But all the ensuing interventions into the course of the Ljubljanica river and other Barje streams were also meant to improve navigability, while the regular Barje floods in fact troubled nobody at all due to the fact that the area was practically unpopulated.