Ministry of Culture
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The Classic Karst encompasses a limestone plateau bound by impermeable flysch rocks (dowastream Soca, the Gulf of Trieste, the Vipava Valley, Vrescica and Slavoik) and covers almost 500 km2 of which ouly a small part belongs to Italy. The landscape is also referred to as original Karst because certain surface and underground Karst phenomena were described and scientifically explained here for the first time. Vilenica was the first cave in Sloverlia to become popular with tourists, æ early as the 17th century; among the most interesting caves are the Skocjan Caves which are already included in the UNESCO list. Settlement began in the Iron Age, continued through the Roman era and is still under way. For over 2,000 years man has created the cultural landscape by removing stones from fields and building fences which give the Karst a unique identity. The large amount of fences bears witness to the exceptional care which is given to the modest yet fertile agricultural land which produces a select wine - Teran. The stone is also used in the construction business as construction material and as omamental stone for residential buildings and outbnildings in villages (Staujel, Sveto). In recent years the use of the area has changed. Former agricultural land is turning into pasture and is becoming overgrown by the Karst bush vegetation. In the last century attempts were made to improve the bare meadows by planting black pine, which in turn altered the Karst landscape. It was intended that a part of the area would be protected as a Karst park, while a municipal decrce on conservation of the Lipica Landscape Park and the Skocjan Caves has already been issued. The law on the Skocjan Caves is being prepared.