|Image: Veliki naravni most, a natural bridge in the Rakov National Park near Postojna in Slovenia.|
|Location:||Near Rakek, Cerknica. 20km from Postojna.|
|Classification:||Several Poljes with caves, springs and sink holes.|
|Last update:||$Date: 2011/12/13 09:06:55 $|
The Rakov Škocjan Nature Reserve is probably the most famous karst area in Slovenia, showing most of the typical karst features. Most of the park is a limestone plateau with trees and without water. In this plateau, several deep valleys with a river at the bottom can be found. They are called Polje in Slovenian, a word adopted by the geologists for this kind of karst feature. Slovenia is the type locale for Poljes.
Polje means field, and we see why it is so: the plateau is dry, and only forest grows on this extreme conditions. The floor of the valleys is a fertile plain composed of river sediments, used for fields and meadows. The river is the Rak, after which the area is named.
The main sights of the park are Veliki naravni most (Big Natural Bridge) and Mali naravni most (Small Natural Bridge). Veliki naravni most is located at the western end of the valley. The road through the park, a single lane gravel road, crosses the bridge, but from the road this is almost invincible. The rather small opening is covered by a massive layer of limestone, and the bridge makes a rather massive impression. Once through the bridge, the river Rak crosses another very small polje, and then enters a cave where it vanishes. The Mali naravni most is on the eastern end of the polje. This two natural bridges are obviously the last remains of a now destroyed cave. There are also several caves like Zelške jame. Public footpaths allow interesting walks through the park.
The accessibility of many sights depends on the water level, so it is a bad idea to visit this park after heavy rains or in spring.
|Rakov Škocjan Gallery|
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