THE BOVEC REGION IN SLOVENIA
The Bovec region lies in the north-western part of Slovenia, at the crossroads of three major European cultural areas - Slavic, Germanic and Roman.
Due to the history, location on a formerly important transit route in a multi-cultural region as well as natural resources, the Bovec region differs from other areas in the Alps, which is also reflected in its cultural landscape.
Looking at the surrounding mountain slopes in late spring, shades of green will prevail – forests have slowly but steady overgrown former pastures.
In the past, farming and especially small cattle husbandry has had an important impact on the cultural landscape of the area. It happened not that long ago – at the beginning of the 20th century – that two English tourists described the Bovec region as a ‘rocky desert’. Today, 80% of this area is covered by forest. Even though this has changed substantially due to a decline in agricultural activities, the awareness of the importance of a nurtured cultural landscape is nowadays increasing. Not only in the context of tourism, but especially in terms of the quality of life of the local population.
In the Alpine world, a connection with the past is crucial for sustainable adaptation to changes that come with time. Understanding the importance of the cultural landscape and respecting the work of the ancestors as well as the traces left behind by historical events at the same time also represents the understanding of oneself.
The Bovec region is distinctive in terms of climate, environment and history, as well as language, and all of these elements are reflected in the character of its people. Good, fertile soil and rich forests represent the main positive attributes for material welfare in the Alps, but here steep sand basins soon turn into high mountains, so there is not a lot of space for rich fields and pastures that would allow the development of agriculture. In order to survive, a large part of the local population has always had to resort to other economic activities.
The information and photos included in this article are from the Brochure "SLOVENIJA - THE BOVEC REGION. INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE" prepared by the Municipality of Bovec and Jarina, the Cooperative for Rural Development – ARTISTIC project partners.
In the ARTISTIC project the Bovec Region is represented by: