Slovenia Walking

Hayracks of Slovenia

The ubiquitous hayracks of Slovenia.

A Studor toplar
A Studor toplar

You will not travel far in Slovenia before you see kozolci, the wooden drying racks that dot the fields throughout the country. They are used during the summer months, making excellent hay from the soft meadow grasses, and in the autumn, when wind blowing through the poles dries the beans and maize. These hayracks are seen in other alpine districts, but the beautiful toplarji, double hayracks with a storage loft and roof, are unique to Slovenia. Many were built in the 17th century from oak and beech with carefully shaped and carved beams. There are some fine examples to be seen on our walk through Studor, still in use today and well preserved.

Kozolec near Sorica
Kozolec near Sorica

Whilst many hayracks are still in use it seems that in many areas mechanised farming and bagged silage is making them obsolete, especially the kozolci. It is not uncommon now to see them falling into disrepair, or even being used to display advertising. Its the march of progress I suppose. Who can blame the farmers though? Bagging silage must be much easier than hanging the hay to dry and give a more reliable source of winter fodder for their animals.

Here is a link to an excellent resource for much more detailed information about the hayracks of Slovenia.

Kozolec at Crngrob, near Skofja Loka
Kozolec at Crngrob, near Skofja Loka

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