Triglav National Park

Tina Markun

Public relations officer

Triglav National Park - The Pocar Farmhouse

Ljubljanska cesta 27 SI - 4260 Bled Slovenia

www.tnp.si

The Pocar Farmhouse

The Triglav National Park (TNP) is the only Slovenian national park. The park was named after Triglav, the highest mountain in the heart of the park, which is also the highest summit in Slovenia (2864 m). The mountain is a true national symbol and is featured on the national coat of arms and the flag. The Triglav National Park extends along the Italian border and close to the Austrian border in the north-west of Slovenia, that is, in the south-eastern section of the Alps. Its territory is nearly identical with that occupied by the Eastern Julian Alps. The park covers 880 square kilometres, or 4% of the territory of Slovenia. The Triglav National Park is among the earliest European parks; the first protection dates back to 1924 when the Alpine Conservation Park was founded. The principal task of the Triglav National Park Public Institution is the protection of the park, but it also carries out specialist and research tasks. Although protection and conservation of pristine nature is the primary objective of a national park, Alpine national parks are endowed with a responsibility to preserve the autochthonous, pristine cultural heritage as the basis for sustainable development. For Slovenia, the Alpine cultural heritage is of utmost importance because it connects Slovenes with the family of Alpine nations.

The cultural heritage of the TNP is very diverse and picturesque, because the park lies at the meeting point of various climates as well as various cultures, each of them leaving a mark on the cultural heritage of the area. Evaluation and preservation of the cultural heritage is an extremely demanding but rewarding task. The various types of vernacular architecture are based on people''s experience. They are adapted to the natural conditions and locally available material is used for their construction.

The architectural appearance of the park is a result of settlement processes, economic activities and, due to the openness of the area, the influence of Alpine, Friulian and Mediterranean cultures. On the Soča side of the park, two types of vernacular architecture have evolved as a result of the mixing of cultures: the Bovec-Trenta type and the Kobarid-Tolmin type. The architecture of the Gorenjsko side of the park is determined by the use of wood. Two types of houses have evolved: the Bohinj house and the Upper Sava Valley house.

The Upper Sava Valley houses where the Pocar house is located are arranged in clusters. The house is stone-built, one-storeyed, with an elevated attic. The layout is longitudinal in shape, divided into three main units. Normally, the houses in the Upper Sava Valley have no balconies (ganki). The roofs of these structures are steep, roof hips have open triangular endings. The houses have stone door and window frames, and facade decorations. The homesteads in the Upper Sava Valley are characterised by a jutting roof above the entrance. Hay is dried on long single hayracks. The Pocar farm is one of the oldest homesteads in the Triglav National Park, demonstrates with its appearance, rich collection of artefacts and the story of museum guides on the Pocar family the life at the foot of Triglav from centuries past to the present day. We can learn of the age of the Pocar farmhouse from documents found inside the house. The oldest dates back to 1609, while one from 1672 includes the name Potzer for the first time. In the centuries that followed, many generations lived in the house, but it is currently uninhabited.

Today the Pocar farmhouse is transformed into a museum. With regard to the interior furnishing of the house we must emphasise that all the objects are a part of the furniture which, form one year to another, form decade to decade, and so for centuries was continuously made, used, bought, shifted, piled up and discarded. In the building only a few objects which it was not possible to keep in the house can be found in the museum at Stara Sava in Jesenice. The outbuilding has been renovated for both museological and exhibition purposes. It displays farmer's implements and typical long wooden carts, and also contains information about the Triglav National Park, within which the Pocar Farmhouse is situated.

Pocar farmhouse in one of the oldest in the Triglav National Park and certainty the oldest in Upper Sava valley. Because of its unchanged interior, exterior, furniture and cultural aspect it is an exceptional authentic monument of architectural and ethnological heritage. The farm was inhabited until 1988, the last owner died in 1991. The farmhouse and outbuilding have been restored and furnished as a museum and protected as a historical monument of national importance with the following aims: to introduce to public the way of living and working of past centuries under Julian Alps in great respect for the nature, to preserve architectural heritage, to represent the Triglav National Park mission and its activities, to organize educational programmes and creative workshops for different aim groups (mainly agricultural and environmental education), to encourage consideration of development particularly in protected areas and to provide new jobs for local people. The Pocar farmhouse has also a symbolic meaning - the house was visited by pilgrims to St Mary of Viscaron;arje (Lussari), sacred place of three big cultures: Slavic, Germanic and Roman.

Aims of the project:

  • The Pocar farm house and its outbuilding are an exceptional example of alpine architectural and ethnological heritage. The house was inhabited until 1988, after death of the last owner the Triglav National Park bought the property to: - protect real estate as well as moveably property and its authenticity of 18th century
  •  transform it into a museum, educational centre and information point of the Park - provide additional employment to local people - encourage consideration of development particularly in protected areas

Results of the project:

  • the farm house today is transformed into the museum and visited by more than 1.500 visitors per year; guiding is provided by young local people
  • the outbuilding has become a popular stage for cultural events to represent local artists and their work, park''s activities, international events of neighbour protected areas and different expositions; in organisation of such events locals are involved
  • information point within the complex offers complete information to tourists and visitors about the park and the museum - it is becoming an educational centre for different groups (farmers, handicaps, experts,hellip;)

The Triglav National Park recived the European Union prize for cultural heritage / Europa Nostra in 2006 "for the safeguarding of a rare and authentic example of 18 th century alpine architectural and ethnographical heritage through careful application of traditional skills and materials, and for the creation of local benefits".