The Beauty of the Marshes

The vast Ljubljana Marshes, stretching for miles south and west of Ljubljana (covering 163 square kilometers, almost 1% of the territory of Slovenia!), are beautiful (and flat and open and near, so we often fly our kites there). But they are beautiful in their own, stubborn, unyielding way – they can be inhospitable, even threatening. Many scary stories are set in the Marshes, of water swallowing everything, of dragons living there, of people and even whole villages getting lost forever in the mists.

In 1769 Her Imperial and Most Pragmatic Highness Maria Theresa (Walburga Amalia Christina) von Habsburg issued an Imperial Decree ordering an inquiry into possibilities of ending the regular floods and turning the swampy Marshes into rich fields full of grain. Channels were dug, forests were cut, peat was extracted – yet even today the fields aren’t so fertile; the soil is heavy, dark, full of clay and very very wet.

River Ljubljanica bisect the Marshes. An important waterway from times immemorial it is an exeptional archaeological site, yielding finds from the Neolithic and Metal ages through the Roman Empire to the Medieval times.

Today Ljubljanica is a recreational hotspot. Due to environment protection laws – and failure of industries – it is now almost perfectly clean. People are rowing, catching carps, huchens, pikes and large catfishes, or simply enjoying a picnic at the riverside.

All kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P333 on a Black Dog fled kite.

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