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The Škocjanski Zatok

Author: Tanja Glogovčan Belančić

Date: 1. November 2019

Time to read: 5 min

Škocjanski Zatok Nature Reserve is a Mediterranean wetland covering 122 hectares, and at the same time the largest brackish marshland in Slovenia. This is a wonderful place to go for a trip, a walk, or a jog, and it also has an interesting educational trail.

The formation of this nature reserve is associated with the urban development of Koper and its surroundings. In the past, Koper was an island where the sea cut into the land, forming three small bays: Semedelski Bay, Škocjanski Bay, and Polje Bay. Salt harvesting has been one of the dominant activities in this area since the Roman times. In the 19th century, salt pans covered the smaller part of the area, enclosing the island of Koper in a semicircle from the south side.

Salt pans were separated by the River Bradaševica, which lay its deposits there. The larger part was located on the north-eastern side of Koper, i.e. on both sides of the River Rižana.

When, at the beginning of the 20th century, the price of salt began to decrease, resulting in the gradual decline of salt harvesting, Koper and its surroundings changed too. The Port of Koper’s construction also had a major impact on the appearance of the area. The Škocjan Zatok has existed since 1957, when an 877 m-long dike between Koper and the outflow of the Rižana was built.