The beautiful Lake Cerknica, which is known for being the biggest intermittent lake in Slovenia, Europe and in the world, is located only a few kilometers from Ostir’s farm and presents a part of Cerknica field, the biggest field of the Kras Plateau. When the lake is filled with water it covers an area of 26 – 36 km2 and is 10 m deep.
What makes the lake so special is disappearance and reappearance of the water. The source of all these waters is on the Babje polje field, which leads the water one step lower, to Loško polje field. This one goes further to the Cerkniško polje field. The water comes from karst caves and runs down the underground rivers which come to the surface through vent holes.
The rivers flow on the surface and when they reach sinkholes, they leave the surface and flow under it again. Therefore we know vent holes (which spew the water up), sink holes (which sink the water under the ground again) and estavels (special holes which act like vent holes when the underground is full and turn into sink holes when the water is on the surface). The lake also hides different plants and animals. Some sorts can only be seen in this area and nowhere else.
Lake Cerknica in Spring 2013
Lake Cerknica in Summer 2013
Even Janez Vajkard Valvasor was writing about the beauties of the Lake Cerknica while discovering the unusual karst phenomenon. This is what he wrote in his book Slava vojvodine kranjske:
»It seems to me that the lake is worth trying for because it is one of the biggest prodigies of nature. I think that it is impossible to find such a beautiful lake with so many rare features, neither in Europe nor in other three remaining parts of the world.«
Valvasor was right; Lake Cerknica really is unique and cannot be described in only a few sentences. If you click on the frames below you can read the stories and see the galleries for every season of the year.