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Karta Idrijca   The Lake Divje Jezero (Wild Lake)
ABOUT THE PARK
NATURAL FEATURES WITHIN THE PARK
A STROLL THROUGH THE PARK
FROM IDRIJA TO THE LAKE DIVJE JEZERO

Botanical garden
Joseph's Shaft
Kamšt
Rake
The lake Divje jezero (Wild lake)
Kobila

 
STRUG VALLEY (The Village of Idrijska Bela)
THE IDRIJCA RIVER from LAJŠT TO ITS SPRING
THE BELCA RIVER from LAJŠT TO ITS SPRING
THE EDGE OF TRNOVSKI GOZD
TOURISM AND RECREATION
 PROTECTIVE MEASURES
PHOTO GALLERY
USEFUL LINKS
 
DEITSLEN  
 
 
 
  The lake Divje jezero is a natural phenomenon almost like no other in the Slovenian territory. It is a typical karstic spring into which waters flow underneath almost completely upright walls rising steeply above the lake and forming a kettle-like shape.

The state of water in the lake depends on the precipitation rate. The Jezernica is steady most of the time and along with the surrounding nature creates a unique biotope that has welcomed a lot of natural scientists, botanists as well as contributing to the birth of botany in Slovenia. Anton Scopoli, Baltasar Hacquet, Henrik Freyer are just three of the many renowned botanists who explored the rich flora diversity in this natural arboretum. It is difficult to find such diverse plant species scattered all over such a small space. Among the species we can find a great deal of endemic plants, including the famous Carniolan Primrose (Primula carniolica).

 
 
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In crevices over the lake Divje jezero thrives the alpine butterwort (Pinguicula alpina), a carnivorous plant catching small insects with its leaves; it has remained here from the period of exuberant alpine flora in these places. The fauna in the proximity of the lake is similar to that found in a larger surrounding area, amongst vertebrate animals we may run into roe deer, chamois, older sources mention also the existence of pine martens as well as an otter, which is said to be found in the lake. The invertebrates, however, tend to enjoy the constant humidity and shade shelters within the lake’s surrounding. 

As already mentioned, the lake Divje jezero is a karstic spring, vaucluse karstic spring, to be precise, that has its water typically flowing from great depths through the siphon onto the surface and is under pressure which can be detected particularly after heavy rainfall in the lake’s catchment area. Due to the underground waters the water’s temperature changes by three degrees at most and thus ranges between 7 and 10 degrees Celsius. The latest research suggests that the total discharge area of the lake covers at least 125 km². The Jezernica flow rises and can reach up to 100 m² per second, the surface level can rise up to 3m and over the middle of the lake the water cupola is formed. During events like these it is aptly called the “wild” lake. The large quantities of water in the form of the shortest Slovenian river Jezernica – it is merely 50 m long − flow into the Idrijca river. The upper part of Idrijca’s basin can experience a high precipitation rate. The latter enables Idrijca to rise and flood the otherwise placid lake Divje jezero.

The siphon depth even today remains a riddle which the divers have been striving to solve since 1970 when first research dives in the lake were undertaken. Beneath the clearly visible fault in Southeast wall at the depth of 15 m a water tunnel begins descending at a 20° angle. After about 20 m it narrows to the altitude of 1.5 m and to the extent of 4 m. After the narrow section the siphon expands into an actual hall, measuring from 8 to 10 m in diameter, reaching a height from 5 to 7 m and a length of 120 m. The hall is filled with sediment blocks and great rock plates. This provides a home for many undersea creatures, including the “human fish” (Proteus anguinius). At the depth of 78 m the siphon continues its vertical descend into the deep. The greatest depth reached so far has amounted to 160 m and is more than 450 m away from the lake’s surface level. The complex siphon and great depth have already claimed the lives of three experienced research divers. From 1999 onwards a permit is needed to be allowed to dive into the lake.

Due to its uniqueness the lake Divje jezero has been protected as a natural monument since 1967 and from 1972 has been granted the title of the first Slovenian museum of nature. For a less demanding and safer visit of the lake the surrounding area has been equipped with explanatory boards pointing out the main features of the lake and surrounding fauna.