I Villaggi

The natural features of the Vipava Valley and the prudence of its people gave rise to a peculiar type of settlement. Consisting of a single or several house clusters, the village houses are built in strings that make up streets of varying width. Streets that come together expand into squares of various sizes. The biggest square, which is the meeting point and the heart of the village, is normally next to the village church. Despite their small size and economic building design, all villages in the valley bear the traits of an urban construction pattern.

The houses are made from locally sourced stone and decorated with skilfully crafted stone door portals and window frames. Just as whole villages are constructed to provide the best protection against the bora, individual homesteads are built with intent as well. The fronts face towards the south and the courtyards are enclosed with high walls. The entries to the closed courtyards feature highly ornate portals or kalone that display superior craftsmanship and are considered to be the piece de resistance of the rural architecture in this region.

The villages were set up on the less fertile ground skirting the fertile land, and clustered together to leave more room for arable land. Clustered settlements also had another function: to protect the buildings from the strong local wind called bora that can exceed speeds of 200 km/h. The villages in the Vipava Valley were often built next to riverheads, rivers and brooks, but also along ancient transport routes.

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