Because of its terrain, the Notranjska Regional Park has always acted as a vital strategic point, as important trade routes led through the area.
In the time of the Roman emperors, two often-used routes led past Cerknica and quite a few castles and fortifications evolved along them. We can still see the ruins of Šteberk, Loško and Karlovec Castles, which all stood by once important roads and also acted as strategic defence points. But castles alone were never sufficient means of protection of the local people. Namely, the Ottomans posed such a threat to the villagers that they were forced to build fortifications to defend themselves. One such fortification has persisted to the present day and stands in the old market square in Cerknica, built around the Church of the Nativity of Mary.
In recent history, during the period of the Rapallo border, two large fortification systems were built, the Italian Alpine Wall and the Yugoslav Rupnik Line, respectively. They used to serve for the protection of two great countries, but are now slowly falling apart in the middle of forests. The remains of the Alpine Wall can be seen in the Rakov Škocjan valley, whereas the remains of the Rupnik Line can be found on the slopes of Mt Slivnica and in the vicinity of Rakek, Brezje and Grahovo.
|Number of defence lines:||2 – the Rupnik Line and the Alpine Wall|
|Number of fortifications against Ottoman raids:||2 – in Cerknica and Begunje|
|Number of castles:||3 – Loško, Šteberk, Karlovec|
|Recorded number of Ottoman raids:||10|