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Mills and sawmills

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Mills and sawmills

At the streams that flow to Lake Cerknica, many mills and sawmills were erected where the locals ground flour and sawed wood.

Most were located along the Cerkniščica, a 22-km-long stream, which springs on the Vid plateau and feeds Lake Cerknica. They were, however, also built along other lake tributaries, such as the Žerovniščica, the Lispenjščica and the Martinjščica. On the Vid plateau, they were also erected along the Zala and Iška rivers. In order to step up the exploitation of the Cerkniščica, a 125-metre-long independent channel of the Mlinščica was dug out in the so-called Chicken Valley (Kurja dolina) in Begunje, which then supplied three mills: the upper, the lower and the Čopec mill.

Mills were usually made of wood, which was carefully chosen according to the type and age of trees. There were several types of millstones; the white stone (ta beli kamen) was used for grinding wheat, the black stone (ta črni kamen) for oat, barley and corn, and the meslin stone (soržni kamen) for buckwheat, meslin and corn meal. Some mills also pressed beechnut oil, and ground whitebeam berries and dried pears. As industrialization resulted in mass cessation of mills and sawmills, some were turned into residential or industrial buildings and some were abandoned completely. Where mills used to stand, we may now only find ruins and remains of former dams.

Number of mills and sawmills at the Cerkniščica:  31
Number of mills and sawmills at the Lipsenjščica:  2
Number of mills and sawmills at the Žerovniščica:  5
Number of mills and sawmills at the Martinjščica:  2
Types of millstones:  black, white, meslin
See also

Visitor center Lake Cerknica