The Sečovlje Salina Nature Park is a protected natural area, where the biggest salt pan in Slovenia is located. The salt pan is called the Sečovlje Saltworks or Sečoveljske Soline and is one of the last remaining salt pans in Europe, where a manual salt collection is still practiced and present in the lives of dedicated workers.
The Sečovlje Saltworks is located in Piran – the Slovenian colourful coastal town and is one of the three remaining salt pans there. There are the assumptions that the collection of salt in the area began already in the Roman times, but the salt pan in its present-day form was fully formed later in the Carolingian period. In the old times, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages went to the salt pans to pick the salt, since its extraction was often the only steady source of income, and the production of salt was of great economic importance. The traditional method of obtaining salt in the old salt pans included the constant presence of a salt pan worker at a smaller unit on the field, where the process took place. In such a field, the worker lived with his whole family until the production lasted, especially in the summer months. At that time, they lived in simple houses, located above the salt warehouses, called the salt houses. By the 20th century, there were about 400 such houses in the area, but today only a few ruins of them are visible.
Over the times, the salt production did not harm the environment but even made it possible for many new plant and animal species to find their home in the salt pools. Some of the most common ones are the salt-tolerant plants called halophytes. They will especially impress you in the summer, when the fields covered with these salt-loving plants turn a red and purple colour, making this a unique sight. Today, the Sečovlje Saltworks do not have a major economic role. Their basic purpose is nature conservation and being an important ethnological, cultural and tourist destination.
In a special museum, also called Muzej solinarstva, located at the entrance of the natural park in Sečovlje, you will have a chance to see the artefacts, photographs and texts, which present the work and lives of salt workers, as well as the environment, history and tradition of the area. You can also watch a short film about the cultural heritage of Sečovlje, in a special multimedia room, and then explore the salt pans by yourself.
Come and visit the Sečovlje Saltworks, where man and nature still live hand in hand through a valued tradition of a manual salt collection!
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