The strategic position of upper Pivka and the intermittent lakes after implementation of the rapallo treaty
Martina Čuček - (34/3,2005)
Its strategic position has given Upper Pivka (Zgornja Pivka) an important role in history on several occasions. The last of these occurred after the implementation of the Rapallo Treaty at the end of the First World War, when the area was annexed to Italy and turned into borderland. Across the border the ‘Kontrabant’ developed. Through the Pivka Basin (Pivška kotlina) ran the second line of the Alpine Wall, which was a mighty defence system build to protect Italy’s eastern border with Yugoslavia. The natural north-east passage, a good view of the valley, and good conditions for supplying military units were the main reasons for building fortifications on the Primož hill. The command centre for the nearby bunkers was also located there. For military purposes, water reservoirs, roads, bridges, a powder magazine, and an airfield were built; the bed of the Pivka river was regulated, and the parts most exposed to strong winds (“burja”) were forested. Lakes Petelinjsko jezero and Palško jezero were used as training fields by the army. The two military fields had already been in service in Austro-Hungarian times. The Yugoslav People’s Army also used the lakes for its manoeuvres and did much more damage to them than the Italian army had done previously. The bottom of Palško jezero was reconstructed in 1990, and the owners were compensated. On Petelinjsko jezero, however, bomb craters, gunnests, and a trench can still be seen.