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Located between the Krka and Kolpa rivers, the Municipality of Kocevje is a rich region, the heart of Slovenia’s woodland. Its wealth lies in its forests, its unspoiled nature, and its abundant and well-protected wild animals and plants. In view of the difficulties of the “developed” world, these riches will become even more valuable in the long run. A well preserved natural environment is much sought after today, and a beautiful wilderness area is an asset highly appreciated and admired.
Human activity once greatly altered the appearance of this region. In the course of the last six centuries, settlers reshaped nature as they cleared forests to make space for themselves. In the vicinity of villages and towns, the land was cultivated to provide crops and the forests were exploited to make wood products that were sold throughout Europe. The struggle with nature for every foot of field, meadow, and pasture was unrelenting, but a balance was maintained.
The worldwide depressions, and to an even greater extent the two World Wars, destroyed this balance. As people from the Kocevje region emigrated to the four corners of the world, nature reclaimed much of the land that had been so meticulously cultivated for so long. The ruins of villages, the remains of fields and orchards are weed-ridden and overgrown with bushes and trees. Fields are uprooted by wild boar, orchards raided by bears—a colourful, diverse, and natural coexistence.
Somewhere in all this people have also found their place, either as residents or as visitors. Those who want to make a living in this region are looking for opportunities of employment for themselves and their families. And possibilities exist in harmony with the environment and the rich natural and cultural heritage of the region. This is a true “magnet” that draws ever more visitors to the area who are able to appreciate and enjoy these assets.
Basic facts about the Municipality of Kocevje
With 596 square kilometers, the Municipality of Kocevje is the second largest in Slovenia. The majority of its population of slightly more than 17,000 lives in the Kocevje Basin, while the rest of the municipality is sparsely populated. The town of Kocevje, the municipality’s administrative, economic, and cultural center, has approximately 10,000 residents. The majority of the industry is also concentrated here, mainly wood, textile and metalworking industries. Agriculture in this region is dominated by the firm M-KG Kocevje which produces food and cattle and processes food. Sheep and goat breeding has recently developed in the countryside.
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