Gromače – dry stone walls

The entire Municipality of Viškovo is intersected with dry stone walls that stretch along the trails, demarcate individual plots of land, provide support for garden beds and surround ponds.

Building a dry stone wall requires knowledge and patience in order for the wall to outlive its maker. Due to the barren karst soil, people needed a large number of small plots of arable land to produce sufficient food. For this reason, they regularly cleared their plots of land and carefully placed the extracted stones along the borders to prevent livestock from entering the plots. The walls alongside the paths were built in the same way. The most demanding to build were the supporting walls. Since there wasn’t enough arable land near their houses, people had to build terraces supported by dry stone walls which had to be strong enough to bear the pressure of the soil, which was carried in baskets or brought by cart. This soil was extracted from places which were locally known as raba (an Old Slavic word for slave).

Using the same technique, people would build simple constructions in the fields as shelter for their livestock and, if necessary, for themselves. Such dwellings were called halube. It is therefore assumed that the name Halubje was named after them.

The simplicity and durability of these dry stone walls are a metaphor for life in this area. Covered in moss, they still preserve the memory of how they were created. They follow the area’s relief, take us along ancient paths, reveal the former borders, and tell the story of days gone by characterised by hard work and persistence.

You can experience this typical element of local landscape on a pleasant stroll or relaxing bike ride along the hiking and cycling trails of the Viškovo and Rijeka areas.

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