prilagođeno pretraživanje po punom tekstu

ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2021 str. 35     <-- 35 -->        PDF

‘Sacred groves’- an insight into Dalmatian forest history
‘Sveti gajevi’ - uvid u prošlost dalmatinskih šuma
Ivan Tekić, Charles Watkins
The French administration in Dalmatia (1805-1813) was short but is often praised by foresters as advanced in terms of woodland management because of their establishment of so-called sacred groves or sacri boschi. Based on archival sources and 19th century maps, this research explores the establishment and demise of sacred groves and places them within the broader forest history of Dalmatia. It reveals that the literal translation of the term sacro bosco as sacred grove (sveti gaj) by the 19th century foresters was not precise which caused misrepresentation and misunderstandings of what sacro bosco actually meant. The more appropriate translation would be forbidden groves (zabranjen gaj) as this also reflects the nature of these woodlands, which were in fact woodland sections where exploitation was prohibited. Establishment of forbidden groves was not a French invention since the practice was widely used before the French and during the Austrian Empire (1814-1918). In the second half of the 19th century and with the change of official language, the Italian term sacro bosco was replaced with the Croatian term protected area (branjevina).
Keywords: sacro bosco, sveti gaj, sacred grove, forbidden grove, forest history, Dalmatia
With organised forestry originating in the 18th century, Croatia has a long tradition of well documented forest exploitation. However, research on forest history of Dalmatia, Croatia’s coastal region (Fig. 1) where organised forestry was established much later, is rather scarce. The first works in this field were by Kesterčanek (1882-1883) who was a lecturer in history and literature of forestry at the Royal Agriculture and Forestry College in Križevci (Skoko, 1997).  His works paved the way for the Yugoslav writers in forest history, but still very little research was done on Dalmatian woodlands. Foresters such as Marčić (1935; 1956) and Vajda (1954) provided mainly brief overviews of the development of Dalmatian forestry much of it based on Kesterčanek’s work while Ivančević and Piškorić (1986) focused on the history of reforestation. Jedlowski (1975) made an elaborate study of Dalmatian woodlands under the Venetian governance from the 15th until the end of 18th century while forests in the borderland area between Ottoman Bosnia, Venetian Dalmatia and Habsburg Monarchy were studied as a part of overall landscape change in the 18th century (Kaser, 2003; Fuerst-Bjeliš, 2003; Fuerst-Bjeliš et al, 2011). Some recent overviews of forest history in Dalmatia exist such as that of Meštrović et al. (2011), but they are mostly reviews of existing research, rather than new comprehensive studies. As a result, the 19th century woodlands in Dalmatia remain under-researched in forest history.
The short period of French administration in Dalmatia (1805-1813) is particularly poorly studied despite being frequently mentioned by foresters as a golden age for Dalmatian woodlands. This view is largely based on several