Above sea-level, in a mountainous limestone region of Karst formation.
By the Karst or Carso Mountains.
The Triglav is the dividing range between the Alps and the Karst Mountains, and its huge mass also forms the barrier between three races: the German, the Slavonic and the Italian.
The southern part of Carniola is occupied by the following divisions of the northern ramifications of the Karst Mountains: the Birnbaumer Wald with the highest peak, the Nanos (4275 ft.), and the Krainer Schneeberg (5890 ft.); the Hornwald with the highest peak, the Hornbiichl (3608 ft.), and the Uskokengebirge (3 8 74 ft.).
The portion of Carniola belonging to the Karst region presents a great number of caves, subterranean streams, funnels and similar phenomena.
The most remarkable of these rivers is the Laibach, which rises in the Karst region under the name of Poik, takes afterwards a subterranean course and traverses the Adelsberg grotto, and appears again on the surface near Planina under the name of Unz.
Amongst the principal lakes are the Wochein, the Weissenfels, the Veldes, and the seven small lakes of the Triglav; while in the Karst region lies the famous periodical lake of Zirknitz, known to the Romans as Lacus Lugens or Lugea Palus.
They descend in parallel ridges of grey Karst limestone, south-westwards to the sea; their last summits reappear in the multitude of rocky islands along the Dalmatian littoral.
Along the whole northern rim of Bosnia, as also in the fluvial and Karst valleys (poljes), are found diluvial and alluvial formations, interrupted at one place by an isolated granite layer.
"Bosnia begins with the forest," says a native proverb, "Herzegovina with the rock"; and this account is, broadly speaking, accurate, although the Bosnian Karst is as bare as that of Herzegovina.
Apart from the arid wastes of the Karst, the soil is well adapted for the growing of cereals, especially Indian corn; olives, vines, mulberries, figs, pomegranates, melons, oranges, lemons, rice and tobacco flourish in Herzegovina and the more sheltered portions of Bosnia.
Their houses are built of timber and thatch, or clay tiles, except in the Karst region, where stone is more plentiful than wood.
The province of Croatia-Slavonia belongs mostly to the Karst region, and is traversed by the Dinaric Alps.
Trieste is situated at the northeast angle of the Adriatic Sea, on the Gulf of Trieste, and is picturesquely built on terraces at the foot of the Karst hills.
The southern part of the province belongs to the Karst region, and here are situated the famous cascades and grottoes of Sankt Kanzian, where the river Reka begins its subterranean course.
Karst, Geschichte Manfreds vom Ende Friedrichs II.
The plateau of the Istrian Karst is prolonged in several of the bare and desolate mountain chains between the Save and the Adriatic, notably the Great and Little Kapella (or Kapela), which link together the Karst and the Dinaric Alps, culminating in Biela Lazica (5029 ft.); the Pljesevica or Plisevica Planina (5410 ft.), overlooking the valley of the river Una; and the Velebit Planina, which follows the westward curve of the coast, and rises above the sea in an abrupt wall, unbroken by any considerable bay or inlet.
In the Croatian Karst the seven streams of the Lika unite and plunge into a rocky chasm near Gospic, and the few small brooks of this region usually vanish underground in a similar manner.
After a thaw or heavy rain, the subterranean rivers flood the mountain hollows of the Karst; and a lake thus formed by the river Gajka, near Otocac, has occasionally filled its basin to a depth of 160 ft.
In the Karst it is liable to sudden and violent changes, and especially to the bora, a fierce N.N.E.
The Karst and the fens are of least agricultural value.
The eastern Alps are continued by the Karst mountains, which in their turn are continued by the Dinaric Alps, which stretch through Croatia and Dalmatia.
Austria possesses a fairly great number of rivers, pretty equally distributed amongst its crown lands, with the exception of Istria and the Karst region, where there is a great scarcity of even the smallest rivers.
The picturesque old town occupies an outlying ridge of the Croatian Karst; while the modern town, with its wharves, warehouses, electric light and electric trams, is crowded into the amphitheatre left between the hills and the shore.
There should also be mentioned the periodical lakes situated in the Karst region, the largest of them being the Lake of Zirknitz.
A great portion of Istria belongs to the Karst region, and is occupied by the so-called Istrian plateau, flanked on the north and east by high mountains, which attain in the Monte Maggiore an altitude of 4573 ft.
Ban Jellacic, though loyal to the Emperor, had given expression to their aspirations towards unity as early as 1848; but Francis Joseph handed over the Croats and Serbs to Magyar domination (1867), and Dalmatia, the territory of the Austrian Croats, had been neglected by Vienna for years past; thus it was not till the years immediately preceding the war that it was rapidly developed by the construction of ports and railways and the encouragement of tourist traffic. The Slovenes, who inhabited Carinthia and Carniola, had less grounds for discontent, for the barren Karst had been afforested at the expense of the state; but though they were at the very gate of Serbia, they suffered from a shortage of meat, for Hungary obstructed the traffic in livestock in the interests of her great territorial magnates, and Austria bore the brunt of this.
In the museum at Serajevo there is a large entomological collection, including the remarkable Pogonus anophthalmus, from the underground Karst caves.
Thus the scenery of a limestone country depends on the solubility and permeability of the rocks, leading to the typical Karst-formations of caverns, swallowholes and underground stream courses, with the contingent phenomena of dry valleys and natural bridges.