The village of Nova vas is situated on a part of the Bloška planota plateau that lacks surface water courses; because the ground is limestone, any precipitation sinks into the karst underground almost immediately. To cover the distance to the nearest spring, a wooden water pipeline was built in 1863 to carry water from the Sušica spring to the centre of the village.
The water was used for everyday needs, watering the cattle and fire safety. The Sušica spring under the Volčjanski hrib hill is situated some 600 m from the oldest preserved well on the Bloška planota plateau. Thanks to the difference in altitude between the spring and the village, the force of gravity brings the water into the Zgornja štirna well, which is constructed from hewn stone blocks bound together with an iron ring. The well is distinguished by a unique layout – a large oblong pool and flow trough – a type found only on high altitude kars plateaus with high annual precipitation. The beautifully shaped cast iron tap allows a constant, uninterrupted flow of water at the rate of 0.2 l/s. Experts used pine wood to construct the wooden pipeline as it is known to have a long service life in wet environments. The wooden pipes were made from straight, unpeeled trunks around 20 cm in diameter.
The trunks were hand-drilled and linked together by hammering the sharpened, narrower end into the wider end of the next pipe, or with purpose-built metal couplings, known as prstani (rings). Before linking the pipes, the joint surfaces were coated in clay for better sealing. The pipe is an original pine wood pipe from 1863. To maintain the water source and the wooden pipeline, the villagers would clean the Sušica spring once a year. The construction of the Zgornja štirna well in the village centre brought a source of drinking water much closer to the villagers, which meant that they could enjoy more leisure time to read books, educate themselves, learn a trade and socialise. Running drinking water attracts visitors, which led to the development of inns, trade and crafts in the local area. With the development of these activities, Zgornja štirna played a significant role and Nova was becoming the economic and administrative centre of the Bloška planota plateau.
Since the area around the well was becoming increasingly deserted and oral sources were gradually disappearing, Društvo Voda stepped in to renovate the area and collect the oral history of the well's origin and role in the society. The only material source of the well's origin is the year of completion, carved on the well's rim.
Old village centre with Zgornja stirna well
Old village centre - Zgornja stirna well
Zgornja stirna well
Nova vas - Zgornja stirna well
Zgornja stirna well constructed from hewn stone blocks
Iron ring around Zgornja stirna well
Zgornja stirna well in Nova vas
Cast iron tap
Zgornja stirna well with flow trough
Flow trough by Zgornja stirna well
Original pine wood pipe from 1863
Information board - Zgornja stirna well