The ice-pit at Kačiče

Those more technically-minded can visit the ice-pit at Kačiče, the biggest one in the Karst. At one time the locals would cut blocks of ice out of pools and village ponds, and place them in walled and covered sinkholes, where the ice remained frozen until summer, when it was used to supply inns, butchers, fishmongers and ships in nearby Trieste.


Ice-pits are underground facilities adapted for storing ice. The locals used to cut down plates of ice and put them in the built and covered sinkhole. Frozen blocks of regular shapes were stacked tightly together and dry breech leaves were inserted among them, so that would not be stuck together. When the ice-pit was full of ice, it was covered with a layer of leaves, up to one and a half meter thick to isolate the ice until the summer. Karst people supplied, from the early 19th to the first half of the 20th century, pubs, butchers , fish, breweries and ships in the near Trieste.

Ice-pit in Kačiče was built in 1860 and is almost entirely dug into the karst sinkhole, and it is believed to be the biggest ice-pit in the area, because it can store as much as 50 tons of ice. It was 19 meters deep, cylindrical in shape with a diameter of 17 meters and a central 32 meter high pillar, which served as a carrier conical roof, which was originally thatched with straw. In the interior led a wooden staircase. In the courtyard of they measured weight of ice carts, which were sold by local farmers. In 1906 when cooling devices came into play, the ice-pit stopped working and started to gradually deteriorate.

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