Land of Hayracks

Lap’s toplar from Bistrica near Šentrupert

Lap's toplar from Bistrica near Šentrupert

Lap’s toplar from Bistrica near Šentrupert

The story of Lap’s toplar (double hayrack) from Bistrica near Šentrupert in as interesting and diverse as the lives of the Lap family from Bistrica, known locally as “at the Lap’s” or “under wood”, who owned the kozolec until it was moved to the Land of Hayracks. It is thought to have been crafted by Jožef Rupar, a master carpenter from Dolenje Lakence. This is based on the shape of the lintel which is identical to the lintel on Pungerčar’s toplar from Malin which bears Rupar’s signature.

In the time of the first owner, Franc Lap at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the homestead was classified as a “grunt”, or large farm. Franc married into the Zajc family and ambitiously created the large Lap homestead, which measured over 20 ha before World War II, in the place where Zajc homestead’s barn once stood. Lap’s toplar is a dvojni kozolec (double hayrack) with three pairs of windows , decorative embrasures on the front gable, and a shaped lintel which marks the work of the master carpenter Rupar. The toplar is 16.59 m long, 10.3 m wide, and 8 m tall. Franc Lap had it build some 100 m away from the house, mostly for fire safety. In the summer, it could easily hold four highly stacked hay wagons when it rained. Next to the toplar, a native “izabela” vine grew which every year bore fruits abundantly until the first frost. The main crop on the farm was wheat with harvests of up to 200 bushels, while barley and oats were sown only for animal feed. Before being moved to the Land of Haystacks, the toplar was in pretty poor shape. Though the Lap family had 13 children, the once large farm is no longer cultivated.