Archive for the ‘Dolenjska & Bela Krajina’ Category

Novo Mesto

Nove Mesto is a city in southeastern Slovenia, situated close to the border with Croatia, around 70 kilometers from Lubljana. It is considered the economic, business, administration and cultural center of the historic Lower Carniola region. Nove Mesto is surrounded by Krka Rivier and the Krka Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. The uniqueness of the landscapes is created by numerous windmills and castles which give it an anachronistic look.
The town was first settled in prehistoric times and nowadays it is a very important archaeological site. Nove Mesto was founded in 1365 but until 1918 it was a part of the Austrian monarchy and later on it passed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy.
One of the important tourist attractions in Nove Mesto is the Museum of Dolenjska which presents the history of the region and displays three permanent exhibitions on: archaeological, ethnological and modern history. The Chapter Church, the Franciscan Church and the Jakcev dom Gallery are also worth visiting.
Nove Mesto is very rich in cultural events that take place every year like: Sniff Festival – short film festival, Jazzinty – jazz festival or SloFolk – International Folklore Festival.
Otocec Castle, situated only 7 kilometers from Nove Mesto, on an island in the middle of the emerald waters of Krka River is a must-see while in the region. Thanks to its unusual location and unique architecture it is one of the most beautiful castles in Slovenia.
Nove Mesto will also be a great choice for those who want to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Tourists can select from a wide variety of tracks, walking paths, viewing points, sport activities, hunting, fishing or forest fruit picking possibilities.

Sticna

Sticna is a village in central Slovenia, around 35 kilometers from Lubjana. It is mainly known for The Cistercian Monastery which every year attracts a considerable amount of tourists. The Cistercian Monastery in Sticna is the most important historical, cultural, architectural and religious monument in Slovenia. It’s important to know that the Cistercian Monastery is the only monastery in Slovenia that operates until today with 10 monks (including the abbot) and 3 nuns who live there. They believe in the motto of Sanint Benedict “Ora et labora” which results in six to eight hours of prayer a day and meals eaten in complete silence.
The monastery was founded in 1135 by Cistercians which makes it the oldest monastery in the country. Within the years the monastery underwent several changes like the construction of thick walls and towers in the 15th century to protect from the Turkish raids.
The architectural features of the monastery complex reflect all the main European architectural styles, from early Romanesque and Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. The oldest part of the monastery remains preserved in the cloister and monastic church.
In 1784 the monastery was abolished following the Josephine reforms. The White Monks returned to Sticna in 1898 after 114 years away. After the Second World War the monks were forced to leave the monastery again, this time by communists who established there a school and a cheese factory. The monks managed to regain their property and until today they are fighting to restore the monastery to its former glory.
The monastery is arranged for visits and the monastery museum is opened regularly. The museum presents the history of the Cistercian Monastery, the most important events in the history of Roman Catholic religion in Slovenia, works of sacral art and parts of the monastery opened to public like The Basilica of the Sorrowful Mother of God with a baroque altar and frescoes.
In the monastery shop herbals teas produced by the monks that heal all kinds of health problems are sold.
Additional attraction that takes place in Sticna every year in November or December is an art festival – Festival Sticna. For those who are interested in the history of the territory of Slovenia it may be important to know that not far from Sticna an archaeological path that leads to Cvinger is situated.

Ribnica

Ribnica is a town in the southern Slovenia, it is a part of the traditional region of Lower Carniola and it is located around 40 kilometers from Lubljana. According to the archeological evidence the area of Ribnica has been settled in the Bronze Age and it was first mentioned in writing in the 1220 which makes it one of the oldest cities in Slovenia.
A famous landmark of Ribnica is St. Stephen’s Parish Church with an altarpiece which was built in the second half of the 17th century. Its double bell tower which is visible from great distance was designed by Jože Plecnik – a Slovene architect in 1957.
For centuries the inhabitants of Ribnica were mastering the skills of creating wooden goods, so called suha roba (dry goods), which they used not only in their kitchens and homes but as well as a trade commodity. Ribnica has also a good fame in pottery produced by the local craftsmen. These two traditions are alive until today and it’s possible to buy suha roba and pottery in the annual traditional fair that takes place in Ribnica in the beginning of September.
The town crest features a fish because in Slovenian riba means fish. In a small distance from the town flows a river called by the same name as the town – Ribnica.
A big attraction in Ribnica is a partially preserved castle with origins dating back to the 13th century. Unhappily, during the Second World War the castle was destroyed and now only the foundations of the old castle, two defense towers and the linking passage remained. The castle features a memorial park of important contributors to Slovenian’s culture, a summer theatre and a museum of woodenware and pottery.
Ribnica is a great place for those who seek peace and beauty of nature. Thanks to its location it is possible to tour karst caves and chasms, hike and practice skiing in the winter.

Rozanec

Rozanec is situated to the north of the city of Crnomelj, in the White Carniola region.
The significance of this place is related to the ancient god Mithra’s relief. His image was engraved on the wall in an abandoned quarry. It shows a young man killing a bull. Sculpture is now partially destroyed, because most of the local population for a long time believed that under the rock a golden calf may be hidden. Today the place is preserved through Bela Krajina Museum based in the Metlika castle and it is an essential site in southern Slovenia.

Pleterje monastery

In the foot of the Gorjanci Hills there is Pleterje Charterhouse monastery- the only one preserved in Slovenia. Founded in 1407 by Herman II of Celje, it is today one of the most popular tourist destinations of southern Slovenia. Monastery, due to numerous damages had been constantly rebuilding. The only fully preserved medieval building in this complex is the magnificent church of the Holy Trinity with the characteristic elements of the gothic style.
Near the monastery there is Open Air Museum – an example of historical heritage of Slovenia. It forms small village cottages full of former costumes and tools used in the 19th century.
An additional attraction is the opportunity to buy new household products made by monks. As owners of many grounds located around the monastery, they grape’s plantations, growing fruit trees, bee-keeping, which they want to share to local people and tourists.

Crnomelj

Crnomelj – once the most important strategic and military town, today it is truly historic and cultural heritage of Slovenia. The city is the seat of the municipality Crnomelj located in the south-eastern part of the traditional region of White Carniola.
Important sites of the town are mainly churches. Built on prehistoric ruins left by the Romans, the church of the Holy Spirit is a true Gothic pearl. Next to it are also remarkable churches: St. Sebastian’s and St. Peter’s, built in the 16th century.
Crnomelj areas are surrounded by many forests, full of beech and fir trees, creating a very bright landscape of this place. Wildlife of Crnomelj is the site of numerous scenic routes and attract many people looking for an escape into nature.

Metlika

In the heart of the region of Lower Carniola, near the border with Croatia there is a small tow called Metlika.
The biggest attraction of the place is the 15th century castle of Metlika located on the top of a Obrh Creek hill. Originally the seat belonged to the rulers of the Alps, it was the point of defense against hostile nations. Today the old castle houses the Museum of White Carniola. The exhibition presents the history of the local area. In the old stables of the castle there is a museum as well, Slovene Firefighting Museum.
An additional advantage of this place is also the fauna and flora of the region of Lower Carniola. Even the name of the city Metlika means the same as ,,Goosefoot”. Nature of the land is still largely intact by man. In spite of large groups of tourists visiting the place every year, there is one of the cleanest rivers in Slovenia.
For those who love wine, Metlika city organizes every year festival called Vinska vigred. Participants have the opportunity to taste wine, taste local culinary specialities as well as listen to the sounds of Sovenian folk music.

Brezice

Brezice is a town in the south-eastern part of Slovenia. As a tourist attraction The Lower Sava Valley attracts many tourists every year because of the rich historical and cultural heritage.
The symbol of the city is a tower built in the early 20th century. Previously used as a source of water for the inhabitants of town, today there is a place for pub.
The real glory of this place is the historical and ethnographic Lower Sava Valley Museum which is contained in the Brezice castle. It houses many archaeological relics of the past from this region. The castle is also the site of many cultural events and meetings. One of them is the annual music festival taking place in late May and early June. This is one of the most important music festivals in Europe, full of historically-inspired performances. It is a real delight for music lovers.

Kostanjevica na Krki

At the foot of the Gorjanci Hills lays the most unique place in Slovenia. The city, called the Venice of Lower Carniola is the only place in this country completely surrounded by water. The island located in the bend of the river Krki forms one of the oldest cities in Slovenia.
There are two lanes, connecting the island to the mainland. Full of historic buildings, they also lead to the most historical sites of Kostanjevica na Krki. One of them is the former Romanesque parish church of St. James, which was built before the year 1220, as a part of the defense system of the island. Today, due to the rebuilding of the church, in the 17th century we can find there some elements of Baroque style.
Another tourist destination is the late Gothic church of Saint Nicholas with frescoes made by Gorjup Joze. It is located in the southern part of the island.
Kostanjevica na Krki was announced as a cultural monument of the highest category in order to preserve the historical and natural values of Slovenia. Another advantage of the island is its location. Many additional attractions are outside the island, such as the mysterious cave Kostanjevica or Kostanjevica monastery founded by father of Kostanjevica na Krki Bernard von Spanheim.