Archive for the ‘Gorenjska’ Category

Bled

Bled is a must visit destination, it attracts tourists not only from Europe but also from all over the world. It is a picturesque town situated in northwestern Slovenia in the middle of the Julian Alps, 45 kilometers from the border with Italy and Austria. Bled is the most popular health resort known for its thermal springs in the whole Slovenia and it is considered a symbol of wealth and luxury. The alpine surrounding creates unforgettable scenery together with: the glacial Lake Bled and its emerald green water, the medieval Bled Castle and a fairy tale Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church situated on a small island in the middle of the lake. The Bled Castle overlooks the lake and it is located on a cliff top, 100 meters above the water level, from where you can admire the breathtaking panorama of the region. When the weather is sunny it’s possible to see from there the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps – Triglav. Bled Castle is considered to be the oldest Slovenian castle as its origins date back to the beginning of the 11th century but nowadays the castle represents a mixture of styles: from Romanesque tower through Renaissance courtyards and stairs to 16th century chapel pained with illusionist frescoes. The castle is protected by a moat with a drawbridge.
Bled is also a great choice for those who seek peace and beauty of nature. Being situated next to the Triglav National Park it offers a wide variety of mountain hikes. In addition, Bohinj Basin which is a winter and summer sports center is located just 20 kilometers from Bled.
Bled is also famous in the whole Slovenia for the culinary wealth, especially for the famous Kremna rezina, a vanilla and custard cream cake dessert.

Radovljica

Radovljica, often affectionately abbreviated to Radol’ca, is situated in the northwestern part of Slovenia, 55 km from Ljubljana, above the confluence of the Sava Bohinjka and the Sava Dolinka.
The history of Radovljica dates back to the medieval times when settled by the early Slavs the city was evolving from a market town to an important trading center. In the 15th century Radovljica was a castle-town with a church surrounded by city walls and a moat and soon it became a fortress for the region. Radovljica was destroyed by the Turks in 1475 and later on, in the 16th and 17th century, it was rebuilt which gave the town a Gothic and Renaissance character.
The town has many well-preserved tourist attractions like remnants of the medieval city walls, towers and the only remaining defensive moat in Slovenia. The main square named after Anton Tomaz Linhart, a playwright and historian who was born in Radovljica, is a place where events and festivals are regularly held.
Radovljica won’t disappoint even the biggest fans of museums as it offers the unique possibility to visit: The Radovljica Municipal Museum with exhibition about the most important Slovenian dramatists, The Mosnje Local Museum which presents the history of the town, next to which are the archaeological findings of the Roman villa Rustica, The Gingerbread Museum and Workshop and Kropa Blacksmith’s Museum. Another interesting fact about Radovljica is that it is a Slovenian center of beekeeping with a rich history, documented in The Museum of Apiculture.
The most important monument of civil engineering in Radovljica is the Chuch of St. Peter with the vicarage from the 15th century and Sivec House – a completely preserved burgher house with a medieval ground plan decorated with frescos from the 17th century.
Radovljica is also a great choice for those who seek peace and beauty of nature as it is situated on a hilltop with a view a view on the Julian Alps. The town has a wide variety of cycling and hiking paths and just 7 km from Radovljica is situated the most popular tourist destination in Slovenia – Bled. Bled is a town with a glacial Lake and Bled Castle on a cliff top.

Kranj

Kranj is the fourth biggest city in Slovenia, situated in the northeastern part of the country, built on the shores of Sava and Kokra rivers, on the way from Ljubljana to The Julian Alps. It was once populated by Romans who established there a fortified camp called Carniola, which in the next centuries became a dynamic urban center. Many of historic buildings are very well preserved including a small old town which measures 1km by 250 meters. One of the biggest attractions in Kranj is the St. Cantianius and Companions Parish Church which is the best example of a hall church in Slovenia. It combines different elements from the 15th century with a modern altar. Walking through the historic town you will see the Church of the Holy Rosary (Rozenvenska cerkev) built in the 16th century, which was a Protestant Sanctuary during Reformation, arcades added to the church by the architect Joze Plecnik, a fountain and monumental staircase. Another landmark of Kranj is the Renaissance Kieselstein Castle. Its construction was initiated in the 13th century and over the years underwent several changes, namely during the Turkish invasion in the 15th century, and later on, after it was bought by the baron Johann Jakob Khisl who gave it its present appearance. While visiting the castle the tourists should remember to see the beautiful arcaded courtyard and gardens where concerts and other cultural events take place nowadays.
The newest attraction of Kranj are the Tunnels under the old town center built during the World War II and used by citizens during frequent air-raid warnings and afterwards in the 80s and 90s to grow mushrooms.
Kranj is also well known as the city of sport. It has the biggest aquatic center in Slovenia and several other facilities like: football pitch, basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool, climbing wall. In 2003 Kranj hosted the Men’s European Water Polo Championship.
The city offers a wide range of natural sights and walking tours. A very easy destination is Smarjetna Gora where the Church of St Margaret stands, or the walk along the bank of the Kokra Rivier.

Bohinj Lake

The lake is located in a valley basin on the southern edge of Triglav National Park. The word ‘Boh’ in Slovenian stands for ‘God’ and the origin as well as lake’s creation story is reflected in this name. As the legend says, when God was was distributing lands among the people he forgot about one quiet group of people standing by the side. As he kept the most beautiful place for himself, he decided to give it to these people since he thought they deserved to live in his own paradise on Earth. The inhabitants named the place Bohinj to express their gratefulness to God.
This is the biggest permanent lake in Slovenia, measuring 318 hectares. It is 4100 m long, 1200 m wide and 45 m deep. The lake is mainly supplied with the water from the stream Savica (‚little Sava’), which is fed from Črno jezero (Black Lake), the largest lake in the Triglav Lakes Valley. The outflow at the eastern end is the Jezernica spring. It has been proved that much more water leaves the lake than comes into it. The reason for this is that the subterranean sources of water that provides the lake with the water to balance outflow. It is also worth mentioning that the incredibly clear water is natural habitat for 65 algae species, 8 mollusc species and 5 fish species.
It is an excellent destination for water sports lovers.

Triglav National Park

It is the only national park in Slovenia. It has a special protected area status, so that the park can maintain its unspoilt view of virgin nature.
Covering 880 square kilometers, it accounts for 4% of the total Slovenia’s territory. Its name, ‘Three headed’ is not completely clear. It can be either ascribed to the view from south-east side or to the Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia located in the center of the park (2864 m) that was supposed to be the throne of a Slavic deity. The mountain is also the Slovenia’s national symbol and is presented on the flag and the national army coat.
The Triglav Park spreads along the north-western Slovenian border. It encloses one of the most enchanting areas in Slovenia, almost the entire Slovenian part of the Julian Alps. Two thirds of the entire territory is covered by forests. The landscape is really picturesque and diverse with many valleys and peaks, meadows and clear mountain streams that can amaze everyone.
Waters in Triglav National Park are supplied by two large rivers having its source I Julian Alps: the Soca and the Save, the former flowing to the Adriatic and the latter to Black Sea. In the park there are also many waterfalls. The highest one is Boka Falls (106 m). All lakes found in the park are of glacial origin. The largest, that is also a major feature of the park, is Lake Bohinj. Others are the Triglav Lakes, Lake Krn, and Lower and Upper Kriz Lake.
The area of the park is a natural habitat for an extreme number of various flora and fauna with plentiful protected animal and plant species. 62% of fifty nine species of ethnobotanical values living within the bounds of the park are classified as medicinal plants.
The whole landscape of the park is perfectly prepared for tracking with all necessary secured paths. There is mass activity during summer, however, more experienced trekking lovers face Julian peaks also in winter. Many lakes located in the park enable tourist to do water sports. The park is also a perfect asylum from summer sweltering heat in the rest of the country, as the temperature in the park doesn’t go above 20 degrees.
It is worth mentioning that the Triglav Park joined the international network of biosphere areas, UNESCO’s MaB (Man and Biosphere).

Skofja Loka

Located in the northwestern part of Slovenia, 24 km from Ljubljana, this thousand-year-old town surrounded by mountains and valleys is well-known for its history, culture and tradition.
Skofja Loka was founded in 973 by bishop of Freising (Bavaria) named Abraham who received the terrain of Loka from German emperor Oton. In the absence of bishop, the city was ruled by administrator who permitted the creation of trade unions which allowed young artist to sell their works.
The city itself is famous for very well-preserved monuments built in 13th century and placed next to the Town Square and Lower Square. The architecture of Skofja Loka reminds the visitors of its greatness. The town emanates with influences of medieval, Baroque and Renaissance style. One of the most spectacular and interesting places to see is the Castle of Skofja Loka constructed in 1202. The Castle’s interior is also a siege of the Loka Museum where the tourist may plunge into the world of history, science, art and ethnology. The boys town school also evokes the times of knights well-sensed in the atmosphere of the city.
Skofja Loka also seduces the visitors by the edifices constructed in the  15th and 16th century such as: Church of Mary Immaculate with its Baroque pulpit, Saint Jacob Church with the influence of Gothic style, Church of Spital once known as a poorhouse, Old Town Hall in which the art of Baroque and Renaissance mingle, Zigon’s House,Homan’s House and Martin’s House all of them partly destroyed by earthquake in 1511 , Granary once keeping all the taxes, Capuchin Monastery with a collection of 30,000 books and Capuchin’s Bridge – one of the oldest bridges in Europe.
However, the charm of the town consists not only in the architectural legacy. The city may be proud of its cultural heritage based on the 18th century play called Skofja Loka Passion Play commemorating the Passion procession and crucifixion of Jesus. It is presented each year on Good Friday.
The climate of an idyllic town which take by the handful from its past is also created by the nature and its forces. Krancelj Hill and Kamnitnik Hill predominating over the centenarian buildings allow to walk the paths, hike, cycle or ski (STC Stari Top) but most of all to relax and appreciate a blissful scenery.
The lay of the land, moderate climate and medieval roots make Skofja Loka a unique place to dine. A visitor may enjoy regional delicacies such as honey, smoked meats, steak with boletus and prekmurje gibanica pie with poppy seeds and cottage cheese filling. Most of restaurants offer medieval feasts taking the tourist to the other dimension of time and taste.

Kamnik

Situated at the foothills of the Kamink-Savinja Alps, 30 km away from Ljubljana – the capital city of Slovenia, Kamnik is a tranquil town which remembers the prehistoric times. It is well known for the ruins of two medieval castles -Mali grad and Stari grad (Old castle)- built by Andechs counts.
In the 11th century Kamnik became a seat of Bavarian counts who moved to the northern part of Slovenia and settled down in the Municipality of Kamnik for the next centuries.  Traces of their reign are visible not only in the architecture towering over the city but also in the art of craft, stonecutting, pottery making and leather processing. The most significant contribution given by the Bavarian nobles was a creation of a coin with the inscription “Civitas Stein” which means “the town of Kamnik”.
The ruins of Mali grad (considered as a symbol of Kamnik town) and Stari grad attract the biggest number of visitors. Both located in picturesque scenery of mountains, valleys and forests. Easy access to chapel and ruins make allow every tourist to experience the beauty of the sacral and historic heritage.
Apart from two well-preserved castles, the city boast of a Zaprice castle built in 16th century evoking the splendor of the baroque and renaissance era, Sutna street full of medieval monuments and buildings, numerous churches, monastery and friary visited with pleasure by tourists.
Kamnik is also known for its cultural heritage part of which constitute several museums and galleries. The collections are abundant in national costumes, sacral objects, paintings, pottery articles and many more products and souvenirs originating from the northern region of Slovenia.
A pearl in the crown of the municipality is considered its natural inheritance represented by clear-water-springs, high waterfalls, monumental mountains, caves abundant in urchins and majestic boulders.
Kamnik is a place to rest and relax, to enjoy tranquil and unhurried rhythm of life but also to feel  cultural and musical vibe, to penetrate the nature, taste local delights and plunge into the world of art, sport and sightseeing.