Archive for the ‘Stajerska & Koroska’ Category

Olimje monastery

Olimje monastery, also known as Olimje Castle,  has stood in the valley since the 11th century. Around 1550 Hans Tattenbach rebuilt it in the Renaissance style. Then, in 1663 the castle was converted into a monastery and inhabited by the Paulines from Croatia. They established a pharmacy in one of the towers and built a church for pilgrims. In 1785, by the decision of emperor Joseph II, monks had to move out and later the monastery was turned into parish. Then, in 1805 the monastery was bought by Count Attems, who decided to destroy two wings of the building because of high taxes. 180 years later monastery was given to Franciscan monks. They revived the monastery with the traditional pharmacy.

Podcetrtek

It is a city situated in the south-eastern part of Slovenia. In winter there are excellent skiing conditions, other seasons are ideal for visiting local attractions, such as the thermal spa in Olimje.
Ctrtek means Thursday in Slovenian, it was a day on which the traditional market was held. The city was first mentioned in the 11th century. Above the city stands the castle, known already in the middle of the 13th century. It was rebuilt in Baroque style in the18th, but it retained its original features. Below the castle, near a small brook, stands the parish church of St. Lawrence from the 14th century.
The region is a paradise for chocolate lovers- a visit in one of the shops offering handmade chocolate is a must. Nearby the city there is Park Kozjansko. Here you will find the unique nature of Slovenia and the Romanesque Podsreda castle, in which every year the famous music festival is held.

Ptuj

ptuj

It is the oldest city in Slovenia, first mentioned in 69 AD, but this area is proved to have been settled in the Stone Age. In the 10th century the castle was built and in the same time Ptuj received town privileges. Some buildings have belonged to the castle since the 12th century, but in general the fort is a mix of styles. Today, the Ptuj castle is a local museum.
A part of the city is excluded from the road traffic. The main street is Presernova Cesta and it leads to the square Slovenski Trg. Here we can find the Old Town Hall, in the center of a complex of houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.
There are two old monasteries in the city – Franciscan and Dominican. Other religious monuments are several old churches, where the oldest and most common for pilgrims is the Gothic Church of St. George.
Ptuj is a heartland of ten-day-long carnival – Kurentovanje. It’s a festival of welcoming spring and fertility, which most probably has roots in ancient Slavic pagan times. During the festival, People imitate the ancient god Kurent who was believed to have powers to chase away winter. They are dressed in sheepskin, with big cow bells on neck, masks made of leather, with long red tongue. The rite is accompanied by many concerts, activities and other attractions. The event is attended by more than 150,000 visitors every year.

Celje

Celje is located in the valley of Savinja river, at the foothills of the Upper Castle (Celjski Grad). It is third largest town in Slovenia. For centuries history and culture of Slavic, Germanic, Roman, Hungarian and other ethnics crossed here.
People began to settle here in the Early Iron Age. Before the Roman Empire incorporated this area, the city was known as Kelea, then its name turned into Civitas Celeia. Because of its charm, richness and large population the city was also known as Troia secunda. Today it is a very modern town, the center of new technologies and a place where the biggest trade fair in Slovenia is organized.
The most precious monument is the palace of the Count, called Old Manor House (Stara Grofija), which was established at the beginning of the 17th century. There are impressive Baroque paintings on the ceiling in one of representative rooms and two-level cloisters. Now it is a part of the Celje Regional Museum.
The town has also two castles. The lower castle was the residence of the Counts and later the Princes of Celje. From the 15th century it was used as an office of the Habsburgs, three hundreds years later transformed into barracks. The building has undergone many changes, most of them during the reign of Maria Theresa. The upper castle was the first defensive structure in Cejle. Originally owned by Vovberg family, castle then fell into ruin. At the end of the 19th century renovation works had started and now we can admire the castle’s splendor. The National Hall – the seat of the township, The Water Tower (bastion) and the Celje Hall (Celjski dom) from 1906 are also worth visiting.

Maribor

Maribor is the second largest town in Slovenia, situated near the border with Austria. It has been selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2012.
Maribor gained importance in 1164, when the castle Marchburg was built on Piramida hill, just above the city. Ninety years later Maribor received town privileges. Here you can find the oldest grapevine in the World – Stara trta, the specimen that is about 440 years old and still bears grapes. Every year there is organized Old Vine Festival. First wineries on this area were founded by Jewish community in the Middle ages. Their synagogue, which was known since 1429, is now one of the oldest in Europe. These attractions are located in Lent district. This name is associated with the one of the biggest summer festivals in Europe (Lent festival), where magic, theatre, opera, acrobats, ballet performance and all genre of music are mixed together.
In the 14th century Maribor was surrounded by a fortified wall to defense the city against Turks and Hungarians. Four defensive towers are preserved in good condition. The most important religious monument is the medieval Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, built in the 12th century in Romanesque style, although its present appearance is Gothic.
During the reign of the Habsburgs the trade evolved considerably and Frederick III built a great castle, located in the center of the town. In the castle we can visit the Regional Museum of Maribor.
Maribor lies close to the Pohorje mountain range, one of the most attractive ski centers.