For those of you who still haven’t had the chance to visit Slovenia, you have to do it, and you have to do it ASAP. We are talking about a green country, eco-friendly all the way, with an amazing history, witnessed by landmarks, and architecture to support that fact. I mean, what are you waiting for?
1. Ljubljanski grad – Ljubljana’s castle
Ljubljana’s medieval castle was built in the 15th century and it is known as the crown jewel of not only Ljubljana but Slovenia in general. And as all treasured crown jewels, it sits on a 357m high pedestal. Ed Sheeran vibes everyone, Castle on the Hill. It has a spectacular panoramic view from the rooftop, that gives not only a view over Ljubljana but a third of whole Slovenia. Food, history, jazz music, and an interesting amalgamate of medieval and contemporary architecture, are just a few of the delicacies offered in Ljubljanski grad.
2. Old castle of Celje
It is as breath-taking from up close, as it is from afar. Dates back to the 12th century, one of the most important fortifications of not only Slovenia but of the Eastern Alps during the Roman Empire. I am an unapologetic fan of fortifications, and the Castle of Celje did not disappoint me.
3. Predjama castle
This must be my favorite castle in Slovenia. Secret passageways and tunnels, a Robin Hood type of legend, the thing is carved in a mountain, and it gives a Hogwarts vibe? (astonished face emoji) Say no more.
4. Snežnik Castle
A fairy-tale type of architecture. Dates back from the 13th century, with the residential interior charm of the second half of the 19th century. The Snow Castle is a castle with a moat, a deep and broad ditch in front of it. Its uniqueness is due to the museum-type vibe it gives. Everything in the interior tells a story, all through the last details of the family portraits and old photos.
5. Pleterje Charterhouse
This is a home of Carthusian monks. They live in an enclosure, which means they are cut off from the rest of the world, but only rarely they admit people to their charterhouse, founded in 1403. One can visit The Church of the Holy Trinity, an example of early French Gothic Style, a small chapel, and to purchase the brandy and wine manufactured on the site.
6. Plečnik’s Church of St. Michael on the Marshes
JozePlečnik is known to some of us as the “Slavic Gaudi”, and he is a national treasure, an architectural hero of sorts. His MO is modern/ classical design, and eccentric facades and decorativeness. This Church is an amazing example of Plečnik’s design character, its inimitable edginess and rigidness of the exterior, and peculiar softness of the interior.
7. Plečnik’s House
We are talking about a house designed by JozePlečnik, where he lived from 1872 to 1957. Today, it is a museum. Exhibition of his life and work, personal artifacts, and study center are the constituents of the museum. It was renovated in 2013-2015 by Arrea Architecture, and it is in the character of Plečnik’s signature style.
8. Franja Partisan Hospital
This is a small hospital, built in the period of World War 2, in DolenjiNovaki near Cerkno in western Slovenia. At that time, it was considered as the most equipped hospital of the Slovenian resistance movement, out of twenty operating, all secretly hidden and scattered across the mountains of Slovenia. A place of history that gives you the memory of courage, and revolution.
9. Herdsman’s huts at Velika Planina
140 huts, with unique architecture – roofs made of traditional spruce shingles, reaching almost to the ground. This is known as the herdsmen settlement and the center of traditional annual shepherds gathering in June. Besides witnessing the amazing architectural craft of these huts, you can also witness local homemade dairy delicacies and a shepherd’s lunch.
10. Dežela kozolcev- Land of Hayracks, Šentrupert, South-East Slovenia
This is the first-ever, worldwide museum of Hayracks. The installation has 19 hayracks, and their composition depends on the chronological historic development of hay racks as a subject of cultural heritage in this region, with great importance. One of the oldest preserved twin-hayracks in the world dates back to 1795, and it is part of this installation.
11. Chocolate Village by the River – Glamping
I learned about the term Glamping when I started my studies in Ljubljana. It is a highly valued form of resort, of reconnection with nature, of enjoyment, in “slightly” better conditions than tents. The delicacy is chocolate, and the activities one can be part of: tasting of chocolate breakfast, visit the chocolate factory on-site, attend chocolate workshops, chocolate wellness, etc.
12. Pikol Lake Village – Glamping
Pikol Lake Village is a place I have never been to, and now I must go to. It is breath-taking. It is known as the first floating glamping village in Slovenia. And not that you need any more convincing after seeing the photo above, but the restaurant on-site won a Michelin Plate Award earlier this year, and that is just a big plus.
Piran is considered the prettiest town in Slovenia, a jewel of the Slovenian Riviera. Medieval architecture, seafood, port wind, and good wine are some of the many charms this town has to offer. Piran hosts “Piran days of architecture” //an international architectural conference// annually since 1983, at the end of November.
14. The old town of Radovljica
This town is akin to an open-type museum of the best-preserved architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries in Slovenia. The old town is home to gothic townhouses and churches, frescoed Renaissance remains of the medieval defense system around the old town, and the only lasting town moat in Slovenia. The festive season around Christmas brings out a whole other magical character of this town, even more astonishing, it is almost surreal.
15. Ptuj Performance Centre
This Dominican Monastery dates back to the 13th century, naturally wearing the layers of styles through the ages. A bit of Gothic, a bit of Baroque, much more Medieval, and the last layer, with a flair of contemporary style done right, was added in 2013 by the Slovenian architectural atelier ENOTA. Ptuj Performance Centre is a historical building, and the preservation of it demanded the design and positioning of non-invasive, functional essentials. ENOTA made it happen by adding edginess and “see me now” in the mix. The design compliments the history.