Top 12 Most Beautiful Historical Sites in Slovenia

05-07-2022 12 4 0 0 Báo lỗi

Slovenia is tremendously rich in history. Although it is a small country located in Central Europe, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of historical and cultural attractions in Slovenia that can wow travelers and holidaymakers. Slovenia has majestic castles with mysterious legends, beautiful churches, stunning medieval towns, interesting and very informative museums, and more. Here is the list of the most beautiful historical sites in Slovenia that you should know.

1 Tâm Vũ

Bled Castle

Bled Castle is a medieval castle built on a cliff above the city of Bled in Slovenia, overlooking Lake Bled. According to written sources, it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is currently one of the most beautiful historical sites in Slovenia that attracts many tourists. Today, the castle is used as a historical museum with a collection that represents the history of the lake.

The castle was first mentioned in a donation deed dated 22 May 1011 issued by German Emperor Henry II in favor of the Bishops of Brixen, and it was their residence for eight centuries. Then situated in the March of Carniola, it was moved to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1278.

The oldest part of the castle is the tower in the Romanesque style. During the Middle Ages, more towers were erected and the fortifications were improved. Other buildings were built in the Renaissance style. The buildings are arranged around two courtyards connected with a staircase. There is a chapel in the upper courtyard, which was built in the 16th century and renovated around 1700 when it was painted with illusionist frescoes. The Bled Castle also has a drawbridge over a moat.

Location: Bled

Photo: The Slovenia
Photo: The Slovenia
Video: Leo F
2 Tâm Vũ

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, as the name suggests, is a Franciscan church based on Prešeren Square in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Its red color is the symbol of the Franciscan monastic order. Since 2008, the church has been protected as a cultural monument of national significance in Slovenia.

Built between 1646 and 1660 (later followed by the bell towers), it replaced an older church on the same site. The early Baroque layout took the form of a basilica with one nave and two rows of side chapels. The Baroque main altar was made by the sculptor Francesco Robba. Many of the original frescoes were damaged by the cracks in the ceiling caused by the Ljubljana earthquake in 1895. The new frescoes were painted by the Slovene impressionist painter Matej Sternen in 1936.

The church's front facade was built in the Baroque style from 1703 to 1706 and redesigned in the 19th century. It consists of two parts, featuring pilasters with the Ionic capitals in the lower part and pilasters with Corinthian capitals in the upper part. The sides of the upper part are decorated with volutes and at the top of the front facade is the statue of Our Lady of Loretto, i.e. Madonna with Child. It was made of beaten copper by Matej Schreiner according to a plan drawn up by Franz Kurz zum Thurn und Goldenstein. The faces and hands were modeled by Franc Ksaver Zajec. The statue substituted an older wooden statue of a Black Madonna in 1858. The facade also consists of three niches with sculptures of God the Father above the main stone portal, and in the side niches are an angel and the Virgin Mary, work by the Baroque sculptor Paolo Callalo. In front of the church, there is a stone entrance staircase. The wooden door with reliefs of women's heads originates from the 19th century.

Next to the church, located next to Prešeren Square between Čop Street, Nazor Street, and Miklosich Street, there is a Franciscan Monastery from the 13th century. The monastery is notable for its library, containing more than 70,000 books, including many incunabula and medieval manuscripts. Established in 1233, the monastery was first located at Vodnik Square, then was moved to the present location during the Josephine reforms of the late 18th century.

Location: Prešeren Square, Ljubljana

Video: Vic Stefanu - Amazing World Videos
3 Tâm Vũ

Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle is a Renaissance castle built in a cave mouth in south-central Slovenia, in the historical region of Inner Carniola. Nestled in the village of Predjama, about 11 kilometers from Postojna town and 9 kilometers from Postojna Cave, the Karst world offers an unforgettable experience in the fairytale world of knights. The impenetrable medieval wonder has been perched in the middle of a 123-meter-high cliff for over 800 years.

Behind the world's largest cave castle lies a network of secret tunnels, from which the knight Erazem of Predjama would set out on his plundering expeditions. See his hiding place called Erazem's Nook and go up along Erazem's Tunnel. Do not miss the 16th-century treasure chest discovered in the cellar in 1991. An observation post offers a bird's-eye view of the surrounding landscape. The Cave under Predjama Castle is home to a colony of bats.

Natural elements seamlessly intertwine with manmade ones, the result of human work and nature's creativity has created a pearl of medieval resourcefulness. The largest cave castle in the world, listed as one of the Guinness World Records, tells a picturesque story of a time when comfort had to give way to safety, and when the clatter of weapons would often drown out troubadours' songs. It is so special and unique, it ranks in the top ten most attractive castles in the world, and so romantic that many couples choose it for their wedding vows.

Location: Postojna

Photo: UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Photo: UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Video: Eric Clark's Travel Videos
4 Tâm Vũ

Cathedral of St. Nicholas

The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is a cathedral in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. Initially, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas was a Gothic church. It was replaced by a Baroque building in the early 18th century. It is an easily recognizable landmark of the city with its green dome and twin towers and is located in Cyril and Methodius Square (Ciril-Metodov trg) nearby Ljubljana Central Market and Town Hall.

The site was originally occupied by an aisled three-nave Romanesque church, the oldest of which dates back to 1262. It was a succursal church of the ancient Parish of Saint Peter. A major fire in 1361 witnessed it refurbished in the Gothic style but underwent alterations when the Diocese of Ljubljana was founded in 1461 and the church became a cathedral. However, it was burnt down again in 1469. This time, it was suspected of an arson, presumably by the Turks.

The most striking features of the exterior are the elaborately decorated wooden and bronze doors and Roman tombstones built on the outer walls. Notice the keystone with Christ near the entrance, preserved from the old church. The Gothic pieta and statues of important bishops and saints stand in the nooks of the facade. The interior presents a painted dome and the Corpus Christi altar surrounded by angels.

Location: Ljubljana

Video: Eric Clark's Travel Videos
5 Tâm Vũ

Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle is a castle complex perched on Castle Hill above the city center of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It is an important landmark of the town. Initially a medieval fortress, it was probably built in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 12th century. It acquired its present outline with an almost complete overhaul in the 15th century, while the majority of the buildings date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Originally a defense structure and since the first half of the 14th century the seat of Carniola lords, it has been used for various purposes since the early 19th century and today is used as a major cultural venue.

Nowadays, Ljubljana Castle consists of the following buildings. To the right of the entrance is the Archers Tower, next to it is the gunpowder store, and later are the dungeon and the Tower of Erasmus which was named after the infamous robber knight Erazem Lueger and the master of the Predjama Castle, the former prison of The aristocrats, at last, is the information center. The courtyard surrounds the Estate Hall and the Palatium, two buildings with rooms for concerts and gala receptions. Next to it is Fridericks Tower, Kazemate, the chapel of St. George, and the panoramic tower in which is the virtual Museum. The permanent exhibition The Slovenian history was opened in 2010 in the old gunpowder store. Next to it is the Hall of Hribar, which was formerly used as the store of arms, and the Pentagonal Tower. To the left of the entrance is the only contemporary building from the 80s of the last century, in which there are two wedding rooms, a restaurant, and a souvenir shop. Visitors to the castle can descend into gallery 'S', several rooms, and the cisterns that are under the patio.

Ljubljana Castle can be reached by road, by several trails through the forest that surrounds it, or by the funicular. The castle is a major tourist attraction and hosts a large number of cultural events, concerts, exhibitions, weddings, theater functions, congresses, and protocol receptions.

Location: Ljubljana

Photo: The Slovenia
Photo: The Slovenia
Video: light2tube
6 Tâm Vũ

St. George's Church

St. George's Church in Piran is a Roman Catholic church standing on the hill above Piran, a port town on the Adriatic coast in southwestern Slovenia. It was constructed in the Venetian Renaissance architectural style and is dedicated to Saint George. It is the work of a lifetime by the stone mason Bonfante Torre from Venice.

The present church was built in the 14th century, but its Baroque facade dates back to 1637. Legend has it that in the late 16th century, Saint George blinded the cynical mayor in order to motivate the citizens to restore the decaying church. Among the rich interior decoration, visitors should see the large medieval Gothic crucifix, the small silver-plated sculpture of St. George, and the Roman sarcophagus converted into a baptismal font. From the 46-meter bell tower, a smaller replica of the Venetian San Marco Campanile, you can see panoramic views of the Slovenian, Croatian, and Italian coasts, and sometimes as far as the Julian Alps.

Location: Piran

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia
7 Tâm Vũ

St. Martin's Parish Church

St. Martin's Parish Church in Bled is the parish church of the Parish of Bled. A Gothic Revival structure was built between 1903 and 1905 according to plans by the Austrian architect Friedrich von Schmidt, with minor modifications, especially in regard to internal equipment, by the architect Josip Vancaš. It was constructed by the Gustav Tönnies Company from Ljubljana.

The artwork and architecture in the church and its surroundings present various styles and periods. The interior of the church was painted with frescoes from 1932 to 1937 by academic painter Slavko Pengov, including one portraying Vladimir Lenin as Judas Iscariot in a depiction of the Last Supper. It also has a number of statues by Ivan Vurnik. Before World War II, the greatest Slovenian architect, Jože Plečnik, designed the wayside shrine by the garden in front of the church. The preserved walls of the church originate from the 15th century and remind us of the Turkish invasions.

You can usually only enter during the mass time (times posted on the door), but the front door is usually open so you can take a look through the glass.

Location: Bled

Photo: Adequate Travel
Photo: Adequate Travel
Photo" Flickr
8 Tâm Vũ

Celje Castle

Celje Castle (also known as Celje Upper Castle or Old Castle) is a castle ruin in Celje, Slovenia, formerly the seat of the Counts of Celje. It lies on three hills to the southeast of Celje, where the Savinja river meanders into the Laško valley. These days, the castle is in the process of being restored. It was once the largest fortress on Slovenian territory and nowadays one of the most beautiful historical sites in Slovenia.

A majestic walled castle towering over the city, Celje Castle is sure to leave you speechless. Its appearance dates back to the days of the Counts of Celje, the most famous and notable noble dynasty from the area in present-day Slovenia. During the summer, a live history show takes place there and offers an immersive experience as the visitors can engage in sword fights with knights, shoot with bows, and flirt with princesses. On the last Saturday of August, the castle becomes the site of a traditional medieval festival.

Location: Celje

Video: Marko Koper
9 Tâm Vũ

Old Town of Radovljica

The Old town of Radovljica is one of the best-preserved town architectures in Slovenia with houses dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The lovely old town charms with its location atop a natural promontory, with a wide selection of original preserved architecture, as well as museums, galleries, and other attractions. The history breaths from every corner of the town and tells stories from the past.

Must-visits include the Radovljica Mansion, the queen of Radovljica architecture with a Baroque hall, which hosts concerts, receptions, weddings, and other events. On the same street is the Live Gingerbread Workshop living museum where you see the staff produce the traditional red gingerbread hearts (a guided tour and explanation in English and other languages are available). There is also the Gothic church of St. Peter and various church buildings - a collection of architectural marvels. The Tourist Office is near the entrance of the new town. Surrounding the old town are vestiges of the medieval defense system with the only remaining town moat in Slovenia. They are viewing points along the wall where you can see the surrounding area.

Radovljica has a little of everything: It’s not too big but not too small and occupies an idyllic location on the vast plains nestled between the Karavanke range, the Jelovica plateau, and the Julian Alps. The Old town of Radovljica is one of the three best preserved of its kind in Slovenia and has countless places to walk, hike, cycle, and enjoy nature.

Some of the top attractions in Radovljica’s Old Town are the frescoed Gothic and Renaissance townhouses in Linhart Square, the Radovljica Manor with the Museum of Apiculture, the Municipal Museum, the Sivec House Gallery, St. Peter’s Church, and the Town Moat.

Every year, on the first Sunday of August, Radovljica celebrates Medieval Day honoring its history and recreating some of its medieval crafts and traditions. Medieval Day attracts both visitors from Slovenia and tourists who come to watch the displays, browse the market stalls and buy handicrafts, sample the local cuisine, and enjoy the medieval atmosphere.

Apart from the fair, there are many other activities taking place during Medieval Day which are of interest to locals and tourists alike. These include a parade of nobles and cavalrymen, jousting and archery tournament, theater and street theater performances, the tasting of medieval cuisine, and demonstrations of ancient trades.

Location: Radovljica

Photo: Fine Stay Slovenia
Photo: Fine Stay Slovenia
Photo: Fine Stay Slovenia
Photo: Fine Stay Slovenia
10 Tâm Vũ

Koper Cathedral

Koper Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Koper, in the city of Koper, Slovenia.

The cathedral was built in the second half of the 12th century in the Romanesque style, with three naves, each ending with an apse. Until 1392, the church underwent changes and additions, which also resulted in a change of style: the western facade is clearly Gothic. After an earthquake in 1460, the facade was redesigned in 1488, with the addition of Renaissance features.

The tower, which offers the city and the bay views, is four stories high, following an Italian bell tower's style and housing one of the oldest bells in Slovenia, dating back to 1333. In the early 18th century, Koper was under the influence of Venetian and was again a Baroque architectural transformation. Under the direction of Giorgio Massari, additional landscape components were added to the cathedral, including valuable paintings by Venetian painters Pietro Liberi, Celesti Andrea, Antonio Zanchi, and Vittore Carpaccio. The most significant painting is the Holy Conversation of Vittore Carpaccio, dating from 1516.

Location: Koper

Video: Pietro Pecco
11 Tâm Vũ

Anthony's Shaft Mining Museum

Mining history in the town of Idrija in western Slovenia dates back to 1490. Until World War I, Idrija's Mercury Mine was one of the best technically equipped mines in Europe and the town was so famous that its name was used in North America for New Idria's mining town. In 1986, it was decided to close the mine for commercial, geological, and ecological purposes. It finally closed in 1995 but some of its shafts and facilities are still open for tourists. Travelers can tour a part of the closed mine, known as Anthony's Shaft Mining Museum, and learn about the difficult conditions that mercury miners endured from the late 15th century to the late 20th century.

The tour of the shaft begins in an 18th-century building called the Selstev House which now serves as a museum, education center, and entry point for tours into the mine itself. The entrance depicts one of the oldest preserved mine entries in Europe. Professional guides will take you through shafts and light galleries, where you will see demonstrations of mining jobs and a unique underground chapel. You will probably get a raincoat at the beginning of the tour but be prepared for the cool underground temperatures.

Location: Idrija

12 Tâm Vũ

Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity

One of the most beautiful historical sites in Slovenia as well as a place of worship, Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity stands behind a wall erected for protection against Turkish attacks of the 16th century. Such defensive architectures are found throughout Slovenian-settled territory and are called tabor.

The church and wall were constructed on bare rock, and for this reason, there were no deep foundations. The church is built mostly of stone, as is typical for the entire coastal region. The stones were never completely covered with an outer layer of plaster, so it is possible to see how the church was built. One can see that the top of the church spire was rebuilt at some point, although it is unknown why. The church is roofed with tiles made of thick plates. These are typical for older roofs in the Mediterranean region.

The church has only 2 windows (the third window was walled up in the past) due to the local weather conditions. In the summer, a room with a small window was protected from the sun, while in the winter it was protected from the bora. Because there are few windows, the inside of the church is very dark. In 1896, a hole was knocked in the north wall to create a new window, but unfortunately, several frescoes in the church were ruined at the same time.

Despite the lack of windows, the church was still better lit than it is today. This is the result of the addition of the strong exterior wall, which has robbed the church of much of its light.

Because of its height, the Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity is classified as a multi-layered church. The church in Hrastovlje is different from all other pilgrim churches in that its bell tower is located on the west side and that all other pilgrim churches have small wooden towers.

The church is 11.7 meters long and 6.05 meters wide and is, therefore, one of the smallest churches in the area. It is not even as big as the average village church. Some consider the church to be an example of Istrian Renaissance architecture from the second half of the 15th century.

The appearance of the northwest entrance to the church, as it is known today, originates from around 1776. The original entrance was probably next to the bell tower.

Location: Hrastovlje

Photo: PhotoHound
Photo: PhotoHound
Video: Sergei Mashukov

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