Heritage Trails from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
Heritage Tours from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
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Cerkno - Ravne - Zakojca - Zakriž - Cerknica - Rašica - Ribnica

Just as Peter Klepec, who was at first poor and weak and then later fabulously strong, is a metaphor for the strength that hides within each of us, the places from Kočevje to Kostel, from Ribnica to Osilnica can represent for the curious visitor everything that anyone tired of everyday city life could hope to find in nature and tradition, in a uniquely different experience. Short breaks spent on the Heritage Trails will fulfill every wish ...

Day 1:
From Ljubljana we take the road past Škofja Loka to Cerkno. Our tour of the Cerkljansko region begins on the panoramic road passing or through the villages of Trebenče, Poče, and Gorje. We can turn to the village of Ravne pri Cerknem where the Ravenska jama cave amazes us with its unusual snow-white aragonite decorations and particularly with its world famous aragonite "hedgehogs."
Across the slopes of the 1300-meter high Mount Kojca we arrive at the village of Zakojca with its beautifully arranged birth house of the writer France Bevk (1), the author of an extensive opus of stories including the well-known "Kaplan Martin Čedermac"("Chaplain Martin Čedermac") and "Pastirci" ("The Herdsmen"). The homestead is a fine example of local farm architecture and also houses an ethnological exhibition. We stay in the village we stop for a traveller's snack at the Pri Flandru Tourist Farm.
On the road to Cerkno we stop in the village of Zakriž to visit its famous church and the fruit-drying kiln where it is possible to purchase dried delicacies. On the surrounding farms the friendly people will offer us a taste of homemade brandy.
In Cerkno we visit the Cerkljansko Museum (2) and the church of St. Ana, which was designed by Gregor Maček and where the frescoes of Fortunat Bergant arouse admiration. We conclude our visit to the town, which is particularly enlivened during Mardi Gras period by its laufarji masqueraders, with lunch. After lunch, we walk the trails around Cerkno and then go to the Pasica ravine where we discover the well-hidden Franja Partisan Hospital (3), one of the most interesting World War II monuments in Slovenia. Its fifteen cabins display the operating theatre, x-ray equipment, the convalescent center, the kitchen, and the power plant. Surrounded by the winds of war, more than five hundred wounded soldiers could be hidden here. Afterwards, we can also visit the old Čufar homestead.
We conclude our day with dinner and an overnight stay in Cerkno or Idrija.

Kočevje - Forest of Kočevje

Day 2:
From Idrija we drive to Cerknica, which has an interesting old town core. The appearance of the town is marked by the Nativity of Mary church that was rebuilt after being burned down during a raid by the Turks and encircled with a wall that remains partly preserved today. Beyond the town opens Slovenia's largest karst polje on which Slovenia's largest lake appears and disappears: the intermittent Cerknica Lake (4). In the surroundings of Cerknica we enjoy lunch.
On the way to Ribnica we make a side trip from the village of Žlebič to Rašica, where on the site of the former Trubar Homestead (5) stands the Temkov Mill with a memorial exhibition devoted to Primož Trubar, author of the first book printed in the Slovene language. Here we can also begin a circuit of the Trubar-Levstik-Stritar Cultural Footpath, which leads to the birth houses of several important Slovene literary figures.
We conclude our day in Ribnica, the home of woodenware. Wood items for everyday use have been the trademark of Ribnica and its surroundings since the 14th century. Here we can visit woodenware and pottery workshops and learn more about these two crafts as well as about the history of Ribnica at the museum in Ribnica Castle (6). A memorial park honouring prominent people from Ribnica (Gallus, Škrabec, Kozler, Prijatelj, Krek, and others) has been arranged in front of the castle. In the center of town is the parish church of St. Štefan, famous for its richly painted interior and many art works. The bell tower was renovated according to the plans of architect Jože Plečnik, The nearby Miklova House contains an art gallery and a library, and in nearby Hrovača we can inspect the restored home of Father Stanislav Škrabec (7), the greatest Slovene linguist of the 19th century
Dinner and overnight accommodations await us in the area of Ribnica or Kočevje.

Day 3:
We spend the morning in Kočevje. In the town we visit the interesting Kočevje Regional Museum in the Šeškov dom Cultural Center (8). Among its permanent exhibitions are a collection of drawings by Božidar Jakac and "The Lost Cultural Heritage of Kočevje's German Community." Instead of exploring the town further, we can ascend the Stojna ridge to where the Fridrihštajn Castle once stood. Here Friderik II of Celje hid with his forbidden second wife Veronika Deseniška. The view from the peak over the Kočevje region shows us why they chose this place for their meetings. Nearby, we enjoy a traditional Kočevje lunch.
We can spend the afternoon in the area of Kočevska Reka, which was once closed to the public. Here grows the largest walnut tree in Slovenia, with a circumference of 434 centimeters. The forests of Kočevje offer a variety of easier or more demanding hiking trails such as the Roška Trail or the Forest Teaching Trail. Those wishing to spend more time relaxing in Kočevje can enliven the time fishing in Rudnik Lake and the Rinža River, swimming, photo-hunting, bicycling, horseback riding ...

(1) Pri Flandru Tourist Farm, Zakojca 1, Cerkno (05/37798-00); Cerkljansko Museum, Bevkova 12, Cerkno (05/372-31-80), by prior arrangement
(2) Cerkljansko Museum, Bevkova 12, Cerkno (05/372-31-80), open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00
(3) Idrija City Museum (Franja Partisan Hospital), Prelovčeva ulica 9, Idrija (05/372-66-00);
open every day from 9:00 to 18:00 or
Cerkljansko Museum, Bevkova 12, Cerkno (05/372-31-80); open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00
(4) Jezerski hram Museum, Dolenje jezero 1e, Cerknica (01/709-40-53, 041/561-870);
open Saturday and Sunday from 15:00 to 17:00 by prior arrangement
(5) Trubar Homestead, Rašica, Velike Lašče (01/788-10-06); open every day from 9:00 to
18:00, in winter by prior arrangement
(6) Ribnica Castle (01/836-11-79 or
TIC Ribnica (01/836-93-35), open May to October from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00; in winter by prior
(7) Miklova House Museum, (01/836-11-79) or
TIC Ribnica (01/836-93-35)
(8) Kočevje Regional Museum, Prešernova 11, Kočevje (01/895-51-14); Monday to
Saturday from 9:00 to 12:00, Wednesday also from 16:00 to 18:00; Sunday and holidays
closed; by prior arrangement