Heritage Trails from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
Heritage Tours from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
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Culture & Arts

Inspired by our region's beauty, generations of artists, architects, writers and composers have added to our rich cultural heritage. Important works by the great 17th century artist Hans Georg Geigerfelder were commissioned for many of the churches and chapels in the Ribnica area, and include the famous St. George, painted in 1641. Among surviving works in the area today are paintings in Nova Štifta and Goriča Vas.

Having pursued a detailed geographic survey of the area in the 1680's, Janez Vajkard Valvasor published his study in 1689, and this work provides much of our modern knowledge about our region's natural and human history. As you explore our towns and villages, you will find numerous references to Valvasor and his work. He mentions three churches in Loški Potok; his map of one of Dobrepolje's major caves, Podpeška Jama, is thought to be the first. He describes the unique use of skis and the development of skiing on the Bloke plateau, as well as commenting on the size and wealth of the church in Nova Vas. The route over Hrušica, the Podkraj–Lanišče road, Roman remains and Stara Pošta are all described, and the seasonal lake and other karst features of Cerkniško Jezero are mapped and described in great detail. A monument to Valvasor may be seen on the old town square in Cerknica and his contribution to geographic knowledge and understanding was even recognised in London, where he was awarded membership of the Royal Society. Many of our churches, great and small, contain extraordinary and beautiful works of art. As well as the prettily painted churches of Osilnica and the famous frescoes of Maršiči, you will find frescoes by Anton Postl at St. Florian in Loški Potok and at Nova Štifta where there are also exquisite wood carvings by Gregorius Scarnos. More recent artists of renown include Božidar Jakac, France Gorše, Nikolaj Pirnat, and France and Tone Kralj from Dobrepolje. Jakac' original sketches of the first Slovene parliament are now displayed in Kočevje Regional Museum. It was the artist Tone Kralj who created the illustrations for the famous and much reprinted 1950 edition of Levstik's Martin Krpan. There is no shortage of great composers, thinkers and writers from Lower Carniola, perhaps the most famous of whom is Primož Trubar, author of the first published work in the Slovene language. Another great innovator, a contemporary of Trubar, was Jacobus Gallus, creator of some of the most beautiful and lyric choral works of the 16th century, and the composer Fran Gerbič was born in Cerknica. Generations of Slovene writers have followed Trubar's lead; Stritar and Levstik were from the same area; the linguist Stanislav Škrabec was a son of Ribnica; and just north of Cerkno is the former home of France Bevk, author of ever-popular children's books and defender of the Slovene language under Italian occupation after the First World War.