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SloveniaHolidays.com > Dolenjska
The gentle landscape of Dolenjska (formerly known as Lower Carniola) is a panorama of valleys, rolling hills and forests, where you can almost smell the sweet scent of grapes growing in the vineyards on sun drenched slopes. Farmer's fields link with green meadows and numerous church bell towers stretch towards the blue sky. Time stands still where ancient castles guard historical towns and lonesome hayracks border quiet millstones.
Visit the Stična Monastery, nowadays the home of the Slovenian Museum Of Religion, where ancient herb mixtures are still prepared. You could explore the charming domain of the "Tenth Brother" (from the title of a novel by Josip Jurčič.) Follow the famous author's path from Višnje Gora to Muljava, where you can visit the Jurčič family home, now transformed into a museum.
A stone's throw from here is the Krka river springs. You will be quickly captivated by it's charm and the river will lead you to Kostanjevica na Krki, one of Slovenia's oldest towns. The impressive castle also includes a gallery showing the works of Božidar Jakac and has quiet monastic gardens, with other art works from the international group of sculptors known as »Forma Viva«. Near the Studena springs, you can experience the beauty of the Kostanjevica Cave, with it's unique colony of bats (Rhinolophus).
The beautiful green Krka river flows over Dolenska's dams and rapids, as if merging with the flora and fauna on it's banks. First it flows to the Karst plateau, called Suho Krajina, then meets the historic fortress town of Žužemberk and drops down to Soteske, passing Dvor. A former castle park is preserved at the Devil's Tower Hudičev. And when the Krka valley widens, you will find Dolenska's oldest thermal health resort - Dolenjske Toplice now hosting a modern Wellness Centre and hidden behind the branches of the nearby Rog woods you will find Base 20, a historical monument from World War II.
Novo mesto (new town) is the picturesque capital town of Dolenjska, positioned under seven hills and a real treasure chest of history and culture. Here you can visit the Dolenjska Museum or the Franciscan Monastery.
After embracing Novo Mesto, the River flows on to Otočec. There is a modern Sports and Recreational Centre here offering a wide selection of sports activities, with tennis and a riding school, numerous pathways and a golf course. In the nearby health resort of Šmarješke Toplice there is a centre for Nordic walking.
Šentjernej is well known for the red wine calledCviček and for singing. It's traditional fairs and horse & cockerel races are being increasingly visited by more people each year. In Gorjanci you can find the Carthusian Monestery, Pleterje and the architecture and daily life of the Šentjernej fields can be seen in the live Open - air Museum next to the monastery.
Škocjan, in the Radulja valley is an ancient cultural centre and also the birthplace of the missionary Knoblehar. At Christmas, the Škocjan Bethlehem is lit by a thousand lights and you can get close to nature at the Zagrad park of Culture or on one of the trails around Bučka. At Žalostna gora ( Sad Mountain) near Mokronog, you will not only find a pilgrim church, but a whole host of other things to see, including the amazing holy stairs with rich paintings and stunning images.
The mighty Gothic church in Šentrupert, the Castle Škrljevo – the estate of the princess Ema Krška, the pilgrim mountain Vesela Gora and the Castle Mirna provide stunning scenery and the most beautiful of views over the Mirnska Valley. You must see the typical stone bridges, pretty hayracks and a line of vineyard cottages in the surrounding hills.
The 15th century town of Trebnje welcomes you where the Temenica and Mirna rivers meet. The Temenica river jumps to life from the pretty spring at Zijalo, then flows to Mirna Peč, where it disappears underground into the Dolenjska Karst. These are just some of the incredible sights that are revealed on the heritage paths of Dolenjska.
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