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Cultural attractions

Sitting on the border of three countries one might think that the Kranjska Gora area would have a blurred hybrid culture melding elements of the three nations though in fact each country has its own distinct cultural identity and maintain their own traditions.

Not just rich in natural heritage Kranjska Gora and the Upper Sava Valley have very rich cultural heritage, traditional homesteads are dotted throughout the Upper Sava Valley indicative of the areas centuries old agricultural traditions and in terms of more recent history the is the areas notable winter sports traditions with commercial skiing and ski jumping dating back to the early 20th century.

Below are a selection of cultural attractions and events in the Kranjska Gora area and beyond.

The Slovenian Alpine Museum and Mojstrana
museum Mojstrana began its life in the 14th century when mining and ironwork trades started to develop. It's better known now for producing world class skiers and alpinists, and is fittingly home to the Slovenian Alpine Museum – documenting Slovenia’s rich mountaineering traditions. From here three stunning Alpine Valleys lead you into the Heart of the Julian Alps and to Slovenia's highest peak, Mt. Triglav.
Russian Chapel Vršič
russian chapel Halfway up Vršič, Slovenia’s highest pass, constructed by Russian POW's for military purposes and first opened in 1915, is a small Russian Orthodox Chapel also built by the POW's to commemorate their comrades who died during the construction of the mountain crossing.

To the south of Rateče the picturesque glacial valley of Planica extends 7km into the Julian Alps with the valley most famous for its rich ski jumping traditions. Synonymous with the sport, Planica is, home to the world’s highest ski jumping centre and site of many world record setting jumps. The first ski jump was constructed before 1930 with a larger hill being constructed in 1934. In its day, the second hill was the biggest jumping hill in the world. In 1936 the first jump over 100m was achieved. Since then many world records have been set and broken, with the hill record standing at 239m. Over the years development has continued and work on the biggest jumping hill in the world is now under way, with renovation work on the older hills already complete. The annual world cup event held at Planica is one of the biggest events on the Slovenian sporting calendar and an important cultural event attracting up to 100,000 visitors.

Pokal Vitranc
vitranc Skiing is absolutely a national sport with children seeming learning to ski shortly after walking. A focal point of the ski season and important event on the sporting calendar is the annual Pokal Vitranc (Vitranc Cup) international ski competition - held since 1961 in the village of Podkoren near Kranjska Gora the event brings competitors from all over the world to compete against time and each other in slalom and giant slalom competitions. More than just a sport, skiiing in this part of the world is a cultural phenomenon with the world cup event acting as an alpine festival.
Rateče Village Days
village days The small village of Rateče celebrates its rich history annually (15th August) at the Village Days festivities with locals dressing up in national costumes - some more than 100 years old - and presentations of traditional customs and practices such as local wool production procedures and brandy making - and more importantly tasting. Visitors can also admire and purchase local handcrafts, try local culinary specialities and enjoy traditional folk music and dances performed.
St. Tomaž Church, Rateče
sttomaz One of two churches in Rateče St. Tomaž’s is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country dating back to the 14th century. It is also possibly the site where the Rateče (or Klagenfurt) manuscripts were produced - one of the first examples of written Slovene.
tromeja From the village of Rateče it’s a pleasant 2hr walk up to the three country border area of Austria, Italy and Slovenia, also called Pec (1,510m) where German, Slavonic and Romance cultures meet. A popular destination for locals and tourists alike the summit plays host to an annual gathering, celebrating folk traditions of each of the three countries.
Mount Lussari (Italy)
italy Set above Tarvisio on the peak of Mount Lussari is the Sanctuary dei Tre Popoli (or ‘of the three populations’) with its tiny hamlet perched high on the mountain. Legend has it that the Madonna appeared where the sanctuary is built, making it a popular destination for pilgrims. Whilst pilgrim or not, it’s well worth heading up the Path of the Pilgrim through the alpine forests to the summit which offers magnificent views of the Julian Alps. Whilst in winter you can take the chairlift to the summit and ski down the Mount Lussari ski resort’s excellent Prampero run.
Dobratsch Nature Park (Austria)
dobrac Located to the west of Villach is the mighty Dobratsch (or 'Dobrač' in Slovene) mountain range, well known for its great natural beauty which is protected as part of the Dobratsch Nature Park, it also has some interesting cultural sights notably the two highest churches in the eastern alps - built as legend has it to commemorate a miracle on the summit, with it said that the Virgin Mother appeared on the peak in 1482 to save a stranded shepherd from a storm. The older of the two churches is the Slovenian Church or 'Slovenska cerkev' dating back to 1690, whilst nearby is the German church 'St Mary's' which was built just two years later in 1692.

We hope that the above information is of use in planning your holiday in Slovenia and invite you to contact us if you need further assistance.


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