Slovenia is my country

The Trenta Valley

This paradise valley is located in the heart of the Triglav National Park. It is carved deep into the mountains in the form of a horseshoe and opens up into wild and rugged side gorges. The upper part of the valley is characterised by the diversity of its surface forms: steep slopes, deep-cut valleys and rare flat areas. As is so often the case, this valley was carved by a glacier. Forest cover spreads across the valley floor and extends up to the tree line. Spruce is the dominate tree near the river. Higher elevations are given over to larches.

Romeo_ÄŚernuta_-_Zapoden_221996photo: www.slovenia.info

Trenta valley was first mentioned in a 14th century note. It was mined for iron ore for over 200 years until mining operations ceased in 1778. There are many houses typical to the area having shingle roofs and wooden outer staircases and balconies.

1372279853-8296-kekec-trenta-soca-valley-slovenia-4photo: www.slotrips.si

I will never forget my first visit to the valley. My father took the family on a trip when I was about ten years old. I was so impressed, and like everyone else immediately fell in love with that little piece of paradise.

team_building_trenta_2

photo: www.lifeevents.si

The Trenta Valley gives birth to Slovenia’s most beautiful river, the emerald green Soča. The river is ranked as one of the most magnificent Karst springs in the Julian Alps.

Soca_8

phot: www.zibelka.si

5

photo: www.thinkslovenia.com

The unique and beautiful color of the river Soča served as a background for a battle scene in Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia. We were very exited here and couldn’t wait to see the movie come to our theatres. We are very proud of the Soča River, even as we are very proud of our beautiful country.

Filming Prince Caspian on the Soča river

60168504photo: 24ur.com

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Slovenia is my country

The Logar Valley

HOW A YOUNG SHEPHERD WAS REWARDED FOR HIS KINDNESS

A young boy was watching after his cows high in a mountain valley when he saw three beautiful girls asleep in a nearby grassy field. He was amazed that they were identical in appearance. It was a clear hot day and the boy was afraid that the sun would burn them, so he broke off some branches from a tree and pushed them into the ground around the girls to give them some shade. When the girls awoke they were surprised by such a kind deed and wondered who had done it. However, they knew very well who had done it for they were fairies.
The boy was frightened and hiding for he had been blinded by the light that was shining from their hair. But the fairies quickly found him and asked him what he wanted as a reward for his kindness. His reply was simple—he didn’t want anything. Nevertheless, they offered him a never-ending supply of gold sequins. But he didn’t care about money or gold; he didn’t even know what it was. He loved his cows and sheep and could not understand how anyone could love something dead like money. Thinking about it, the fairies made a decision and told him he would hear cow bells on the way home with his cattle in the evening. But they said he must not look back until he arrived home. Then they disappeared.
As evening approached, the boy started his flock home. As he drew closer to home he heard more and more cow bells behind him. Forgetting what the fairies had told him, he looked back and saw a large herd of cows, sheep and goats following. But as soon as he looked back, many of the animals stopped following him. But the boy was not unhappy, for there were enough animals remaining for him and also for his poor neighbors.

This is one of many Slovenian folk tales. And who can say that creatures from fairy tales do not hide in beautiful places of the Slovenian countryside? The beauty of nature, like that in the fairy tale, stimulates imagination and if you indulge your imagination you may well see fairies and dwarfs. The Logar Valley is definitely such a place.

logarska dolinaPhoto: www.logarska-dolina.si

FAIRYTALE VALLEY

The Logar valley is one of the most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe. It extends into the Kamnik-Savinja Alps from the north. It is a wonderful place to escape all the problems of the city, and a place to find relaxation in the peaceful ambience of a remarkably beautiful landscape. Old farms formed this cultural landscape and treasure over the centuries. The Logar Valley is a perfect place for hiking, cycling, horseback riding or photo hunting. Here you can find many natural wonders like the tallest and most beautiful larches, yew trees and elm trees in all of Slovenia. The valley is beautiful in any season.

robanov kot

Photo: www.slovenia.info

robanov kot 2

Photo: www.summitpost.org

RINKA WATERFALL

The Rinka Waterfall is located at the very end of the Logar Valley. The Savinja river falls over a wide rock shelf forming the second highest waterfall in Slovenia. The water goes underground shortly after going over the falls and then comes back to the surface in the lower section of the valley.

slap rinka

Photo: komar29.tripod.com

Slovenia is my country

PEARL BY  THE RIVER SAVINJA

celje center

In the center of the city there’s an open marketplace where people buy fresh vegatables and fruits and also many places to sit down with friends and have coffee and cake. Many musical and cultural events take place in the center, especially in the summer.

celjska tržnicaPhoto:www.celje.info

Slovenian people are very out going, big sport fans and enthusiasts, always ready for any sort of recreation. Celje’s green spot and the most popular place for a stroll, jogging or bicycle ride is the city park by the river Savinja.

SavinjaPhoto:www.prodnik.com

Celje-mestni-parkPhoto:www.grad-celje.com

A little outside of the city there’s a lake Smartinsko jezero also very popular place to spend a day away from city rush and get some fresh air in the shadow of trees by the lake.

Šmartinssko jezeroPhoto:kraji.eu

Slovenia is my country

COUNTS, PRINCES AND A QUEEN

In 1341 the Lords of Sanneck were elevated to Counts of Celje. During the reign of the powerful and influential Herman II, Celje was involved at the highest level in European politics and Herman established alliances with the most significant noble families of the time. Of especial note was his alliance with Sigismund of Luxemburg. This alliance was strongly magnified as a consequence of Herman saving Sigismund’s life in a battle against the Turks. And even as Herman’s son Frideric was forced to marry Elizabeth, so to Herman’s youngest daughter Barbara was given no option but to marry the much older Sigismund, becoming queen of Hungary and later also queen of Germany and Bohemia. Barbara was an intelligent young woman, very well educated, and spoke many languages. She had an open mind and was interested in alchemy and astrology. She was ambitious like her father, politically skilful, and as a result became influential. With the accumulation of property in Slovenian, Croatian and Hungarian countries, the Counts of Celje gained the title of Princes.

stg moja

Foto: personal archive

COUNTS OF CELJE TODAY AND NEVER AGAIN

As mentioned in a prior post, Herman had nothing but trouble from his son Frideric. However, Frideric’s son Ulric was more like his grandfather. Unfortunately, in a giant blow to one of the greatest families in Europe and certainly to Celje, Ulric’s involvment in the struggle for the Hungarian crown ended fatally. Ulric was murdered by sword in Belgrade in 1456. Since he was the last legal heir, his death ended a dynasty and Celje’s glory. At his funeral a call was heard, “Counts of Celje today and never again”. Earlier the Counts had made a hereditary contract with their competition the Habsburgs, and with their dynasty at an end the Habsburgs inherited their legacy. The Old Castle has seen many things since then and is still standing strong looking down on the city and its citizens.

stg moja2Foto: personal archive

THE CENTER
Many events followed in later history. The city center is full of historical buildings, and many artifacts from the past have been collected and are on display in two City museums. In our time the old and the new buildings together give a special charm to the city. And they all tell a story about love and survival.

alfred nobel v celju

In memory of Alfred Nobel. He found friends and a woman of his heart in Celje and was regular visitor.

   www.celje.info

Celjski dom

www.zvkds.si

mnz celje

www.activeslo.com

Slovenia is my country


CELJE

A GOOD PLACE TO SETTLE DOWN

I never moved from my home town. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s nothing unusual in Slovenia. I was born in Celje, which is one of the largest cities. The city was built by the river Savinja and grew very fast after WWII. Today, the population of Celje is over 37,600. There are many interesting places and buildings to see in the center of town as well as in the surroundings.

Residents like me tend to be somewhat cocky about the history of Celje, since major events in our long history have left marks all over the city. Our city emblem is on the national flag, three yellow stars on blue, and an iconic symbol of the city.

Cljele

http://www.alfabet.si/grundtvig/celje.html

grb

http://www.grboslovje.si/register/teritoriji/celje.php

ANCIENT ROOTS

The history of the city goes way back to the Hallstatt era in the eighth century. In Celtic times the settlement was known as Keleia. Findings from that period suggest that Celts coined what is called Noric money in the region.

In 15 BC, when occupied by the Roman Empire, Celje was named Civitas Celeia. In AD 45 during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius it received municipal rights and was given the name Claudia Celeia. It was densely populated and secured with walls and towers. It started to flourish, had many great buildings, and an extensive system of streets and highways were built. As a result of all the construction, Claudia Celeia became known as little Troy.

In the 5th and 6th centuries the Romans fled when Slavic peoples invaded and settled in our part of the world during a period of great migration.

Celeia

LOVE, PASSION AND INTRIGUES

The greatest period in Celje’s history begins when the Counts of Celje arrive on the scene during the Medieval period. It was a time of knights, noble families, castles, and battles to gain territory and power. But like any other time, love was a force that changed even the greatest of plans.

A very ambitious family called the Nobel family of Zovnek inherited Celje’s castle from the Count of Vovberk in 14th century. When Herman the 2nd took over, the family made important alliances and connections, becoming one of the most important and influential Slovene families. Herman had great plans to acquire as much land and power as possible and did not hesitate to sacrifice his children to achieve that end.

stari gradhttp://kraji.eu/slovenija/stari_grad_celje/slo

His son Frideric was forced to marry Elizabeth Frankopan, a  member of Hungarian nobility from Croatia. She was a very cold and unlovable woman and their marriage wasn’t happy. They did, however, manage to have a son. Friderik was a passionate man, and always looking for adventure.  He spent many nights with young and vibrant local girls. As a result, the story goes, he also had many illegitimate descendants (and the rumors are that we, the people of Celje, are the result).

Friderik is also supposed to be the one guilty of two stars vanishing from the city coat of arms. Boys from the nearby village of Teharje caught him chasing after girls as usual one night and captured him. He had to promise to give Teharje two stars to let him go. So, two of the original five stars from the emblem of his family went to Teharje. But this didn’t stop him from searching for what he could not find at home. Finally he met a girl who took his heart.

A simple girl from the lower nobility, Veronika did not know who he was at the start. After she found out it was too late. By that time their hearts were burning for each other. They spent passionate moments together and Frideric began to think about how to get out of his empty marriage. He finally decided there was no other way but to murder his hated wife. So he did. But his father Herman found out and to say the least was not pleased. He built a tower beside the castle, named Frideric’s tower, and imprisoned him inside. He then accused Veronika of witchcraft. She was brought to trial but was acquitted. Herman was furious. She stood in the way of his plans, and he sent his knights after her. They captured and drowned her. They say Veronika’s ghost still wanders around. I don’t know if that’s true. I’ve never seen it.

friderikov stolphttp://www.mojzur.com/danes-odprli-friderikov-stolp

Frideric’s tower still stands. It was recently renovated and is open for visitors. Old walls hide the very truth but will never let  us know.

Herman also had a daughter. Coming next.

Slovenia is my country

It’s been a long time since I was an active writer. I have to admit, it took me quite some time to start again and with a much harder task than before. My native language is not English and I know, I’ll make errors but I hope I’ll be forgiven if what I write is interesting.

I’ll write about what I love very much: my country. I know, we all love our countries, what is special about mine you might ask? Well, for start, it is so small and seems so insignificant, that many don’t even know it’s on the world’s map. But I will tell you stories about beautiful nature, great history, extraordinary people and many things that everyone, who once visit, fall in love with and want to visit again.

In my introduction I will  give you some general information about Slovenia so you can get a feeling for it, a feeling  where the story takes place..

Slovenia is a young republic. For hundred years the people of Slovenia have been dreaming about being independent. We had foreign rulers and been part of foreign states until 1991, when we decided to go out of Yugoslavia and create our own state. Many changes have taken place since then. But that’s not the subject of my writing at this time. Here’s more information: Slovenia is located on the Adriatic sea, bordering Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast. It has a population of 2,05 million. Member of European Union and NATO. It’s capital and largest city is Ljubljana (we pronounce “j” as “y”).

The Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled us for many years and had the biggest cultural influence on our population. This influence is still seen in our cuisine and customs. But where did we get our lack of humor from? We are not the most humorous nation although others may find us funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5dnRL37MhI