Črnomelj is the largest city in Bela krajina. The old town centre is situated on a promontory on a narrow bend of the Lahinja and Dobličica Rivers. The first settlement already existed here during the Bronze Age, and since then this little bend of the river has been continuously inhabited. Written sources already began mentioning Črnomelj in 1228 under the name Schirnomel. In 1407, it received city rights and quickly began to develop in terms of trade and commerce. Its economy was given a new stimulus in 1914 when the first train arrived to the city. During the National Liberation War, the first meeting of the Slovenian National Liberation Committee was held here. Today, the city has a population of 6,000.
1. Črnomelj Old Town Centre
On a narrow bend of the Lahinja and Dobličica Rivers lies the central market of Črnomlj, which encompasses the medieval castle, the Commendam of the Knights Templar and the former savings and loans building. Next to the main street stands the Church of St. Peter and, not far from there, the Pastoral Centre with its archaeological exhibition and the gothic Church of the Holy Spirit. Many houses are decorated with commemorative panels that testify to the importance of Črnomlj and all of Bela krajina during World War II. For visitors, the Primožič House (house of Bela krajina artisans) and Črnomlj cellar (Bela krajina Wine-Information Centre, where it is possible to taste local wines) are of particular interest.
2. Lahinja Regional Park
The Lahinja Regional Park is in the heart of Bela krajina near to Dragatuš. It is an exceptionally rich mixture of natural and cultural heritage, boasting eight protected natural monuments, six cultural monuments and two nature reserves. The main attraction is the peaceful and clean Lahinja River. The village of Pusti Gradac on a bend of the Lahinja River is also worthy of special attention with its functioning Klepčev mill and Venetian sawmill. At the top of the river peninsula lies the Church of All Saints, which features a famous bell tower and many paintings. The Park Information Centre is located within a 200-year old house in the village of Veliki Nerajec. Visitors can observe the traditional Bela krajina architecture and the gallery of home and artistic crafts. The Župančič path that connects Dragatuš with Vinica also winds through the Lahinja Regional Park.
3. Kolpa Regional Park and homestead Šokčev dvor
The Kolpa Regional Park encompasses a large area along the border of the Kolpa River between the Old Market and the village of Dragoš. The main attraction is certainly the clean and warm Kolpa River with its exceptional biodiversity. The Kolpa River was also very important for people's lives, because its strength powered many mills and sawmills, some of which operate today. Another important element of the park's cultural heritage is the area interwoven with pastures, sinkholes and commons that are still established and maintained by the work of diligent locals to this day. Here visitors can encounter the traditional way of life of the Uskok inhabitants of the homestead Šokčev dvor or take a look at the Orthodox Church in Milič. The Bela krajina Easter eggs, linen production and Bela krajina embroideries are of particular interest.
4. Mitrej nad Rožancem
The Temple of Mithras, shrine of the Roman god Mithras, is located in the Judovje grove above the village of Rožanec. The relief carved into the rock displays a classic image of Mithras killing a white bull. It was created at the end of the second century. According to legend, a raven brought the counsel of the creators to the god Mithras, who was born out of rock, that for salvation on earth he should sacrifice the white bull. When he did, flora is what resulted from the spilled blood of the bull and fauna is what resulted from its seed. In the depiction of the scene, we discern the personification of the sun and moon, the symbols of light and darkness, as well as the priests Cautes and Cautopates. This ancient religion was brought to Bela krajina by soldiers who chose to create a sanctuary in the remote and isolated ancient quarry. Nearby, a little higher than Mitrej, stands the Church of St. George.
5. A Commemorative Collection of Oton Župančič's Works in Vinica
Vinica is a clustered village situated on the Kolpa River and is the birthplace of Oton Župančič. Oton Župančič was a Slovenian poet, playwright, translator and editor. Among his best known works are the literary works Čaša opojnosti and Zimzelen pod snegom, the play Veronika Deseniška and the Ciciban, Pisanice and the Mehurčki children's collections. A commemorative collection of his works has found its home now on the ground floor of a house that was built on the site of the former Župančič estate. In the first room, visitors can become acquainted with the poet's family as well as the times and environment in which he spent his childhood and youth. The second room is dedicated to presenting Župančič's literary work and creativity.
Information: TIC Črnomelj, Trg svobode 3, 8340 Črnomelj, +386 (0)7 30 56 530, +386 (0)40 883 162