Dolenjska, different experiences

Dolenjske Toplice

The Municipality of Dolenjske Toplice spans 111km², of which 81% is forest area. It received its name from the sources of thermal water that gave this place and its surroundings their special significance during the area’s development. The hot water springs have distinguished this place since ancient times, which is confirmed by the archaeological sites in the immediate vicinity of the settlement. In 1385, the Toplice (hot springs) came into the six-year ownership of the Counts of Auersperg, who began to develop tourism by following the example of some of the then Central European hot springs. Today, Dolenjske Toplice combines incredible offers of health, wellness and congress tourism, an interesting cultural heritage and a wide selection of beautiful nature sites, which are the main attraction for hikers, cyclists and adventurers.

1. Cvinger Archaeological Path

The path runs along the hill near to Dolenjske Toplice and is where the remains of ancient forts, smelteries and tumuli burial sites from the early Iron Age (first millennium B.C.) have been found.

2. Soteska Manor

The Soteska Manor was once one of the finest in Bela krajina. It includes a renaissance-designed park with a garden pavilion. The 17th century pavilion, called the Hudičev Turn (Devil's Tower), was designed in the shape of a clover leaf. The interior is decorated in a baroque style with scenes from ancient mythology, personifications of faith, hope and love and illusionistic compositions from the atelier of the master Almanach. The pavilion's unusual name is explained by the folklore tradition, which states that the Lords of the Castle would organise hedonistic fun therein, parties that were considered to be sinful by the rural folk and thus the name Hudičev Turn was born. Every Sunday, a tour of the collection is organised in the former manor outbuilding with transport there operated by the Technical Museum in Bistra.

3. Plavica Herbal Farm

This Herbal Farm Park is located in the picturesque valley of Črmošnjice in the village of Cerovec near Dolenjske Toplice. The park is part of the Plavica Herbal Farm and one of the most visited points in Dolenjska. The farm has two parts. Around the farm extends a large area of medicinal plants that is embedded into the natural environment. Medicinal trees and bushes grow in the forest, and on the hillside, meadows and landscaped moraines are home to subshrubs and wild medicinal plants. The wild medicinal herbs grow in landscaped beds. Here it is possible to see and obtain information on about 400 medicinal plants that grow throughout the year.

4. Občice and Podstenice – Stories of the Kočevar Settlers

In Občice, the Society for Kočevar Settlers (Gottscheer Altsiedler Verein) is responsible for keeping the cultural heritage of this region alive. Within the cultural centre, a collection of objects that once belonged to the Kočevars is on display and also two models of Kočevar villages that no longer exist. Here you can learn the interesting history and about the life of the Kočevars who lived in the area 600 years ago. Recently, fruit tree seedlings were also planted in order to create a bank of old fruit varieties. 15km away in Podstenica, a replica of a Kočevar village is on display that allows you get a real glimpse of that former life. Within that fragrant, green environment, you may also take a tour of the beekeeping museum, displaying bee-keeping technology, the development of bees and bee products, and even have a taste of some honeys and honey products.

5. Base 20

From April 1943 to December 1944, Base 20 was the residence of the Slovenian National Liberation Movement's political leadership. It is the only such constructed and preserved resistance movement headquarters of its kind in Europe and an important monument to Slovenia's statehood. 26 barracks were built there. The role and importance of Base 20 is now presented through a permanent exhibition in barrack 16 (“propagandists' barrack”). The exhibition presents the military and political leadership of the resistance and outlines a variety of events. In the vicinity, the Jelendol and Zgornji Hrastnik partisan hospitals are also located as well as the Pugled hospital a little further away.

Information: TIC Dolenjske Toplice, Sokolski trg 4, 8350 Dolenjske Toplice, +386 (0)7 38 45 188