Dolenjska, different experiences

Šmarješke Toplice

Municipality of Šmarješke Toplice – source of life energy

When you enter the municipality of Šmarješke Toplice, you enter a world of vineyards, meadows, forests, legends and especially the relaxing embrace of the thermal pools, where the hospitable local people with warm smiles offer you a glass of homemade wine and invite you to join in their activities.

Fifty years ago, the area was distinguished by agricultural activity. Currently, there are only a few farms and farming is now a secondary activity. Exemplary vineyards are now arranged throughout the wine growing hills, where diligent hands produce the finest Cviček. Beekeeping is also well developed here. Throughout Slovenia, this area is known primarily for health tourism, and it has developed into one of the most modern Slovenian thermal centres. The natural features provide a wide range of sporting activities and other experiences directly in nature. The rich cultural and historical heritage is uncovered through archaeological findings and various religious and ethnological heritages.

1. Klevevž

The Klevevž area includes the Zgornja Klevevška jama cave, which is situated near the Radulja River gorge below the elevation where the ruins of Klevevž Castle, the Spodnja Klevevška jama cave, in which there is a hypothermic spring (so far the only cave spa), and the Radulja River gorge, which starts at Klevevške Toplica, are located. In its upper reaches, with short but rugged canyons and nearly vertical banks, the Radulja creates less noise, effervescent waterfalls and jumps. The Klevevške Toplica Hypothermic spring with temperatures from 21 to 25°C is also suitable for swimming. At the confluence of the Laknica and Radulja Rivers, the Zdravci wetland area is found, which during heavy rainfall overflows its banks and floods the plain, providing a habitat for some rare birds and animals like grey and white herons, storks, otters, beavers, crayfish, deer, foxes, wild rabbits and pheasants. Hundred-year-old willows grow near the Radulja and give the region its unique look.

2. Indian Lotus

In the centre of the Šmarješke Toplice health resort, where the botanical trail also winds along, there is a lake that is fed by hot springs and has for several years now enabled the growth of a rare plants species – the Indian Lotus. In summer, the water surface is densely covered with large waxy leaves and above the surface hundreds of delicate pink flowers emerge. Currently, the Indian Lotus is present only in some parts of Asia and Australia. Until now, it was thought that the Indian Lotus could not survive the winter outdoors, therefore the fact that it is growing in Šmarješke Toplice is thus even more special and interesting.

3. Parish Church of St. Marjeta in Šmarjeta

There are two churches in Šmarjeta, namely the existing structure that was built in the first quarter of the 20th century and its much older predecessor, which had to be removed and rebuilt. The wall painting of the crucifixion, which is the work of an unknown Italian painter from the 17th century, is a renowned treasure of Slovenian religious paintings and the largest baroque painting in Slovenia.

4. Parish Church of St. Andrew in Bela Cerkev

Oral tradition states that Bela Cerkev received its name from its white stone church, which from a distance distinguishes it from other wooden architecture. Bela Cerkev was first referred to in historical documents indirectly in 1283 in reference to the vicar. This is also the first mention of this parish. The village was not specifically mentioned until 1291. Its location can also be associated with the church mentioned in a famous document issued in 1074 in Oglej.

5. Cast-Iron Fountain in Šmarješke Toplice

The fountain was designed during the second half of the 19th century in one of the Austrian foundries. It was brought to Šmarješke Toplice in 1926 by Dr. Viktor Gregorčič, the former owner and pioneer of tourism in Šmarješke Toplice. He incorporated drinking water into the fountain and it thus became the first Toplice plumbing. The garden surrounding it has become a place of rich social life. In Slovenia, only four such fountains have been preserved. It ranks among the most important cultural heritage spots.

Information: TIC Šmarješke Toplice, Šmarješke Toplice 115, 8220 Šmarješke Toplice, +386 (0)7 30 74 073, +386 (0)51 64 82 12