The Heart of Slovenia comprises the towns of Lukovica, Litija, Kamnik, and the surrounding villages and countryside. I have been to Kamnik on several occasions but had never been to Lukovica or Litija. So, when I discovered there was going to be an Open Weekend in Lukovica, I decided it would be a good opportunity to visit, particularly as my parents were here on a visit from the UK and, unfortunately, the weather had taken a turn for the worse. In fact, however, despite the weather our day spent in Lukovica turned out to be one of the highlights of their week-long trip.
Our first port of call was the Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association Centre in Brdo pri Lukovici, where on a stroll along the Beekeeping Education Path visitors can get right up close to the 3 large beehives of the Lukovica, Grosuplje and Domžale beekeeping associations. The centre offers an expansive range of services for beekeepers, training and education, a restaurant, a shop, and also, upon prior arrangement, guided tours can be arranged.
Also in the same village are the remainders of the Renaissance Brdo Castle, also known as Kersnik Manor (Keršnikova graščina), after the influential Slovene writer, Janko Kersnik, who is buried here in the family vault. The castle was built at the beginning of the 16th century and was burnt down during the second World War. The walls and tower have been partly renovated.
After leaving the centre of Lukovica, and more by luck than judgement, we happened upon Dvorec Rus, in the village of Šentvid pri Lukovici, which was also holding an open-day. Wow, what a goldmine this place is, and such a revelation. From the outside it looks like a fairly ordinary building, however, inside it’s a real treasure trove of historical museum items, a gallery, a wedding hall, and more. The history of the building dates back to 1710 and through the years it has had many different owners and functions, most recently and until just a few years ago, it was a restaurant. These days its maintained by an enthusiastic group of volunteers who organise occasional concerts, workshops, theatre productions etc. We were welcomed like old friends, shown around, and then sat around the fire (yes, it was August, but it was cold!) and enjoyed the hospitality and array of home-produced treats that were on offer.
Here is me with the current owner, who looks remarkably similar to the house’s original owner, as seen in the 2nd photo below!
I also had the opportunity to meet the renowned Slovene castle writer, calligraphist and artist, Stane Osolnik, who drew this wonderful picture for me. I felt truly honoured.
By now the rain had eased and we were able to continue a further few kilometres onwards to the artificially built Lake Gradišče (Gradiško jezero), where we walked the 4-km path around the lake. The lake was built to prevent flooding following the building of the motorway and these days its a popular recreational and picnic spot
To see more of Lukovica, including some of the places I mentioned above, you can watch this newly produced video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGCvIeNDbFg
You will note the title of this blog ‘Part One’, since I’m certainly not done with exploring the Heart of Slovenia, so watch this space for more!
Beekeepers Association of Slovenia (in Slovene) – http://www.czs.si/
The Heart of Slovenia Tourism – http://www.heartofslovenia.com/en/tourism