Welcome to my first blog of 2018 and my first one about a new destination that I will be highlighting this year – Žirovnica! The area has a wealth of natural and cultural attractions, about which I will be endeavouring to write as much as possible in my regular blog posts.
Though not so well known among visitors to Slovenia, pretty much every Slovene knows, and has visited, Žirovnica; specifically to Vrba, to visit the birth house of one of Slovenia’s most famous men and greatest poet, France Prešeren (1800-1849).
At this time of year, when the days are short and sunlight is at a premium, I like to take a walk on the aptly-named Sunny Path (Sonča pot) from Žirovnica to St. Lawrence’s church (sv. Lovrenc).
You can join the path and reach the church from several places. I like to park in Žirovnica then take the path that leads towards the steps that go up towards the distinctive water surge tank. Don’t go up the steps but just to the right the path, though not marked, is easily visible as it traverses the grassy meadows above the villages of Žirovnica.
As the name suggests, on a sunny day the path is bathed in sunlight throughout the day and also offers fantastic views over the wide Radovljica plains and towards the high mountains of the Julian Alps.
You pass a small shrine then continue on the slightly undulating terrain.
On reaching a small wooden cabin a flight of steps lead up towards St. Lawrence’s church which is nestled into the slopes above the hamlet of Zabreznica.
Although usually locked, you can take a peek into the church through the windows of the main entrance door, and with a bit of nifty camera/phone angling, get a great view of the church’s ornate interior which is adorned by the Stations of the Cross.
Other than its particularly unique and serene location and wonderful panoramic views, a particular feature of the church is its presbytery which has painted pictures of the flowers that are found in the area surrounding the church.
On the outside wall there is an unusual mosaic of St. Christopher.
A church was first built here during the time of the Turkish invasions, but was later abandoned in 1821 when a new parish church was built in the village of Breznica. In the 1990s volunteers built a new church on the foundations of the original one.
There are plenty of well-positioned benches for soaking up the rays and enjoying the view!
Even on a slightly hazy winter’s day, the views are pretty good, I’m sure you’ll agree!
You can choose to return along the sunny path, or take the path that descends steeply and directly down from the church through the forest. On reaching the bottom you can walk back through the hamlets of Breznica and Zabreznica to return to the start.
Find out more about the Sunny Path and other similar walking and hiking paths in the Zirovnica area here – http://visitzirovnica.si/en/
© Adele in Slovenia