Cobblers’ Sunday takes place annually on the first Sunday in September , when the streets of the old town of Tržič come to life.
The event attracts large numbers of visitors, who come to browse the market stalls, enjoy the entertainment programme and take advantage of free guided tours and entrance to galleries and museums. The programme, as seen below (in Slovenian) actually begins on Saturday 3rd September, when from 10am to 1pm a Festival of Old Games will take place in the atrium of the municipal building (občina).
On Sunday 4th – the main day – some of the highlights of the programme include: a live concert by the Saša Avsenik Ensemble, entertainment for children on a bouncy slide and face painting, a fashion show with a difference, a clown show, creative workshops for children and guided tours of the Germovka iron foundry.
The tradition of Cobblers’ Sunday dates back over 500 years, attesting to Tržić’s heritage as the centre of Slovenia’s shoemaking industry. It is associated with the custom called frejšpreh’nga’, when it was on this day that in the past, cobblers’ apprentices were promoted to journeymen.
In 1985, the old town centre of Tržič was designated the status of a cultural and historical monument. Though, as with so many town centres these days – and not only in Slovenia – the old town centre itself is not the thriving hub it once was. It is, however, still home to some interesting and unique buildings and features, particularly the portals embellished with flowers.
Cobblers Sunday is you can learn more about the town’s history by following the Traces of Industry Trail.
The trail, which is marked by metal shoe imprints, leads past the houses of former cobblers’ workshops…
…as well as the town’s last remaining firbec okno’ window. The word ‘firbec’ refers to a nosey person and ‘okno’ (meaning window) refers to the window from which nosey residents could look at the goings-on in the town by looking through the glass pane at the bottom of the protruding window, without the need to lean out of the window.
Be sure to take advantage of free entrance to Tržič Museum, which is located in Muzejska ulica (Museum Street). The museum is housed in the former Pollak dyehouse and tannery, which dates from 1811.
The museum’s numerous collections take you through Tržič’s historic industries including shoemaking, leather, crafts, trade, winter sports, local history, and art. The museum is far more interesting than one might think and has numerous interactive exhibits, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Inside there are a range of exhibits, some of which are interactive, through which you can find about more about the town’s tradition of shoemaking as well as its other industry heritage, including skiing, leather and other crafts.
Through the day on Sunday there will also be the chance to taste traditional Tržič bržola as well as other typical stews cooked in a cauldron.
A fun day out for all the family! Now let’s just hope the weather gods are kind, but whatever the weather, come and enjoy the fun of the fair!
© Adele in Slovenia