The Kozjansko Region

Inspiring diversity of the surroundings

The Kozjansko or Srednje Sotelsko Region is a hilly region in the Bistrica river basin that borders the picturesque river Sotla on the east; the northern border is marked by the Plešivec and Žusem hills, and the southern border by the Bohor and Orlica hills. 

The region of “counts and vagabonds”

Marked by vineyards and forests, the Kozjansko Region with Obsotelje has been classified as a UNESCO biosphere reservation since 2010.

There are 120 different bird species living in the area of which 25 are classified as rare or even globally endangered species; black stork, woodpecker, corncrake, common restart, lark and others. In the vicinity of Slivnica Lake, you can find a bird reservation, Gruška cave and an unforgettable rock known as Ajdovska žena.

There are also many precious plants growing here: Daphne blagayana, Greater pasqueflower, Carniolan lily, Veronica jacquinii, Hungarian clover, different orchids, and many more.

The Kozjansko Region prides itself on its rich cultural dowry: Podsreda and Planina Castles, Olimje monastery, Kalvarija with the Church of St. Rok in Šmarje pri Jelšah, numerous mills, pillories, and homesteads.

There are especially many nice features for families; a trip to numerous farms brings a diverse experience – from feeding farm animals to fresh food tastings, hay barn or old working tools viewing.

Amongst the gentle hills besides the rivers Sotla, Sava, Savinja and Voglajna learn about a local legend – the vagabond Guzaj. Perhaps you would rather learn about the lives of the Ipavec composers, a typical farm of the Kozjansko Region or the lifestyle of yore?

Paths across the hills of the Kozjansko Region will lead you to remote places and legends, traditions and tales… to folk singers and fiddlers – to authenticity.

Experience an untold story, visit the Kozjansko Region! 

Olimje: On the path of an old tradition

The still active monastery Olimje was populated in 1663 by the monastic Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit; they built a baroque church, decorated it with black and golden altars, and devoted it to the Feast of the Assumption. They also founded an apothecary, the third oldest in Europe, and began a herbal tradition that is preserved today with 250 species of medicinal herbs still growing. Their herbal apothecary on the ground floor of the monastery offers medicinal concoctions for your difficulties, or you can enjoy the serenity and fresh air in their garden. 

The Museum of Farm Equipment Podčetrtek

Are you interested in the lifestyle of yore? The Museum of Farm Equipment Podčetrtek exhibits old farm tools and domestic equipment of the former farmers of the Obsotelje Region. A rich collection which was collected over a period of more than half a century. 

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Emino wine cellar with wine tasting

There is a special welcome connected to this region: “There is never so much wine that we could not drink it alone, but never too little for us not to treat you with it.”

Let the wine show you the true hospitality of the Kozjansko Region! At the Emino wine cellar, home of premium wine from the Šmarje-Virštajn Region, you will taste authentic Slovene tradition and enjoy an unforgettable experience. 

Kozjansko Regional Park

Kozjansko Regional Park is one of the oldest and largest protected areas in the country. Its features rare, endangered, and vulnerable animal and plant species and their habitats; with its biotic diversity, the park is classified as one of the most important environmental areas in Slovenia and Europe. Its dry grasslands, traditional orchards, Illyrian Fagus sylvatica forests, and marsh meadows along the river Sotla are habitats that create a rich landscape and make the park a part of NATURE 2000.

Podsreda Castle

Podsreda Castle is one of the best preserved castles in the country. The first floor of the castle represents the Countess that characterised the castle, Hema Breže-Selška, while wood engravings in the renaissance room reveal old-style equipment and clothing. A medieval kitchen is also on display and so are the dungeons, hidden under the stairway; there is also a permanent exhibition of France Slana’s paintings. 

The root cellars

A phenomenon from the Kozjansko Region which you simply must see! Root cellars or pits, made in quartz sand which the Pannonian Sea deposited in the Bizeljsko Region millions of years ago, are classified as the autochthonous natural, historical, ethnological, and cultural heritage of the area. They were used to store turnips and other field crops and some of them are over two hundred years old.

Rogatec

The town of Rogatec is located between the mountain Donačka Gora and the river Sotla. Two churches from the Styrian Baroque, castle ruins, and a renovated renaissance mansion Strmol, where numerous concerts, social and business meetings, weddings, exhibitions and culinary events are organised, are located on the medieval square. The life-style of the noblemen and farmers can be seen at an open-air museum, where a type of bread called žulika is prepared, and where you can even learn folk dances and handicraft skills. 

The Treasures of Rifnik

The Treasures of Rifnik Museum, located opposite the Church of St. George, exhibits this magical town’s history of past millennia. There are more than 600 items exhibited - from the Neolithic period to the arrival of the Slavs. 

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Orchid sites viewings

Many a thing grows in the grasslands of the Kozjansko Regional Park. But did you know that many autochthonous orchids can be found there as well?

There are more than 70 species in Slovenia and the grasslands of the Kozjansko Region are one of the richest, where microbiologists have discovered a diversity of hygrocybes.  

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A night trip and stargazing

A night trip and stargazing at a local farm. In the Kozjansko Region, you will see the stars like never before! But first, you will have to return to school – Prevorje primary school, where an observatory with an open view to the southern sky awaits you. The absence of light pollution makes the experience in Prevorje unique. 

Planina Castle

Follow the trail of Veronika Deseniška and Friderik Celjski to Planina Castle. Planina castle was one of the most important feudal estates in Styria. It overlooks the eponymous square Planina pri Sevnici and even though it is a ruin today, you will feel the magic that was described by a German author of Slovenian descent, Ana Warmbrectsammer, in her historical novel Counts of Celje, Today and Nevermore; in the 13th century, it was mentioned by the poet Wolfram von Eschenbach in his famous epic Parsifal. You can also view a renovated granary that is suitable for gastronomical and other events. 

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Rogaška Slatina

A town with centuries-long spa and rich glassware tradition offers much more, such as trekking trips. One of them will lead you to Tržišče, where the Church of St. Mary from the 16th century can be viewed, past the glazing workshops and to the exhibited works of art – Styrian glažutas.