Through Time and Culture

Archaeological sites of mountain settlements on Sv. Lovrenc, Sv. Jakob and above Bašelj, where Gradišče is located, the most famous settlement from the early medieval Carniola, testify to the fact that for many reasons, our places have always been interesting for settlement.

Important archeological finds from the Old Slavic era place Gradišče among the most important sites from this time period in Slovenia. Today, the churches of Sv. Lovrenc above Bašelj, Sv. Miklavž above Mače and Sv. Jakob above Potoče, which are strung like a necklace under the slopes of Storžič, offer a beautiful view of the valley. On the other side of the Kokra valley, at Možjanca, on a beautiful vantage point at the top of the hill, stands the church of Sv. Nikolaj, from which a stunning view opens up across the Kokra valley towards Triglav. Also worth mentioning is the church of Sv. Lenart on Breg, whose ambience is the most well-preserved medieval element in the country. Also, its specialty is a wooden ceiling from the 15th century, the only one of its kind in Slovenia, and the first still life depicted in Slovenia, a drawing of figs. The highest are the ruins of Pusti Castle and you can find them on the way to Sv. Jakob. The history of the castle dates back to the 12th century, when it reigned mightily over the area and controlled traffic through the Kokra Valley. Slightly lower is the 14th-century Turn Castle, the home of the first Slovenian poet, writer, composer and storyteller Josipina Urbančič Turnograjska.  Today, Turn Castle is a part of our home for the elderly. Next to Lake Črnava, just a stone's throw from Turn Castle, stands the most famous of the Preddvor castles, Hrib Castle from the 16th century. A stunning park with exotic trees once flourished around it. On a walk along the Forest Learning Path, you will certainly notice the magnificent redwoods that have defied time for centuries. You will end your visit to the castles at Dvor Castle from the 12th century. The castle, after which Preddvor is named, is located in the center of the village. The last Count, Arthur Wurzbach, sold the land and stables, and at the beginning of the last century the castle was converted for tourism purposes, thus creating the first beginnings of our tourism industry. Later, the castle offered a safe home for abandoned children, but today it has been thoroughly renovated and again serves tourism purposes.

A special feature of Preddvor are also four castles, which can all be visited on foot in a single day. 

History and culture, however, would not have been possible without the great people who lived in our parts. We are proud of the first Slovenian writer, poet, composer and storyteller Josipina Urbančič, who wrote under the pseudonym Turnograjska, as her home was Turn Castle. She lived in a time when creating in the Slovene language was an exception rather than a rule, especially for a woman in the male-dominated world of her time. The pastor, Fran Lakmayer, is considered the father of Slovenian beekeeping. The clever beekeeper wrote the first systematic textbook in the Slovene language which was considered a kind of beekeeping catechism among our beekeepers. Matija Valjavec, locally known as Kračman, is to be thanked for the extensive collection of Slovene folk literature, which would over time have been forgotten if it were not for his efforts. It gives the impression that the mountain is patched up there. Folk legend tells of two farmers who stubbornly quarreled over the forest until one of them exclaimed in anger: "Let the devil take him!". In an instant, the words came true and the farmers were staring in fright at the infernal being, who ran towards the mountains with the forest on his back. He had just reached the middle of the mountain when the bell in the church of Sv. Jakob announced the dawn. The devil lost his power and dropped the burden from his back to fall on the slope of the hill. This is how the solitary forest was created, which to this day still shows travelers the direction to Preddvor.

Legends and tales also live in places with a long history. Our most famous is the legend of the origin of the Devil's borscht (Hudičev boršt), a dark patch of forest in the middle of the steep grassy slope of Zaplata. 

Fran Lakmayer - a giant of Slovenian beekeeping
Hrib Castle with a boathouse
Belska cesta in Preddvor
Josipina Urbančič Turnograjska monument