ljubljansko barje

The footsteps of men


Bistra Castle was in fact a monastery from the 13th century till 1782, when the Carthusian order was dissolved. The estate acquired its present form after several reconstructions in the mid-19th century, when it became the property of the Galle family. In 1945, the castle was nationalised, while from 1951 onwards it has been occupied by the Technical Museum of Slovenia. The museum excites most admiration with its collection of automobiles owned by the former Yugoslav President Tito and its Traffic Section with some rare specimens of vehicles, including the tramcar that used to be in service around 1901 in Ljubljana. On display in the Timber Section are the first reconstructed water-powered sawmills in Europe, while in the Hunting Section several trophies of indigenous red deer captured decades ago in the Snežnik mountains are exhibited. Much attention is also drawn by the fishing collection and the Forestry Section. Along the source of the Bistra stream, an old Venetian sawmill powered by a paddled spindle and a veneer house are situated. A little downstream, an old reconstructed blacksmith's workshop with the >repač< power hammer, one of the last of this size in Slovenia, are on view as well. Along the castle spreads a park with a pond and educative forest trail above it.
The Museum is open daily except Mondays from 10.00 to 18.00 hrs. Tel.: +386 (0)1 750 6670; web address: www.tms.si.


The Pungart hill is strewn with the ruins of the original Ig Castle, described in literature as early as in 1261. The present Sonnegg Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1436. In the 15th century, its owners were protestant noblemen, who in their religious ardour destroyed the nearby Gothic, otherwise Catholic Church of St. George and beheaded as well as burnt a saint's statue. This event was described by Valvasor in his Glory of the Duchy of Carniola - with a note that the locals eventually took revenge on one of the noblemen in the very same way. In the revolutionary year of 1848, the castle was the scene of the last peasant rising and the burning of large estate books.
During World War II, the castle was burnt down, whereas today it hosts a detention centre, which is the reason why the castle with its surroundings is a closed area.


The Lisičje Mansion, which carries the same name as the settlement above Škofljica, was built in the 16th century. Along it, the largest botanical and pomological garden in the former Carniola used to exist, with over 50 varieties of apples and pears, as well as cherries, apricots, nuts, vines and numerous ornamental plants from the whole of Europe and overseas countries as well. After changing numerous owners, it became the property of the monks of Salesian order. After World War II, however, the mansion has been left to fall to ruin.


Jožef Plečnik designed the church for his nephew, a priest, on the initiative of Fran Saleški Finžgar, the Parish Priest of Trnovo and his neighbour. The building was completed in 1938, and although conceived as a temporary church it is the most integral part of this great master architect. Its base was made of stone, the rest of wood, intended for eventual superstructure which, however, was clearly thwarted by the oncoming World War II. As the church is situated on marsh terrain, it was built on piles. The nave is reached by a stone bridge, here and there variegated by bricks, similar as in the National and University Library in Ljubljana, also designed by him. The church's interior is a compliment to folk architecture, as well as to modesty - or rather to the lack of means. Most of the equipment is made of wood, whereas for some support columns ordinary sewage pipes were used. The church can be visited on agreement made in advance with the Parochial Office Ljubljana Barje, Črna vas 48, tel.: +386 (0)1 427 2218.


This little church situated on the Britof fallow was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries on the ruins of a Roman necropolis. The Roman stone headstones were partially built into the church walls and also arranged in its interior. The present church building illustrates the harmony of the three great European styles of art - Romanticist, Gothic and Baroque. The church is full of frescoes of various styles, with a collection of Roman tombstones and inscriptions in its interior.


When the first train drove across it in 1856, it was considered a technical and architectural masterpiece. With its double arches, the 561 metres long viaduct wound 38 metres above the ground. For its construction 4,000 oak piles driven into the marshy ground, 24 vaulted columns, 31,000 cubic stone blocks and 5 million bricks were used. As a significant strategic point and military supply route, it was partially destroyed by the retreating old Yugoslav army at the beginning of World War II. The Italians indeed repaired it quickly, but the structure was finally obliterated by the persistent allied bombing at the end of 1944. Today, it is only the solitary column, around which the new part of Borovnica eventually grew, that reminds us of this 19th century construction masterpiece


 At Staje near Ig, just a few steps from the main road, there is a curiosity that dates back to the Roman times - an epitaph engraved in a live rock. The locals call it "The Old Man", although nobody knows why. In the area of Ig, archaeologists have discovered over a hundred Roman tombstones and urngraves, as well as Early Christian oil lamps. Here, a Roman fortification wall used to stand, which was in the 3rd and 4th centuries, during the Roman Empire, part of the Roman defence line with numerous fortresses, walled-in settlements, watchtowers, and tollhouses where road taxes had to be paid. In the 7th and 8th centuries, this very wall depicted the settlement line of the Slavs. From Ig past Staje, Kot, Iška vas towards Iški Vintgar, we can follow the footpath leading along this Roman fortification wall.


The Church of St. Mary of the Rosary at Tomišelj below Mt Krim can be seen from almost all parts of Ljubljansko barje. The present-day Baroque church with two side chapels and two belfries stands on the spot of the older church mentioned in literature as early as in 1526. The feast of St. Mary of the Rosary has been celebrated each October for over 400 years. It was instigated by Pope Pius V after the Christian fleet's victory over Turkish ships during the battle of Lepanto in 1571. Prior to the battle, the Pope appealed to the believers to ask for help, with heavenly prayer, the heavenly Virgin Mary, which is why this victory was ascribed to her protection.

St. Anna stands on a steep slope above the old Podpeč Quarry. As the hill juts out like a huge pier above the Barje, the view from the platform around the church is amazingly beautiful and vast, for it embraces the entire Ljubljansko barje from Škofljica to Vrhnika. In its present form, the Church of St. Anna has stood here since the end of the 16th century, when built on foundations of an old Gothic church. The main pilgrimage gathering is held on Sunday after St. Anna's Day (26th July).