Dolenjske Toplice, Šentjernej, Trebnje, Žužemberk

Dolenjske Toplice

In the middle of the wide Krka Valley above Novo Mesto sits Meniška vas and behind the hill lies Dolenjske Toplice ( Municipality in Slovenia ), the oldest thermal spa in Dolenjska.
Through the Črmosnjica valley leads a road to Bela Krajina and up the slope of Rog another one to the WW II museum – the Baza 20 complex.

Šentjernej

Near Šentjernej, in a secluded valley under the Gorjanci, lies the Carthusian monastery Pleterje. It was founded in 1407 by the Counts of Cilli. In 1899 it was bought by the Carthusians and rebuilt.
The only building left from the original monastery is the Gothic church. The Carthusians have in possession around 20 hectares of walled grounds with buildings on 4 hectares.

Trebnje

The ribbon settlement is situated on the green hilly land by the “intermittent” Temenica and is the center of this part of Dolenjska. The Temenica disappears in the swallow holes near Ponikve, and when its flow is bigger, also in the Risavica swallow hole.
In prehistoric times the town was settled by the Celts and later on Romans have built here a military camp Praetorium Latobicorum. Today there is a well-known gallery of self-made painters in Trebnje.

The Mirna Valley

At the beginning of the Mirna Valley is Mirna. Ruins of the Mirna Castle (Mirenski grad) perched above a tributary valley are slowly being rebuilt. Settlements are scattered on the edges of the valley only. Numerous castles at the side of the valley testify to the former importance of Mirna. On Debenec ( 547 m ) is a tower which has great views of the valley.

In the last, wide part of the valley, sits Mokronog which was already inhabited by the Celts. The whole area of Mokronog is hilly and forested. Tiny narrow valleys and brooks meander among the hills. The area is scattered with small settlements, some of which make small villages but there are also several isolated farms. People are friendly and hospitable and nature charming.

Žužemberk

The Krka is the only Slovene river with small waterfalls which are the consequence of the water flowing over turf mounds. In this part, the Krka Valley cuts the karst plateau Suha Krajina in half. The northern half lies between the valley of Krka and Trebnje. The largest settlement in this part is Dobrnič. The southern part lies between Mala Gora and the Kočevski Rog. Roads from Žužemberk, Dvor and Fužine lead to this part of Suha Krajina. Villages on the plateau are small and poor.

Žužemberk is situated on both banks of the Krka. On the edge of the terrace above the Krka lie the ruins of the Žužemberk castle which are lately being rebuilt. The castle was burnt down in WW II and so was the parish church. A few years ago a new parish church was built. The castle was first mentioned in writing in 1295 when it was bought by Albert II, a Count of Gorizia. From 1469 to WW II it was in the possession of the Auerspergs, Counts of Turjak.

Dvor had the first Slovene machine shop that also produced arms, which they delivered even to the Serbs for the first armed rebellion against the Turks. After the construction of the southern railway the shop, owned by the counts of Turjak, went bankrupt.
In the village of Soteska, on the bank of the Krka, lie mins of a castle which was in the possession of the Counts of Cilli.

White-hooded monks spend their days in the solitude of their rooms or one of the rich libraries of the Carthusian monastery in Pleterje.

All the monastery buildings are covered with black slate. The history of the monastery is similar to that of the Stična abbey. It was founded in the Middle Ages when it also reached its prime. It was later abolished, but the monks returned in the 19th century. Today only some 20 monks are living in it.

The Krka Valley is downstream from Žužemberk.
A particularity in the upper part of the Krka is small tuff waterfalls which offer great fun to bathers and kayak paddlers.

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