The Koroška forests are a veritable paradise for anyone who appreciates quiet. Holidaying in Koroška offers tranquility and quenches the curiosity the city man constantly seeks and needs. Countless trails are leading from peak to peak. Experiences are so fulfilling that their memories stay alive for a long time.
There is nothing like living in one of the green Koroška valleys for a while. Be it the Mežica, the Mislinja, or the Drava valley, they all make you feel as if time stopped for a brief moment. And its history proves that Koroška is a very old country.
For centuries, the town has been the center of the valley. Under Grajski grič ( 526 m ) the Romans built a settlement Colatio and an important road passed through it as well. Atop Grajski grič they built a temple.
The castle built on Grajski grič in the 9th century was turned into a church in the 11th and the tower was used as a belfry. As a market town, Slovenj Gradec is first mentioned in writing in 1251 and only a few years later it was granted a town charter.
The Mislinja Valley
The Mislinja River comes through a narrow gorge, Mislinjski graben, right from the heart of the Pohorje Massif. In the first wider part of the valley sits the picturesque village of Mislinja.
The river flows from here through a wide, mostly flat plain where we find the villages of Šentilj pod Turjakom, Dovže, Mislinjska Dobrava, Turiška vas, and Šmartno.
Through a parallel tributary valley under the last fringes of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps flows into the Mislinja the Jenina stream. At the entrance to the tributary valley sits Stari trg.
The Meža Valley
Under Olševa ( 1929 m ) and Peca ( 2126 m ) springs the Meža River. The state border with Austria runs on mountain ridges from Olševa, over Moraldčev vrh ( 1490 m ), Snežnik ( 1544 m ), and Mozganov vrh ( 1575 m ) to Peca and then further north along the lower ridges.
The Meža cuts a narrow valley to the south. At Črna na Koroškem, the Meža is joined by two other streams: the Bistra, which springs under Raduha ( 2062 m ), and the Javorski Potok, which springs out in the opposite wooded range. In all three valleys, isolated farms are scattered among torrential ravines.
Črna na Koroškem is an old mining settlement. Furnaces have been built here as early as the 17th century.
Further down the valley is Žerjav which also boasts quite some mining equipment.
Where the Meža leaves the gorge lies Mežica. Up to a few decades ago the area lived exclusively off mining but now it is fast turning to tourism. The Mežica mercury and zinc mine are now opened to tourists.
From Mežica the Meža flows through a nice valley lying among wooded hills with several isolated farms. The road and railroad from the Podjuna valley in Austria lead via the mountain pass at Holmec along the Meža via Prevalje and Ravne na Koroškem to Dravograd.
Dravograd sits at the confluence of the Drava and Muta Rivers. Old Dravograd was built around a 12th-century castle on a high terrace above the Drava, which makes a loop right under the town. It was at that time that the town received its market charter.
A road from Dravograd leads via the village of Vic to the border crossing with Austria which is only 3 km away. From Dravograd, the Drava meanders through a narrow valley. All the way to Maribor the main road runs along the left bank and the railway along the right bank of the river.
At the beginning of the valley is the Pukštanj castle. The valley widens at the village of Trbonje. On wide terraces on the north bank lie Muta and Radlje ob Dravi which were, together with Vuzenica, granted market charters already in the Middle Ages. On the hill above Radlje lie ruins of the Old Castle ( Stari grad ) and there was also a Dominican monastery in the market town.
The Mučka Bistrica stream flows from Austria. It cuts a narrow valley through the Kobansko hills and flows into the Drava at Muta. On the south bank of the Drava, at the confluence of the Drava and the Crkvenica stream, is Vuzenica.
The Drava is dammed several times in this part. Hydropower stations are built at Dravograd, above Vuzenica, and in the narrow under Vuhred.
Round church of St. John the Baptist in Spodnja Muta. Its name tells us that it is very old. In 1052 it was consecrated by pope Leon IX who traveled through Carinthia.
The green Mislinja valley just asks us to stop, take a rest and enjoy the beauty of the idyllic landscape.
The lead mine in Črna na Koroškem is now closed, but it has been turned into a museum.