Slovenia-Žirovnica, Jesenice and Mojstrana


In Žirovnica, situated at the foot of Stol ( 2236 m ), the highest mountain in the Karavanke Chain, ends the plain of the Ljubljana Basin. In the direction of Begunje, we find a number of villages: Doslovče, the birthplace of the writer Franc Finžgar, Breznica, the birthplace of the pioneer of Slovene beekeeping Anton Janša, Vrba, the birthplace of the greatest Slovene poet France Prešeren and naturally Žirovnica, the hometown of Preseren’s mentor Matija Čop.

Up the Sava stretches the Upper Sava Valley ( Zgomjesavska Dolina ). In Moste pri Žirovnici ( the village in Slovenia ) the Sava is dammed with the second-highest dam in Slovenia. On the south bank of the dam lies the village of Blejska Dobrava, and on the north bank are Javomik and Koroška Bela which already make part of Jesenice.


Jesenice is an industrial town which until 1990 used to be almost completely dependent on the Jesenice Iron and Steel Works. The Technical Museum shows the history of the iron industry in the valley. In the picturesque country between Jesenice and the Austrian border on the Karavanke ridges, at an altitude of 1000 m, lie villages Planina pod Dolico and Javorniški Rovt. The opposite side of the valley is shut off by the steep gloomy north slope of the Mežakla plateau.
On the Hrušica there is an international border crossing with Austria. There are an 8000 m long road tunnel leading through the Karavanke.


Higher up the Upper Sava Valley the Karavanke Chain lowers and high rocky ridges of the Julian Alps come into close vicinity of the valley. Three magnificent alpine valleys open from the Upper Sava Valley towards the main ridge of the Julian Alps: Vrata, Kot, and Krma. At the very entrance into the Vrata lie alpine villages Mojstrana and Dovje. This 10 km long valley ends in a huge basin under the over 1000 m high Triglav North Face. Jakob Aljaž, a priest from Dovje, erected in 1895 at his expense the Aljaž tower right on top of Triglav ( 2864 ). In 1896 the Slovene Mountaineering Society built the mountain hut on Kredarica ( 2515 ) just under the pyramidal top of Triglav. Triglav, the highest Slovene mountain is of great importance to the Slovenes. It is also in their coat-of-arms. Another curiosity in the Vrata is the 52 m high Peričnik waterfall.

Further up the Upper Sava Valley lies, in the direction of the Julian Alps, the torrent gorge of the Beli potok, and in the direction of the Karavanke the gorges of the Belca and Mlinca brooks.

Meadows on Planina pod Golico are whitened by millions of blossoming daffodils every April. Jesenice is squeezed in the Sava Dolinka valley among the steep slept of the Karavanke and the Mežakla plateau. Slovenia and Austria are linked by two 8 km long tunnels on Hrušica under Karavanke through one leads the road and through the other the railroad.

The Sava Dolinka is trapped in the highest dam in Slovenia ( over 50 meters ) for the Žirovnica hydro power station. Its surface is 0.7 square km.
On the left bank of the dam sits Koroška Bela, a Jesenice suburb, and on the right bank is the village of Blejska Dobrava a starting point for excursions to the Blejski Vintgar gorge.

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