Štajerska ( Styria )
Štajerska is a land of friendly people, noblest wines, and excellent traditional dishes. Numerous thermal springs attract travelers. It abounds in cultural monuments and merry events. Extremely rich cultural and historical heritage can be enjoyed at every step. Numerous castles, manor houses, monasteries, and famous churches greet visitors at every comer.
Štajerska is also a land of high mountains and beautiful valleys. Is there anyone who hasn’t yet heard of the valleys Logarska dolina or Robanov kot? Of Styrian lakes and fishponds, of the hilly Haloze, Slovenske Gorice or Kozjansko?
Štajerska is interesting in every season from every aspect, be it its winter sports resorts, summer adventures, or autumn grape harvests.
May your path lead to this green land, too!
Savinjska (The Savinja region)
Celje developed on the plain at the entrance to the narrow valley the Savinja River makes on its way to the Sava. It has always been a crossroads of routes coming from all directions. The original Illyrian settlement Celeia was there 3500 years ago. It was called Claudia Celeia under the Romans and was one of the biggest Roman towns on Slovene territory. Rich archaeological finds testify to the Roman wealth.
The town was destroyed during the great migrations. It was mentioned again in 1125. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the town was ruled by the Counts of Cilli and it thrived. The Counts of Cilli ruled from the castle built on Grajski hrib ( 407 m ) above the city. The castle was used to protect the entrance to the narrow Savinja Valley. In the second half of the 15th century the Counts of Cilli died out and their possessions were inherited by the Habsburgs.
The railway came to town in 1846 and brought about the beginning of industrialization. That led to the fast urbanization of neighboring villages and they consequently united with the city. At present Celje is the third-largest Slovene town.
The 16th-century feudal manor Stara grofija houses the Celje Museum. The Church of St. Mary was a part of a former Minorite monastery from the 13th century and the Counts of Cilli are buried in it
Between Celje and its confluence with the Sava, the Savinja runs through a narrow valley that cuts deep into the Posavje hills. The area is very mountain-like. The first village from Zidani most up the valley is Obrežje. A bit further up, at the village of Gračnica, the Savinja is joined by the Gračnica stream which comes from a long meandering tributary valley through which leads a road via Jurklošter and Planina pri Sevnici, under Bohor (1023 m) to Kozjansko. There is a 12th-century Carthusian monastery in Jurklošter.
The Savinja Valley slightly widens north of Gračnica. Among dark forests, in the middle of a park full of exotic plants, sits the spa Rimske Toplice.
Thermal springs can also be found only a few kilometers up the valley, near Laško which is the largest settlement in the valley. Laško was granted a market charter in 1227 but it did not acquire the status of a town until 1927. The Baroque castle from 1675 houses a museum.
The parish church in Laško also has a rich history, it dates from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. The church as it stands today was built in the Baroque period. On the steep slope between the Savinja and Hum ( 538 m ) sits the rebuilt Old Castle ( Stari Grad ).
The thermal spa in Laško has been known since the second half of the 19th century. Among the Slovenes, Laško is best known for its brewery which has been brewing beer since 1825.
The third-largest Slovene town is Celje. The old town core preserved the structure of a medieval town.
Only 10 km south of Celje in the Savinja Valley, sits Laško. Hot thermal springs were known already by the Romans. And every visitor to Slovenia knows the Zlatorog beer, brewed in Laško since 1825.
The Old Castle above Laško has been completely restored and today cultural and tourist events take place there.