Several narrow valleys cut into the Zasavje Hills. The first is the valley of the Medija River. In the wider part of the valley, behind the gorge between Vrh ( 679 m ) and Iskranjca ( 672 m ), lies Zagorje, the oldest coal-mining town in Slovenia. Coal has been mined here since 1755.
Two other settlements make part of Zagorje – Dolenja vas and Kisovec.
Near Izlake ( Municipality in Slovenia ) is the spa Medijske Toplice and by the road to Moravče is the Medija Manor which used to belong to the Valvasor family. Atop a steep hill above the Kotedrščica brook valley lie the ruins of a once-mighty Gamberk Castle. The castle was built at the end of the 12th century.
Trbovlje is the center of the so-called “black district” – the coal-mining district, and of Zasavje. It is the largest coal-mining center in Slovenia. Coal was discovered in 1805 and later on the glass factory was built. The town sits in the narrow Trboveljščica valley.
The Hrastnik basin is separated from Trbovlje only by a ridge-like threshold. Hrastnik has also developed by the coal mines.
Wooded hills separate those parts from the Savinja valley which can be reached by an interesting serpentine mountain road leading from Trbovlje to Prebold.
Peaks higher than 1000 meters are scarce among those hills.
The Sava valley remains very narrow from Hrastnik to Radeče.
At Zidani most, a few kilometers before Radeče, the Savinja from the north flows into the Sava. Zidani most is also an important crossroads.
Although the railway station is known beyond our borders, Zidani most remains no more than a middle-sized village.
Njivice near Radeče was already settled in the Early Stone Age. Radeče was granted a town charter in 1925.
The Sopota valley cuts far west under Kum ( 1220 m ) which is also called the Triglav of Zasavje. The Sopota valley is surrounded by cone-like peaks. On one of them sits Svibno, a small village, which was a market town already in the Middle Ages. In the 10th century, a castle was built atop the cone peak above the village.
The Sopota valley is settled with few smaller settlements and numerous isolated farms. A larger village in the valley is Podkum.
In Zasavje, the Sava runs through a narrow valley.
Under steep slopes, rising high above the river’s bed, there, s hardly enough space for the road and the railroad. Villages and towns are in the tiny side valleys.
The only exception is Radeče. Zagorje owes his development mostly to coal-mining and industry.
Radače sits at the confluence of the Sopota and Sava Rivers. Higher above the Sopota valley are steep hills.
The small village of Svibno sits on one of them.