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Above Solčava towers the Church of St. Mary of the Snows, which is considered one of the most well-preserved Gothic churches in the Upper Savinja Valley. It was built between 1461 and 1485, while the sacristy and southern nave wall were most probably constructed during the Roman era.

Within the church is hidden a true gem – an early-Gothic stone plastic of the sitting Mary with child, the so-called Mary of Solčava from 1250, located in the top section of the high altar. 

What is known today as Matkov kot was once a lake. As a result, the location has remained known until present day as “Jezera” (the lakes). Once upon a time, Lintver the mighty dragon resided in the lake. Along the lake, cows of the farmer by the name of Žibot would often graze. However, when cattle got too close to the lake, Lintver would create waves so strong that the cows would be swept into the lake, and in turn eaten by Lintver.

The lake was also a popular fishing location. Fishing nets would be dried at a monumental rock near the lake, hence the name “Ribiška peč”. One time, Lintver decided to peck the gigantic rock. When they learned of Lintver’s efforts, the locals placed watches that would warn them in time of the flood, just before Lintver broke through the rock. They placed watches at Košac, Čelo, Opresnikov hrib hill and Tolstovrška peč.

When Lintver broke through the Ribiška peč, the flood created was so great that the water reached as high as the doorstep of the church at Solčava. What is more, the water also carried to the church doorstep a crib. It contained a child.

The flooding lake also carried away Lintver, killing the mighty dragon. It was actually killed by the tops of a larch tree – the only thing capable of killing Lintver the dragon. The dragon’s bones and jaw were later discovered in the fields throughout the Logar Valley.

(source: Jože Vršnik, Preproste zgodbe s solčavskih planin (Simple stories from the Solčava mountains))

Potočka zijalka at Olševa is the first archaeological site from the old Stone Age (Palaeolithic) discovered in Slovenia. The cave contained many skeletons of cave bears as well as other Ice Age animals. What is more, approx. 35,000 years ago, Potočka zijalka was also home to primitive man, that is the Cro-Magnon. Also found at Potočka zijalka were the world’s oldest bone sewing needle along with various tools, arrowheads, bone flutes, iron oxide pigments (ochre) as well as several campfires. New discoveries show that Potočka zijalka was once a ritual place of Ice Age hunters.

Along the road leading into the Logar Valley, a permanent exhibition on Potočka zijalka can be seen at the Firšt Inn and Museum. The thematic Bear Trail leads from the Firšt Inn and museum to the famous archaeological site. At Solčava, at the presbytery, visitors can attend the thematic exhibition of caves and fossils entitled "Stories laid in stone."

More information on the caves in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the eastern Karavanks is available via the Cavetours project.

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps are a mountain range in the Slovenian north, named in part after the city of Kamnik, and in part after the Savinja River. Along the eastern section of the mountain range lies the border separating Carinthia and Upper Carniola, while together with the Karavanks, it constitutes the border between Austrian and Slovenian Carinthia and Upper Carniola. Mt. St. Ursula is the location of the famous tri-border delimiting the former Austro-Hungarian duchies of Carinthia, Carniola and Styria.

From a geological point-of-view, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps are extremely diverse with the surface layers being composed primarily of carbonates (especially limestone). Forests cover approx. two thirds of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, making the region one of the most forested areas in Slovenia.

Matkov škaf at Matkov kot is a peculiar natural landmark (at an elevation of 1,480m) This crater-like snow pit is filled in the summer with snow, while in spring, the thick layer of snow is shaped into a funnel by a slowly trickling waterfall.

The funnel dimensions differ based on the amount of snow. However, on average, the diameter at its widest point measures 20–30 m, growing narrower and narrower. Over the cliff above the snow occasionally trickles over a 40 m waterfall, fed by water from the melting snow trickling from underneath the cirque. The funnel is characterised by rings – layers of coloured snow, responsible for the distinctive appearance.

Rinka Fall, alongside the recognisable landscape, world-famous panorama and the exquisite meadows nestling amidst the peaks of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, is the main attraction in the Logar Valley. Water flows from a wide face of the rock and is the second highest waterfall in Slovenia with a height of 90m.

It is located in the upper section of the valley – accessible from the parking area at the end of the paved road along the simple blazed trail in a mere 15 minutes. Soon after reaching the ground, the water disappears, then reappears in the lower sections of the valley near the source of the Črna. In the waterfall rock face is the Orlovo gnezdo snack bar. The mountain trail runs past the waterfall to the Frischauf Hut at Mt. Okrešelj and into the high mountain range.

The Logar Valley is one of the most beautiful Alpine valleys in Europe. The trail through the Logar Valley is an educational and ethnographic trail leading through the beautiful corners of unspoilt nature in the Logar Valley Landscape Park. Including, among others, the source of the Savinja, mighty boulders, small museums dedicated to logging and charcoal production, a hunting tower, a giant juniper tree and much more. The trail ends dramatically at the Rinka Fall.

Approximately a kilometre after leaving town, visitors enter the Logar Valley. To the right, immediately before crossing the bridge, they will be met with wooden signposts. The 7-kilometre trail will take about 2 to 2.5 hours (one direction). Alternatively, hikers can take shorter routes by starting along the trail at various locations along the valley. Think about hiring a tour guide for more details and information on landmarks along the trail. 

On the initiative of the Logar Valley, farmers as well as Dr. Šuman, the architect Jože Plečnik in 1930 produced the chapel plans. However, the design by Plečnik was never realised. The present-day Chapel of Christ the King located at the entrance into the Logar Valley was designed by the architect Martin Golob and was constructed between 1930–1931.

The bell tower encloses a fine bronze bell weighing 140 kg. It was cast in Klagenfurt in 1668, and was once hung in the castle of the once Counts of Celje at Žovnek near Braslovče in the Lower Savinja Valley. It was ceremoniously installed in the chapel in 1969, three hundred years after its casting.

The Solčava sheep is an endemic Slovenian sheep breed, known officially by the name of Jezerko-Solčavsko sheep. It is mostly white, though occasionally dark coloured and around its eyes are the characteristic glasses or tear drop.

At Jezersko and Solčava, sheep farming was once popular and well organised, while the Solčava sheep are characterised by their excellent fertility, resistance and adaptation to the environment – namely, of a strong stature and powerful long legs that enable the sheep to easily conquer the dizzying slopes of the Slovene mountain pastures, while simultaneously providing high-quality wool.

The Rinka Centre sells innovative fleece products made from the wool of the indigenous Jezersko-Solčava sheep made by the Solčava women who, with the purpose of demonstrating the attractiveness, warmth and practicality of the material, which should occupy a prominent position in every home, established the Bicka Society. They produce wool slippers, hats, jewellery, toys, clothing, fashion accessories, carpets etc.

High above the rock faces of Mt. Olševa lies the settlement of Podolševa. It is known among the locals as the Holy Spirit, named for the Baroque Church of the Holy Spirit giving the settlement its unique image, while its fairytale-esque appearance also gives a particular character to the Solčava Panoramic Road.

The present day church was erected at the end of the 19thcentury at the location of the previous church built in the 15thcentury. Inside the church are kept the well-preserved Gothic chalice and a yew wood relief of the Holy Trinity, which is particularly interesting because of the depiction of the Holy Spirit in the form of a youth carrying a globe instead of a dove. In the church is also the oldest bell with writing in the ancient Gothic majuscule. 

Our forefathers often remember that, at today’s location of the Church of the Holy Spirit, they saw white stones which reminded them of doves. Nobody thought them special, and the stones simply disappeared. Then, the stones re-appeared at Tovsti vrh, more accurately at the farm just below Mt. Raduha. Similarly, the locals did not find the stones special, so they again disappeared. Once again, they would be noticed at their original location. However, the locals would already consider the stones an omen, so they began building a church at the very location. Because the stones were reminiscent of doves, the new church was dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

Namely, in the Old Testament, a dove carrying an olive branch is a symbol of peace. In the tale of Noah’s Ark, Noah releases the dove, symbolising reconciliation between God and man. In the New Testament, though, the dove represents the Holy Spirit.

(source: Jože Vršnik, Preproste zgodbe s solčavskih planin (Simple stories from the Solčava mountains))

The characteristic housing in the Solčava region is the traditional Alpine farm, telling the story of the grandeur and strength of the Solčava locals. The locals have always lived in harmony with nature, providing them with every necessity for survival. Even today, they are mostly engaged in wood, wood as well as food production.

The identities of the locals also persevered through stories and tales developing into legends, as well as dance, song and music. Also an important element of the tradition in the Solčava region is the zither, the instrument which has remained popular at many such Alpine farms until the present day.

In the Solčava region, there remains 50 active solitary farms. Of these fifty, 18 are engaged in tourism and 26 in other complementary activities. About a third rely on organic, and the rest on environmentally-friendly farming methods. About half of the farms lie at elevations above 1,000m, while Bukovec at the elevation of 1,327m is the highest Alpine farm in Slovenia. Here, the atmosphere surrounding the solitary Alpine farms in the Solčava region is truly peaceful and characterised by a primal attitude towards nature, fellow man and luxuries.

The farmers in the region are famous for their peculiar names preserved throughout centuries: at Gradiš, below Kočno, at Matkovo, at Perkovo, at Žibovče, at Covc, at Šumeče, at Ložek, at Pastirkovo, at Klemenča, at Strevčovo, at Plodrovo, at Rogarjevo, at Potok, at Macesen, at Podolševa, at Štiftarjevo, at Prod, at Rob, at Osojnica, at Bukovec, at Majdač, at Ramšia, at Podbreg, at Ivanija, at Plesta and at Log. Today, there are 50 active traditional farms in the Solčava region.

"We might not be cuckoo, however, we do love wood," is a running joke in the Solčava region. Here, an annual mountain wood festival is organised in cooperation with the locals at the end of May by the Rinka Centre, the Institute for tourism and sustainable development of the Solčava region.

The festival is famous for a series of entertaining events, and conveying a different view point of both mountain wood as well as forests. Along various educational trails, visitors will be introduced to the mysterious functions of the forest and observe spectacular trees, while learning that providing timber is only one of the many functions of sustainable, multi-purpose and natural Slovenian forests.

Read more on the Solčava mountain timber and check the festival dates at the Solčava region website.

The Macesnik homestead consists of a new residential building, a granary, a large agricultural facility, two chapels and a power plant, while once it also encompassed the ancient home as well as the dower house. The main attraction is the large agricultural facility composed primarily of two parallel buildings connected with corridors – hence the characteristic square-shape of the roof, similar to Renaissance mansions. 

Inside the buildings are various technical devices once driven by the mill and the transmission mechanism once powered by water, and today by electricity. Despite necessary changes to the original Macesnik homestead, it has maintained until present day its cultural status and remains a true landmark.

The Macesnik landslide is located in the Solčava region at the foot of Mt. Olševa at an elevation between 800 m and 1,400 m in the immediate vicinity of the border between Austria and Slovenia. Its length was measured at 2,400 m and its width at 80 m. The sliding mass had a volume of in excess of 2,000,000 mand a depth of 6 – 30 m.