BIKE SLOVENIA GREEN

BOHINJ: HOW OUR ANCESTORS LIVED

Duration

1 DAY

Category

TOURING

Fitness level

LOW

Tour type

SELF-GUIDED, GUIDED

Technical difficulty

LOW

Bohinj is mostly associated with the beautiful glacial lake, which is the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia. Those more inclined to sports perceive the place as an excellent starting point for climbs to numerous peaks in the Julian Alps as well as mountain pastures and the Vogel Ski Resort. Beside the lake, Bohinj includes the area of three valleys (Upper and Lower Bohinj Valley and Nomenjska dolina Valley), where life and economic activities have developed to allow survival “at the end of the world”.

Bohinj was inhabited very early, i.e. in the Iron Age, which is especially striking in view of its geographical position. At the time, the first Bohinj villages were slowly formed and ironmongery developed, with the iron ore remaining the main source of life for many generations. Although the area did not allow food production and therefore agriculture has always been poorly developed, the meadows in the valleys provided enough hay for winter. In the warm months, the animals were moved to high mountain pastures. This way, livestock breeding and cheese making were developed in addition to alpine farming that emerged on as many as forty mountains.

As rainy weather is typical of Bohinj, the hay stacked for winter had to be protected against moisture, so special double hayracks called toplarji were designed. The Slovenian hayracks, which provided enough space for storing agricultural tools, are a special feature within the European area. The harvest was stored in granaries, which, besides churches, represented the only brick-built facilities in the area for a long time.

During World War I, Bohinj served as a collecting place for soldiers and material that was used in part of the Isonzo Front up in the Krn mountains. The narrow-gauge railway led all the way to Ukanc, from where the path was continued on horses until a cableway system was built.

The basic Bike Slovenia Green tour – Bohinj leads through all three valleys, with the Upper Bohinj valley villages especially telling a story about the ancient Bohinj life. The extended tour takes participants along the lake and up to the famous Savica waterfall, stopping by some of the important historical sites.

Gallery

Highlights

1

Alpine Dairy Museum, Stara Fužina

The first stop combines two main features of economic history in the area. The name of the place originates from a iron foundry, a simple industrial plant where the iron ore was melted down and processed into iron. The destination on this stop is the Alpine Dairy Museum housed in the old dairy production facility, which was opened in the 19th century in order to mature the large cheese wheels that were brought from the mountains by the alpine dairy farmers.


2

Zois mansion

Baron Žiga Zois was one of the most important persons in the Slovenian history. A versatile businessman and scientist marked the second half of the 18th century and is very connected with the development of Bohinj as well, due to the fact that he bought and improved the local iron foundry. The mansion in Stara Fužina was used as the owner’s residence and as an administration office, while the structure next to the mansion, which is now a ruin, served as a sawmill built on the site of the old iron foundry.


3

Toplar hayracks in the Studor village

At the entrance to the village, one can find a cluster of Toplar hayracks standing on land that was distributed to farmers when serfdom was abolished and the land reform introduced. The Toplar hayracks are a world-class attraction due to the masterful carpentry technique.


4

The Oplen house

The hard living conditions in the area contributed to many thoughtful architectural solutions. In the Oplen house, which combines a residential and commercial property, it is still possible to start a fire in the black kitchen, i. e. a space with an open fireplace without a chimney, which was once a typical feature in Slovenian houses.


5

Granaries

The Srednja vas village features two of the oldest granaries – once the only brick-built structures in which agricultural crops were stored. The granaries dating back to the early 17th century are an interesting example of rural architecture due to numerous paintings, and they also reflect the cultural education of the era. Unfortunately, the paintings are not well preserved.


6

Saint Hemma blast furnace

In the settlement of Nomenj in the Nomenjska dolina valley, one can find the remains of a blast furnace, i.e. smeltery along the stream named Plavžarica (Eng. “blast furnace water”), which indicates that the water flow was used to operate the blast furnace. Nomenj was part of an old trade route connecting the Sava valley and the Soča valley.


7

The Zois Castle with a clock tower

Bohinjska Bistrica is another place where baron Zois left his mark. The castle was a residential and administrative building used by entrepreneurs dealing in steel. The beautifully designed Lord’s garden features a wooden clock tower. The construction of the clock tower was ordered by Baron Zois, who wanted to make sure that the ironworkers arrived to work on time.


8

A monument to four great-hearted men

Baron Zois was a broad-minded patron, who financed the first ascent to Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain, for economic reasons, as he was hoping to find new iron ore deposits. At the end of the 18th century, four Bohinj inhabitants were the first to reach the Mt Triglav peak. The monument, which was built on the 200th anniversary of the ascent, was made by renowned Slovenian sculptor Stojan Batič.

 


9

Military Cemetery in Ukanc (extended)

Above the road leading towards Savica, just below the lower cable car station, there is a small military cemetery featuring 282 graves of fallen soldiers


10

Savica Waterfall (extended)

The Savica waterfall, which pours over the steep cliff of Komarče, is the source of the Sava Bohinjka river. The waterfall is the third most frequently visited attraction in Slovenia. It is unique because the water splits into two streams before hitting the ground, falling down 78 metres in the shape of the letter A.


Price includes navigation pack with GPS tracks.

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