BARJE EAST

Duration

1 day

Category

TOURING

Fitness level

LOW

Tour type

Technical difficulty

LOW

Length & elevation

44 KM 210 M

There are but a few capital cities that have such a vast and special green area as the Ljubljana Marshes at their doorstep, which can be reached by bicycle or even on foot. The area is not only special for its beautiful nature, it also boasts a very rich history and archaeological heritage. Each of our one-day Ljubljana Marshes Tours are designed to allow you to experience all aspects of this incredible area protected as a landscape park.

There are countless of trails running amongst the meadows, fields, and forests. Your eye will most certainly be able to rest on the green area once outside of compact settlements concentrated at the foot of the hills, where you may encounter more animals than people.

Barje East Tour is a bit longer than Basic and West tours and packed with point of interest. It leads across the meadows of the central area and returns over the eastern parts of the marshes.

Highlights on the tour: 1, (2), 4, 5, 6, (7), (8), 9, 10, 11, (12), 13, 15. The highlights in the brackets are optional extensions – not included in the distance/elevation count but included in the navigation pack.

Gallery

Highlights

1

The Church of Saint Michael

Plečnik left a lasting mark on the three central European cities, namely Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. According to Friedrich Achleitner, a renowned art critic from Vienna, Plečnik may come to be considered an architect of the future due to his unique style. Upon returning to Ljubljana in 1921, Plečnik accepted the post of professor at the newly established University of Ljubljana and focused all his creative energies to designing the city. Plečnik’s Ljubljana as a unique example of urban planning is considered one of the 20th century’s most important universal art works. Although the church at the Črna Vas village was designed as a temporary sacral facility, it is considered one of the most comprehensive works of the great master. While its foundation is made of stone, everything else was built by using wood. The building was planned for subsequent enlargement by adding another storey, but that was prevented by World War II. Because the church is located on a boggy terrain, it was built on pylons. A stone staircase leading to the church nave reminds of the staircase in the National and University Library in Ljubljana with its occasional brick elements. The interior of the church is a tribute to folk construction and modesty – or rather a demonstration of the lack of funds. Most of the furnishings are made of wood, while ordinary sewage pipes were used in some of the support pillars as well as for the staircase railing.


2

Tomaž’s House

In the village of Črna Vas, one can visit Tomaž’s Farm, a unique house preserved in its original form from the period of first settlements at the central part of the Ljubljana Marshes after the area was dried out by reclamation in 1830. The house was built in 1844. On 13 April 2001, it was declared a site of national and cultural importance.


3

Kozler's Forest (nature reserve)

Kozler’s Forest is the largest (20 hectares) and the oldest (since 1951) protected part of the forested high marsh in the plains of the Ljubljana Marshes. It reflects the final step in the development of the high marsh, in which the European oak, a special oak variety, now grows. The forest was named after its original owners, the noble Kozler family, which is also tied to the first map of Slovenian lands elaborated by Peter Kozler in 1852. Nearby, there is a memorial honouring 63 victims of World War II.


4

Corn Crake Trail /Iški morost/

The nature reserve of Iški morost is dedicated to conserving the unique natural environment of the wetland area. A 1.3-kilometre nature trail called Koščeva pot (Corn Crake Trail) with a bird watching station runs on the reserve. Named after the corn crake (Crex crex), a rare and endangered bird species, the trail offers a unique insight into the wetland wildlife and animal species. Iški Morost is one of the largest cohesive wet meadow areas in the Ljubljana Marshes. The marked points offer descriptions of different habitats in the Ljubljana Marshes as well as the plant and animal species that live there.


5

The Windows of the Marshes

The Windows of the Marshes are actually hollows in the ground, which are often hidden in shrubbery. The hollows are mainly karst water sources. One of the largest sources of this kind is found on the educational trail.


6

Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Tomišelj

Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Tomišelj under Mt Krim can be seen from almost every part of the Ljubljana Marshes. The current Baroque church with two side chapels and two bell towers was built on the site of the former church, which was mentioned as early as 1526. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary has been celebrated every October for over 400 years. The festivity was introduced by Pope Pius V after the fleet of the Holy League beat the Ottoman navy during the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Before the battle, the Pope appealed to believers to pray the Rosary and ask for the help of Mary, Queen of Heaven. For this reason, the victory was ascribed to her protection.


7

Benko’s Sawmill on the Iška River

The sawmill on the Iška River, which is also known as Benko’s Sawmill, is a typical Venetian sawmill featuring a single saw blade. This type of the water sawmill, which was invented by Leonardo da Vinci in 1480, is known for having a direct connection between the drive and the saw mechanism. Benko’s Sawmill is located next to a millstream, i.e. a man-made canal along the main riverbed of the Iška River. Because of the significantly smaller riverbed slope at the village of Iška than at its upper stream, a special element was built into the saw – a spatulate waterwheel. It was designed for utilising the small water decline, which gives the sawmill special significance. The sawmill operates to meet its own needs and to present the sawmill industry to visitors.


8

The Ig Gorge (Iški vintgar)

The Ig Gorge is a 300–400-metre deep gorge above the Iška River and the sharpest natural demarcation line separating two Slovenian regions. The Ig Gorge is a popular one-day trip destination for walks, hikes, rock climbs, and in the summer mostly a picnic spot, where visitors can escape the heat of the city.


9

The Church of Saint Michael in Iška Vas

The church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries atop the ruins of a Roman necropolis. The Roman tombstones are built into the church walls. The church features numerous frescoes made in various styles, and a museum collection of Roman tombstones and stele.


10

The Old Man near Ig

In the hamlet of Staje pri Igu, which is just a few steps off the main road, visitors can admire a landmark dating back to the Roman times – a grave stele carved in a rock. Locals call it the Old Man. In the Ig area, archaeologists found more than one hundred Roman tombstones, Roman urn graves, and early Christian oil lamps. A Roman fortification wall, which used to stand here, was part of the Roman defence line in the 3rd and 4th centuries, during the Roman Empire, featuring numerous fortresses, walled-in settlements, watchtowers, and toll houses that collected road fees. In the 7th and 8th centuries, the wall illustrated a demarcation line for settlements of the Slavs. From Ig, passing the places of Staje, Kot and Iška Vas, and continuing towards the Ig Gorge, one can follow the footpath leading along the Roman fortification wall.


11

The Ig Castle

The ruins of the original Ig Castle, the Ig Tower, which was mentioned as early as in 1261, can be found on a hill called Pungart nad Igom. The current Sonnegg castle was first mentioned in 1436. In the 15th century, the castle was owned by Protestant nobility, who ravaged the nearby Gothic Church of Saint George in their religious fervour, decapitating and burning the saint’s statue. Janez Vajkard Valvasor wrote about the incident in the Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, noting that locals later retaliated against the nobleman with the same countermeasure. During the revolutionary year of 1848, the castle was the venue to the last peasant uprising and the burning of land registers. During World War II, it was burnt down and today, the facility houses a prison, so the castle and the surrounding area are closed to the public.


12

The Draga Ponds

In the hamlet of Draga pri Igu, just over 3 km from Ig, visitors can explore the Draga Ponds nature reserve. The ponds with reeds surrounding the shores provide excellent living conditions for swamp birds, who nest and feed here, spend their winter, or make a stop on their migration routes. The extremely endangered European pond turtle can also be found here – once widespread, the species was unfortunately a popular food ingredient. The Draga forest educational trail ascends into the hills above the ponds. The trail, which is marked by white water-lily symbols, features many information boards.


13

Pile dwellings on the UNESCO World Heritage List

The area was once covered by a shallow lake, which turned into a swamp over the millennia. The first farmers came to this area approximately 6500 years ago. In the flood plains surrounding the lake, they built small settlements on piles – They are now called pile dwellings. The south-eastern-most prehistoric pile dwellings are located on the edge of the Ljubljana Marshes. In 1875, the first pile dwelling settlement was discovered near the town of Ig. Approximately 40 pile dwellings dating back to about mid-5th to mid-2nd millennium B.C. were uncovered in the humid ground of the Marshes. Two groups of pile dwellings from the area around Ig, where the remains of nine settlements were found, were placed on the UNESCO List. With occasional breaks, pile dwellers remained in the Ljubljana Marshes for approximately 3000 years. Information boards can be found on the location.


15

Ljubljanica River

The Ljubljanica River, which gathers karst and surface waters, is the main waterway of the marshes. Also known as the river of seven names, it is a protected site of natural and cultural importance. The subterranean waters from the Notranjska region see the light of day on the karst edge of the Ljubljana Marshes. There are four karst sources between Vrhnika and Verd, which are also sources of the Ljubljanica River: Močilnik, Retovje, Ljubija, and Bistra. (A visit to all is highly recommended.) The beautiful green river collects water coming from the Polhov Gradec Hills and Mt Krim, directing it towards Ljubljana with a very small bed slope inclination of 1 meter. During heavy rains, the river is usually unable to sustain the water from the Marshes, so it starts to flood. The floods are divided in regular, almost annual floods, and special floods, which cover almost half of the Marshes with water. Due to their high and forceful flood current during heavy storms, Ljubljanica’s torrential tributaries of Iška and Gradaščica are even able to turn the flow of the green river back towards Vrhnika.


Optional

Price for BARJE EAST excludes

Logistics

Contact Visit Good Place to book a tour. Bike and the navigation pack (GPS coordinates, map and road book for the selected tour) can be retrieved at the agency premises. Address: Rimska cesta 2b, Ljubljana.

 

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