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By Bike Along the Žirovnica Cultural Heritage Trail

 

Discover the places where Slovenia’s greatest poet, Dr. France Prešeren, and his best friend, Matija Čop, spent their childhood years, as well as the first teacher of beekeeping, Anton Janša, the authors Fran Saleški Finžgar and Janez Jalen, and a whole host of other notable men from Gorenjska. Discover the 10-kilometre Žirovnica Path of Cultural Heritage by bike.

Every fourth Saturday in the month the majority of the museums in the villages beneath Mt. Stol open their doors to visitors. Therefore, make the most of the weekend and set off on an exciting cycling adventure on which you will discover the most beautiful treasures of the villages beneath Mt. Stol.

Start point: Bled

Attractions along the way:

Length: 40 kilometres

Duration (including stops): cca 4 hours

 

From Bled, set off on the cycle path towards Lesce and Hraše.

From the Imperial road towards Vrba, follow in Prešeren’s footsteps

 

On reaching the end of the village of Hraše turn right and cycle past flowering meadows to Rodine, where you are greeted by St. Clement’s church, which as far back as the early Middle Ages was the seat of the parish. The birth house of the author Janez Jalen is in close proximity, where the window of the small room that faces towards the church graveyard is a reminder of Jalen’s words that “it’s just a short leap from the cradle to the grave.”

St. Clement’s church and Jalen’s birth house in Rodine, Photo: Bozo Ropret

 

The yellow signs direct you towards a pasture above the village where you continue to the next stop along the Žirovnica Path of Cultural Heritage – Finžgar’s birth house.

The courtyard of Finžgar’s birth house is the ideal place to take a break and enjoy the magnificent views

 

Visitors to the open-air museum, which comprises the birth house of Fran Saležki Finzgar together with a barn and hayrack with a shed, are initially impressed by the exceptional views of Mt. Triglav and Bled Castle. The smell of the black smoke kitchen, which can be sensed immediately on entering the building, leads one back to the times and lives of simple peasant families.

The signs for the hiking trail are also easy to follow by bike.

 

The quiet village road from Doslovče leads to Breznica, where you can see Janša’s apiary. If this makes you yearn for something sweet, treat yourself to a stop at Gostišče Osvald in Selo pri Žirovnici, where you can enjoy delicious štruklji – served either sweet or savoury – with local honey, of course!

 

Then head for Žirovnica, where you can visit the birth house of Matija Čop, which reveals the world from the period of Romanticism and the huge importance of both Čop and Prešeren for Slovenian culture. You can also visit the Ajdna Museum Room, whose exhibits tell the mysterious story of the hidden village above Žirovnica and its well-preserved architectural heritage.

Visit Čop’s birth house in Žirovnica, where you can see a unique exhibition about the Slovenian linguist, polyglot and historian Matija Čop. You can also learn about the architectural heritage of the area in the Ajdna Museum Room.

 

From Žirovnica follow the signs as you ride along traffic-free roads surrounded by fields and for a short while along a cart track beside the main road to Vrba. The village linden tree is the ideal place to take a break; it’s said that only the truth can be spoken beneath the tree. To end, you can pay a visit to Prešeren’s birth house where, if you are feeling inspired, you can pay homage to the poet by reciting the Slovenian national anthem next to Prešeren’s monument! You can also take a look at St. Mark’s church in Vrba, from where you will cycle along the cart track back to the Imperial road and through Studenčice and Hraše to Lesce before returning to Bled.

A pleasant afternoon tour on which you will cycle 40 kilometres, for which, together with four stops to see the attractions and a half-hour break for lunch, you should allow around 4 hours.

A really active and inspirational day!