Kostanjevica na Krki

Photo: Uroš Abram

Kostanjevica na Krki is the oldest (founded 1252) and smallest town in the Dolenjska region and its old town centre is situated on an island on the River Krka.

Kostanjevica na Krki is the smallest town in Slovenia and the oldest in the south-eastern Dolenjska region.It is also the only town on an island, for which reason it is sometime referred to as the Venice of Dolenjska. Other similarities to the latter city include its own version of the gondola in the form of a characteristic type of wooden boat. 

Kostanjevica na Krki (literally Kostanjevica-on-the-Krka) is romantic and beautiful and offers something for everyone, from gazing at the lazy river Krka and strolling through the old town centre, to viewing works of art in the galleries and admiring the local natural and cultural heritage. Kostanjevica is first mentioned as a town in written sources dating from 1252. It owed its initial prosperity to the Carinthian duke Bernhard von Spanheim, who founded a Cistercian abbey here in 1234 in order to consolidate his possessions in Dolenjska – at that time the southern portion of the March of Carniola. Today the former abbey church houses the Božidar Jakac Gallery , named after the famous Slovenian painter, while its grounds are adorned by the masterpieces created during the Forma Viva international sculpture symposium

The beauty of the soft Dolenjska landscape, with the river Krka and the hill vineyards (and the Podgorjanska Wine Road winding through them), attracts many visitors, among them hikers, anglers, hunters and birdwatchers. Those interested in the hidden secrets of karst landscapes should not miss Kostanjevica Cave , a popular show cave. Lovers of untouched nature should certainly visit Krakovo Forest , the heart of which consists of a 40.5 ha area of secondary virgin forest that has enjoyed protected status since 1952. The oak trees here are up to 300 years old and can grow to heights of up to 40 metres. 

Today Kostanjevica na Krki is the seat of a municipality with around 2,500 inhabitants, a rich natural and cultural heritage, numerous places to eat and many opportunities for sport and recreation, including riding, boating, SUP, bathing, cycling and hiking.

Text by Tanja Glogovčan