Among the Slovenian regions, Notranjska was arguably the first to have become more widely known in Europe, thanks to the Slovenian nobleman, castle-owner and polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693), whose comprehensive opus, The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola describes the special natural and cultural characteristics of this part of Slovenia. His study of the intermittent Cerknica Lake earned him membership of the English academy of sciences – the Royal Society of London. Also to Valvasor’s credit is the first mention of skiing tradition on the Bloke Plateau in Notranjska, which puts Slovenia alongside the Scandinavian countries as one of the cradles of European and world skiing.
Besides Cerknica Lake, there are other Karst phenomena in Notranjska, such as the Rakov Škocjan Caves, the Postojna and Pivka Caves, and also the settlement of Predjama with Predjama Castle, and the picturesque Križna Cave with its small lakes. The centre of the region is the town of Postojna, which developed on the ancient route towards Trieste and became even more important from the 19th century due the development of tourism at Postojna Cave.
The areas known as Rovtarsko, Idrijsko and Cerkljansko are notable because of the special Idrija-type bobbin lace. Idrija lace is one of the finest expressions of Slovenian handicraft traditions. The lace-making school at Idrija, a town also made famous by its former mercury mine, was founded in 1876 and is the oldest continually working school of its kind in Europe. As for the Idrija mine, now a museum, it should be noted that it gave rise to many technical inventions and machines, which constitute a valuable technical heritage.
Nature parks of Slovenia
For a relatively small area, Slovenia offers a unique mosaic of biological, geographical and cultural diversity, with dozens of major natural assets and items of significant European cultural heritage. Around 12,6% of Slovenia’s territory is cover by protected natural areas, 36% of the territory is protected under Natura 2000, and almost 15,000 aspects of the country’s nature have been awarded the status “valuable natural feature”.
Nature parks of Slovenia -published by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, 2011 (in several languages)
Kozjanski Park - one of the oldest and largest protected areas in Slovenia
Ljubljansko Barje - the largest Slovenian and southernmost European wetland.
Postojna cave - one of the most attractive Karst caves
Škocjan Caves Regional Park - UNESCO's world heritage site
Sečovlje Salina Nature Park - traditional manual gathering of salt in salt fields
Triglav national Park - the only Slovenian national park
Volčji Potok Arboretum - the most visited botanical park in Slovenia.
The oldest vine in the world - 400 year-old vine in Maribor
In your pocket
In Your Pocket website brings several city guides of Slovenian towns, regions, etc. The website offers its print publications for free download, in full, in PDF format.