Sevnica

Sevnica. Photo: Iztok Medja

The town is the centre of the 12th largest Slovenian municipality of the same name, which has approximately 17,500 residents, with the town itself being home to about 5000. The vast landscape spreads along the valley of the River Sava, extending from both banks of Slovenia’s longest river and dotted with beautiful small towns. It is known for its well-maintained public infrastructure and a high level of public services. 

Sevnica is home to many beautiful things – swimwear and lingerie, elegant and classic period furniture, and high-quality and comfortable footwear. Agriculture is also an important economic activity; the landscape is like a mosaic of arable fields, pastures, orchards, and vineyards.

The fairy-tale Sevnica Castle

The Sevnica Castle. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Slovenia boasts many castles, and one of its jewels is Sevnica Castle. This mighty castle dominating the old town centre also offers the best view of Sevnica. It is the cultural and social heart of the municipality – the pride of the municipality and a venue for the most beautiful castle weddings. It is the location of various exhibitions, it hosts the annual Summer Festival at Sevnica Castle, medieval-style tournaments, numerous musical and cultural events, and an open-air cinema, family-friendly tours of the castle conducted by guides in medieval costume, tastings at the winery, and weddings at the castle and the park are available. A castle vineyard can be found on the castle hill. 

This castle on a panoramic hill with a view of the surrounding area and the River Sava is considered to be one of the best preserved in Slovenia and one of the country’s most significant medieval castles. The castle was first mentioned in the Salzburg Rent-Roll for Brežice and Sevnica in 1309 as the Lichtenwald “castellum.” All castles stir our imaginations, and Sevnica Castle is no exception. It is linked to the legend about a hidden passage that was supposedly used by the castle residents to hide from the Turks. There are many other legends and tales hidden within the walls of Sevnica Castle. 

According to one of them, the Sevnična Stream divides the woods of Podgorica and Zabukovje. Legend has it that two giants built their houses in Rudnik and Travniki. When they were thirsty, they simply bent down and drank from the Sevnična Stream and walked from one hilltop to another. Today, people can see the Giant’s House (Ajdovska hiša), as very large ruins were found near Lončarjev Dol. Many statues, ornaments, a sarcophagus, a mosaic floor, and a well were excavated. This was the location of the Giant’s House. Supposedly, a golden horse is buried under its walls. People could once see how this horse spun around on its axis atop the hill, colouring the entire hill in a golden hue. Whenever anyone tried to find this buried golden horse, they could never uncover it, as it always sank even deeper. Perhaps it will still spin on the hill from time to time and colour the entire town of Sevnica in gold. This will be a moment not to be missed. According to folk tradition, this will be a magnificent sight to behold.

Some of the major attractions also include the Lutheran Cellar under Sevnica Castle, the Loka Manor, numerous churches, town centres, monuments and memorials, as well as the house, which was home to the blessed Alojzij Grozde.

Picturesque nature

Lovrenc. Photo: Vinko Šeško

Wonderful day trips and picnics can be taken all around the municipality. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails are maintained, and there are very interesting walking, themed, and educational trails. Mt. Lisca is the most well-known day-trip and hiking destination; it is beloved by hikers, bikers, paragliders, or simply by lovers of the delicious local delights on offer at the Tončkov Dom Mountain Hut. Some of the most beautiful fishing trails in Europe can be found along maintained river dam reservoirs. 

As a part of the Natura 2000 area, the Municipality of Sevnica is a true paradise for lovers of natural sciences. Sevnica is also adorned by the Clusius' gentian, Thora buttercup, and Carniolan lily. Clusius' gentian is an Alpine plant that has been preserved as a glacial remnant in some foothills, including the Zasavje region. This flower turns fields blue at the end of April. The Trieste spring gentian (Gentiana verna ssp. tergestina) blooms before it, and the Thora buttercup (Ranunculus thora), an endemic plant of the Zasavje Hills, blooms after. Other protected species, such as the Carniolan lily (Lilium carniolicum) and multiple varieties of orchids – including the green-winged orchid and the three-toothed orchid (Orchis morio, O. tridentata), also grow here. The habitat of the Clusius' gentian in Lovrenc has been a botanical natural monument since 1994.

The other natural attractions of Sevnica also include the Ajdovska Peč Cave under the village of Hudo Brezje, the remnants of a former castle tree nursery under the Novo-Čagoš hamlet, as well as the Blanščica, Čanjski Potok, and Žirovski Potok streams and the Stopnik Waterfall. Also notable is the thickest beech in the area, a beauty at more than a hundred years old, measuring 487 cm in circumference and 155 cm in diameter.

Pulse of life

Throughout the year traditional events, such as the annual Salamiada and the Blaufränkisch Festival, the Summer Festival at Sevnica Castle, the student Vejžde party, and the traditional Kitariada, bring even greater vitality into the town and the municipality. Numerous societies also contribute to the rich event offerings – volunteering and creativity go hand in hand. 

The accommodation offering is exceptionally inviting, including tourist farms and vineyard cottages (zidanice). Unique wines are made from the grapes grown in numerous vineyards, from light and fresh white and red wines to Cviček, Blaufränkisch, and even unique sparkling wines. Restaurants and tourist farms offer world-class culinary experiences for all palates, and many pubs and coffee shops also offer relaxation and rest while enjoying a cup of good coffee.

Text by Tanja Glogovčan