Kočevsko is not only special because of its extraordinary nature, but also because of the rich history and its inhabitants. You will discover diverse stories of the past by discovering the abandoned villages, legends of places and artistic interpretations of the soul and landscape of Kočevsko. Set on an exciting journey through the world of the cultural heritage of Kočevsko.
Castles Full of Legends
Get to know the picturesque castles, marked by rich history and many legends. In the valley of the River Kolpa on a pointed hill stands the magnificent Kostel Castle. The second largest castle complex in Slovenia is partly renovated and rich in cultural content. A walk to the hill also brings a picturesque view of the valley of the River Kolpa. The highest-located Slovenian Friedrichstein Castle was the site of our only medieval love story between Frederick II, Count of Celje and Veronika of Desenice. To romantic souls, the visit to Friedrichstein will stimulate the imagination and you will feel the story of the unrequited love that was taking place there. If you do not care for dreamy legends, go on a hike to the picturesque ruins for the extraordinary view.
Listen to the Stories of the Gottscheers
Kočevsko has a rich and exciting history, written by the Gottscheer as well. They lived in this area for more than 600 years, until the emigration in 1941. After World War II, the desolation and the collapse of the Gottscheer villages followed, but the abandoned remains still tell stories today about their existence. Take a walk through the paths of history – visit the museum, see the ruins of the former Gottscheer village and discover the story of the Gottscheers.
Gottscheerish is a dialect that is classified among the most endangered in Europe by UNESCO.
Listen to the unique language of the Gottscheers, which is spoken today only by a handful of people, which is why we are trying to preserve this special dialect. Gottscheerish is a part of the German dialect group of Bavarian, more precisely the Southern Bavarian dialect. The language developed as an independent dialect for more than 600 years after the settlement of the first German-speaking immigrants in Kočevsko around 1330. Four large dialects have developed due to the country's mountainousness, various immigration and oral transmission of the language.
Artistic Touch of Stane Jarm
Academic sculptor, graphic artist and teacher Stane Jarm contributed significantly to the artistic image of Kočevje with his work. With his artwork, the establishment of the Kočevje Art Salon and with the creation of an art collection, he enriched the town. You can see his many sculptural creations outdoors, if you go for a pleasant walk along the Stane Jarm Trail. Discover the beauty of Kočevje and admire numerous sculptures that give the town its soul and an indelible artistic seal.
A statue of a girl with a whistle was set up in 1963 and stands on the St. Jernej Square in Kočevje.
The Cold War Secrets of the Škrilj Bunker
The secret Škrilj Bunker was until recently a well-kept secret that the public did not know about. The bunker was built during the Cold War 80 meters below the surface. It has 500m of corridors and six underground rooms. The bunker has its own water catching and two generators for the production of electricity, which would allow habitation in the event of an atomic blast, and people could survive in it up to 100 days without external help. Go deep underground and discover the secrets of the past regime and time.
For a complete experience of Kostel Castle, book a picnic basket filled with local delicacies
Immerse Yourself in the Diverse History of Kočevsko
You can immerse yourself deeper into the diverse history of Kočevsko (the municipalities of Kočevje, Kostel, Osilnica and Loški Potok) by visiting the Kočevje Regional Museum. In it you will find numerous permanent exhibitions on various topics that will guide you through the history of creation in Kočevsko and bring you closer to the values of this area.