The Ajdovski Gradec archaeological site is one of the best researched areas from the Migration Period in the 5th and 6th centuries AD in this part of Europe. It is one of the largest early Christian settlements near the Alps and one of the largest Late Antique high-altitude settlements in Slovenia. It can be compared to settlements such as Rifnik pri Šentjurju, Ajdna, and Korinj Hill above the village of Veliki Korinj. These settlements and Ajdovski Gradec are a testimony to the times of Roman civilization in the territory of today’s Slovenia.
The walls and ruins bear witness to an exciting history that even today continues to attract and inspire visitors. You can see Ajdovski Gradec accompanied by a local tourist guide. It is also possible to take a tour especially for children. While walking through the park, the local yokel Krjavelj and his goat may cross your path, you may meet the local forest man, or stop by the Slipper Keeper Kitty (Muca Copatarica) and see if you can find your lost slipper among the other slippers on her shelves.
Sevnica Castle offers a model of the settlement and an exhibition where one can see replicas of objects found during archaeological investigations of the site. It is also possible to watch a movie that shows, a little more in detail, how life at Ajdovski Gradec used to be.
However, the mysteries of this mystical place are far from being entirely revealed.
On the hill above the old town center of Sevnica, stands a castle, which was first mentioned in written sources under the name Castellum Lichtenwalde in 1309. Over the centuries, its function has been changing. It was not spared by peasant revolts,Turkish incursions, or by war, but unlike many other castles, Sevnica Castle avoided destruction.
In recent years, numerous restoration works have been carried out on the castle and its surroundings. The castle, along with the old town below, offers a magnificent medieval view.
This central cultural, historical, political, and protocol building offers unique castle experiences for young and old. We offer guided tours of the exhibition areas (the baroque hall, hallways with ceiling paintings, the tower with frescoes of the four seasons, the school collection, the firefighter collection, conference rooms, the wedding hall, an exhibition about Ajdovski Gradec, galleries, the castle chapel, the castle puppet theater, the castle wine bar, the Lutheran Cellar, etc.), sightseeing especially for children, a shop with local products, an experience of nature and culture blending together on the themed walk called The Forest is Culture, vine care in the castle vineyard, tastings of local wines in the winery and the cellar, hosting of magnificent castle weddings in the park, a motorhome rest area below the castle, and much more.
Visit Sevnica Castle and let yourself be taken away by its many secrets and stories.
On a hill below Sevnica Castle, stands the Lutheran Cellar, one of the few completely preserved Renaissance monuments on Slovenian soil. Although its purpose has changed several times, it was built to be used as a place of worship. The Slovene reformer, writer, and translator Jurij Dalmatin, who produced the first Slovene translation of the Bible, is supposed to have taught Luther’s teachings in this building.
The Lutheran Cellar is divided into two sections by a triumphal arch, one part contains an altar and the other a place for worshipers. The greatest historical artistic value have the preserved frescoes depicting Old and New Testament images, and the Lutheran iconography in the part with the altar. The tempera paintings on fresh plaster were made in the 16th century, during the period of Mannerism and seem to be strongly influenced by the work of Michelangelo.
Today, due to its acoustic nature, the Lutheran Cellar is used as venue for various musical events. It can be viewed as part of a guided tour of Sevnica Castle.
An interesting aspect of the Slovene countryside is the hayrack or “kozolec”, it is called in Slovene, as it cannot be found anywhere else in Europe in this specific form. Those hayracks are very diverse in shape, size, and purpose. The largest and most special are the hayracks called toplar, which are found only in the fields of Lower Styria and Dolenjska. They were used for drying and storing crops in the past, but today many of them have a different purpose.
The Dolinšek Hayrack stands on a field in Šmarčna. It was built in 1920 and belonged to the largest farm in the village. It was used for drying hay and grain. It served its true purpose until 1988. In 2009, however, Ciril Dolinšek restored it to its original condition and set up a collection of farm and household tools that testify to the life of simple working farmers.
TK Pav Theme Trail
The TK Pav theme trail takes you through the mining heritage of Krmelj and its surroundings. The trail, which can be walked in a circle or linear, connects two parishes – Krmelj and Šentjanž. Coal mining is the main topic of this themed walk but you also learn about the other natural and historical features of the area. The trail takes you past Črna Mlaka, a small lake, which appeared because of open-pit mining, in the middle of a primary forest, past a funicular that used to transport coal to the Hinja River. It is marked with descriptive signs. Along the way, if you are lucky, you will run into Knapec, the mascot of the Krmelj elementary school.
Fruit and Wine Growing
Fruit and wine growing are two agricultural branches that have been present in Sevnica for centuries and have a very rich tradition.
However, wine has throughout history been more prevalent on the Dolenjska side of the municipality. The people here are still famous for the story of Cviček from the turn of the last century. But in the last decade, the Styrian part of the Sevnica municipality, which belongs to the Bizeljsko-Sremiš wine-growing district, has also started to become alive. Sevnica, as part of the Posavje region, is becoming known for its high-quality varietal wines, including the famous Blaufränkisch, but other than that, the region is also very fond of sparkling wines.
Fruit-growing was strongly present and developed in the area before the Second World War and remains so today. A special reputation across the world was gained by the local apple variety, the Sevnica waxed apple (Slovene: sevniška voščenka) when, by the 19th century, this fragrant fruit with exceptional taste became a well-sought-after product that, unlike other apple varieties, was sold by the piece. The grassy thick orchards represent an important element of the cultural heritage and the landscape.
The Old Town of Sevnica
Sevnica developed under a hill castle, of which the oldest records reach back to 1309, but a military base was mentioned a century earlier. The old town tells stories of the many periods it lived through – from the Renaissance to the Baroque period. The oldest building of the old town square is the lower castle, which dates back to 1613 and together with the Neo-Romanesque parish church of St. Nicholas, the Church of St. Florian from the 15th century, and the renovated plague column along with the statue of St. Martin from the 17th century forms the central and oldest part of the Old Town of Sevnica. The square today still retains its original character.
Railway Museum with Model
In Sevnica’s railway station, the Železni-čar club set up a model of the railway line with models of domestic and foreign locomotives and railroad cars. There is also a railway museum, which houses objects that remind us of life and work on and around the rails. A life which is still heavily imprinted on the tradition and identity of the local people. Visits can be arranged every first Saturday of the month between 9am and noon or by prior appointment.