Lovrenc

Lovrenc, located in the middle of the forest landscape and overgrown with dry grasslands, is a 722 meters high peak with the church of Saint Lovrenc and rises by the mountain trail between Veliko Kozje and Lisca in the Sevnica municipality. The Lovrenc area is part of the Kozjansko and Obsotelje biosphere and is a botanical and natural treasure of national importance. The mixture of plant species from alpine to thermophilic Illyrian are of great conservational significance. Lovrenc is most known by the native growth of one of the plant symbols of mountaineering – ‘Clusius’ gentian (Gentiana clusii), which usually blooms in late April and early May. ‘Clusius’ gentian is an alpine plant that as glacial residue remained in some places of the foothills, even in Zasavje. The distance from the alpine deposits and the abundance of specimen that normally turn the meadows under the church blue as early as late April, make Lovrenc an extraordinary botanical location. Prior to it blooms the Trieste spring gentian (Gentiana verna ssp. Tergestina), followed by the heady buttercup (Ranunculus thora), endemic to the Zasavje mountains. Other protected species grow here, such as the Carniolan Lily (Lilium carniolicum) and several orchid species – among them common and three-toothed orchid (Orchis morio O. tridentata). 

In the past the location was endangered by the excavation of the gentian root, fertilization, motorcycles and cars, stomping during mass visits and overgrowth. In order to provide protection, the location was declared a natural monument in 1994 and a part of the Kozjansko and Obsotelje biosphere in 2010. Access is limited by a wooden fence and during the May Day holiday visitation peak supervision is guaranteed. 

To maintain the ‘Clusian’ gentian at Lovrenc the following is required: 

  • the preservation of the manner in which grass is cut (twice a year) and the maintenance of no fertilization; 

  • maintaining the turf without trampling, uprooting and grazing; 

  • preventing overgrowth with shrubs, trees and non-native species; 

  • allowing visitation only on established paths and trails and thus photography that does not damage neighboring plants and turfs;

  • maintaining the nature of the location as one of nature preservation and education as well as the development into excursion, educational and hiking spots. 

In the area of the botanical monument it is forbidden to:

  • interfere in a way that would alter habitat conditions, for example removing or changing vegetation, changing the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, the removal of soil, turf or bedrock, filling (depositing waste), construction of any kind and groundwork; 

  • tear, excavate, injure or break the plants or destroy the vegetation formations; 

  • change habitat types, for example allowing the overgrowth of grass with shrubs or trees, changing meadows into fields; 

  • perform any action in the secured and enclosed area, which would have harmful effects on plants or their assemblage (sitting, driving bikes or motor vehicles, leaving waste behind etc.); 

  • fertilize with natural or artificial fertilizers.