Novo Mesto is located in the center of the Dolenjska region, about fifty minutes south of Ljubljana and an hour north of Zagreb, and has an archaeological heritage of world importance. The town of situlae is surrounded by gentle wine-growing hills, where the typical Cviček wine is produced, and the mysterious Gorjanci Hills. The romantic Otočec Castle is located on a small island on the River Krka. There is so much to see in this charming tidy town so let’s explore Novo Mesto
Novo Mesto, also called the metropolis of Dolenjska, was founded in 1365 when the Austrian Archduke Rudolf IV granted city rights to the town at the bend of the Krka River. From the vast landscape of Gorjanci hills, where the hiking trails and unexpected springs of healing drinking water will amaze hikers, to the refreshing beauty of the river Krka, Novo Mesto has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty and active ways to spend your vacation.
The interlacement of nature, tradition, and culture can be a genuinely soothing experience for a visitor to Novo Mesto. The Krka Valley, located just above Novo Mesto, is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful river valleys. Its tender banks, picturesque rapids, and natural dams offer respite to weary travelers. Novo Mesto is a town where historical heritage and the natural beauties of the Krka river meet to create a new, unique story. Everything flows, and nothing is as changing and unchanging at the same time as the water.
Dolenjska region is home to the most extensive archaeological site of bronze Iron Age situlae in Europe. They represent the artistic imprint left in this area by the prehistoric settlers in Europe. Situlae tells the story of the birth of European civilization in this area, dating from the Iron Age. They are bronze vessels, often decorated with mythical scenes, used to serve drinks and store food. No other European archaeological site can pride itself on finding as many situlae in one place. Thus far, 16 situlae have been found in the area.
The archaeological sites also held numerous glass beads, which our ancestors used to make necklaces and bracelets, proving the existence of prehistoric jewelry. Many have described the site as incredible. Several other unique objects and valuables have been found, so this area undoubtedly holds tremendous historical and cultural importance.
The archaeological heritage of the Novo Mesto area is crucial for understanding European history, and it is of great significance for Europe. That is why the Dolenjska Museum holds permanent exhibitions on the lives of the people of past times, with an emphasis on the archaeological image of Dolenjska, especially in the Hallstatt period.
The old town center on the bend of the river has endured various challenges throughout history, which is why its rich stories continue to attract many travelers. Different architectural motifs create a relaxing atmosphere and take you down memory lane of history. The part of the old town called Breg is recognizable by the lines of houses that were built from the worn-out city walls, the remains of the wall can still be seen in the basements of the buildings. The foundations of the houses were often made of rocks on the banks of the river Krka. The less affluent city dwellers lived in Breg, e.g. merchants trading in dried meat and vegetables and landlords renting rooms and laundries. These buildings have also changed over time, but their original layout has been preserved.
The main square of Novo Mesto is Glavni trg, which has been the heart of the city since the Middle Ages. Its charming arches and arcaded courtyards are almost symbols of the settlement. It hosts the most important events, open-air exhibitions, and fairs. The main square is also home to the Franciscan monks. They built the church and convent of St. Leonard next to the Town Hall. The building, with its rich library, ornate interior, and renaissance tombstones, still attracts many visitors today.
Church of St. Nicholas
The church of St. Nicholas was built in the 15th century, and its most notable artwork is the altarpiece depicting St. Nicholas, created by the Italian Renaissance painter Jacopo Robusto Tintoretto.
Novo Mesto creates a perfect balance of nature and culture, history and relaxation. Be sure to try some of the culinary delicacies with a glass of Cviček wine or two. Your batteries will undoubtedly be fully charged after a stay in this green treasure trove of history. Subscribe for more Slovenian travel, have a lovely day.