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Jamnik, Church of St. Primus and Felician

Jamnik is a really small settlement on the eastern slopes of the Jelovica Plateau, literally bellow the less traveled road between Kropa and Dražgoše 

The village of Jamnik. Taken with HuaweiP20Pro.

 

There are many similar villages scattered around those hills, but Jamnik is famous by its Church of St. Primus and Felician, which is built close to the village at an impressive location on a hill overlooking most of the northern part of the Ljubljana Basin with the mountain chain of Karavanke  as a backdrop towards the north and the Kamnik–Savinja Alps towards the east.

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The location has a special feature similar to Lake Bled or Lake Jasna – it is photogenic in all seasons and almost all weather conditions.

Kamnik – Savinja Alps in the background. Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

We have to admit that this  is not the only church atop a hill in Slovenia and many of them offer great sights and photo opportunities. Nevertheless Jamnik is probably the most photographed one and definitely owns a lot of its fame to the spread of social media like Instagram and others.

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Already the road to the church itself is a fascinating view and each step further reveals a different scenery. It is beautiful in all conditions, even in a moody good weather, when fog and mist can make the picture totally mystical.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

 

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Never mind if on the day of your visit mountains in the background are hidden behind the clouds – it’s a dramatic view and you would have an excuse to come again to catch the sunrise maybe.IMG_7366

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catching the sunrise was our goal in the winter of 2019 but the fog kept coming from the valley.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

In late spring and early summer everything is so green and blossoming, but it has a special charm in winter, too, especially if snow covers also the mountains behind. Sun rises above mountains somewhere just behind the church, depends on the time of the year, and sunset can colour the same peaks in psychedelic colours.

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If happens that this would be your first visit to the region, steep hills can surprise you, but for centuries people around here survived farming on the same hills.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Coming from Kropa you would find an exit leading to the church just when road slowly becomes less steep, but watch out since it is very narrow and windy all the time. Only two or three cars can park there so if you find it full just continue, about 300 m further you can find more space just above the village itself.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Coming from the Dražgoše it is probably the best tactics to park the car wherever available once you spotted the church and entered the village area. A few steps more can do no harm but offer even more fascinating views.

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Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Polhov Gradec

Polhov Gradec is picturesque village in the Polhograjsko hribovje hills in Central Slovenia – in the link you can check out the terms of the actual contest of Visit Ljubljana, you can win a nice prize just posting nice photos!

The main landmark and photo spot of the village is the new castle (remains of the old one can be seen on the Kalvarija hill), designed in 17th century.

The mansion is surrounded by a beautiful park.

Here is also a local museum’s permanent collection with objects related to the history of Polhov Gradec and the Technical Museum of Slovenia – Museum of Post and Telecommunications. A well with the statue of Neptun and four nymphs stands by the castle.

There is a creek behind the mansion and a nice view of the building from the back.

The best view of the village itself is from the small hill just a few steps from the main road.

The mansion is visible from this spot as well.

Somehow limited photo options of the village are greatly enhanced by the number of fantastic views in the vicinity of the Polhov Gradec. Many churches are located on the slopes and peaks of the surrounding hills which provides for great photo motifs. Reaching St. Ursula can be a pleasant short hike from the nearby touristic farm reached by car or a longer one from the valley.

A trip to the village of Črni vrh takes some more time but ii is worth the effort.

Enjoy!

 

Črni vrh above Polhov Gradec

Črni Vrh (Black Peak) is a dispersed settlement in the hills northwest of Polhov Gradec in Central Slovenia which includes many isolated farms scattered throughout the hills so the settlement itself is not a micro location in a sense we are looking for. We have picked it out because again there is one of the many small churches on the slopes and peaks of the hills around Polhov Gradec in Central Slovenia which provide for some fabulous photo motifs.

The parish church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint Leonard and t stands west of the settlement on Church Hill (Cerkovni grič). There is a point on the slope across the Church Hill where the best view of the hills and the church can be observed and photographed.

The photo point in located at the crossroads to Poljanska dolina and Pasja ravan – the exact location you can find on the map Where to in Slovenia. We visited it at the sunrise.

A few days later we passed by there in the late afternoon as well.

It was a pretty magical morning there; the settlement is pretty high in the hills, farms are far apart from each other, no traffic at all.

The sights on the other side of the street were also pretty nice but one should wait a bit longer for haze to clear and get a better photo of the mighty Mt. Triglav in Julian Alps and Škofja Loka Hills in the foreground. We are not proud of the following two photos photo but added them it for you to get the idea.

This is how the crossroad looks like.

A closer look at the foot of the Church Hill to the church is also not bad at all – there is a chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary which provides for a nice composition.

At this point the sun was high enough to reveal all beauty of the slopes around the Polhov Gradec, photo taken in front of the chapel.

And finally the view from the church itself onto the farm at the foot of the Church Hill.

As we mentioned already, there are many churches on the peaks and slopes around Polhov Gradec, St. Ursula is one of them some 15 minutes drive from Črni vrh.

Ljubljana (from Trg revolucije to the Town Hall)

Ljubljana is a small city by the standards of capital cities but just as Slovenia itself it offers  many great views at the short distances. Since we are dedicated to show you not only the obvious few spots of Slovenia we decided to divide descriptions of Ljubljana to shorter walks which offer great photo opportunities.maximStarting point is Trg Republike (Republic Square). It is the centre of contemporary Ljubljana built in 1960 by famous architect Edvard Ravnikar and  surrounded by the Parliament (just behind my back), Cankarjev dom – cultural and congress centre, Maximarket department store and TR3 and Ljubljanska banka office buildings (on the photo). All building were built between 1954 and 1975  and that’s why I call the square “contemporary”. Until a few years ago it used to be a parking space. Now, when empty, these two buildings stand as a kind of entrance (or exit). Since the square itself is fairly empty it offers fine but tricky photo opportunity.The square and the buildings are huge and the sunlight comes mostly from behind of Maximarket or the towers. See it for yourself. In the late autumn sun sets just between the towers.

 

ursulinskaUrsuline church and monastery are just a passage of Maximarket store away – facing the towers just turn left. Too close in fact to find enough space for a proper shot. The church tower is also visible from the Republic square over the roof of the store and from some side views, but always just partially. But if you turn left again and use the underground passage just a few steps away you’ll find yourself in a fine park of Kongresni trg (Congress Square). Now, on your right, is a front side of the same church from 1726.

ursulinkskafrontThe concrete part of the square where you stand now also used to be a parking lot but now offers a clean view on the magnificent Ljubljana Castle over the building of Slovenian Philharmonic, one of the oldest of the kind, from 1701. Just behind your back, taken from the steps of the church.

gradThe beautiful park itself is also called Zvezda (Star), in past times also Sidro (Anchor). Just take a stroll and you find the reason for yourself.

zvezdaMany different approaches are possible now to the river bank, personally I prefer  the narrow one beside the Philharmonia building.

filharmonijaFrom the From the other side, back to the square, it is possible to catch a sunset a few days around late spring. But in the autumn the view on the river, old city buildings and the castle is enriched with large leaves.

listgradOn your left is now the famous Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) with the Franciscan monastery and the Church of the Annunciation in the background.

Early morning view in early summer of 2018.Taken with the HuaweiP20Pro.

It is probably one of the most photogenic spots of Ljubljana – it always looks great, different angles and different weather/light conditions just provide for different mood. Almost like Bled Island and Church of St. Primus and Felician at Jamnik. One of the best is from the new small bridge or from Makalonca bar just bellow the bridge.

 

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Especially in the season one has to be pretty early to catch the spot without crowds.

Tripple Bridge and the Church of the Annunciation. Taken with the HuaweiP20Pro.

 

The best view on Prešernov trg (Preseren Square) in the front of Triple Bridge is from the steps of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, the red building on the photo above. It is difficult not to catch at least a glimpse of the castle from spots around here.

presernovCrossing the Tripple Bridge you’ll find yourself in front of the Town Hall and famous baroque Robba Fountain with a view on the Cathedral.

magistratEarly morning is always the best time to take photos around here since sun rises somewhere behind the castle, exact point of course depends on the time of the year. Daily sun can be very harsh and  the whole area is already in the shadow afternoons.

For more information about the sights and Ljubljana Visit Ljubljana, one of the best tourist websites and offices in the world.

 

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Sveti Jakob /St Jacob/

Sveti Jakob (St. Jacob) above Medvode suits just perfectly in the definition of Central Slovenia: it is just around the corner of Ljubljana. It is also one of the most beautiful peaks of Polhograjsko Hills. It is simply called by the name of the saint and patron of the church which marks the hill since centuries and gives the landscape a special appeal. Official name of the hill is Brezovica as is the name of the village bellow it.

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The best approach to photographing the church is to keep some distance and find an undisturbed view from bellow or from the opposite slope above the village.

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Views from the church are also great but it would be much easier to photograph the landscape beneath from the short ridge between the village and the beginning of the final ascent to the church.

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Sveti Jakob is beautiful in all seasons but it would be rather difficult to find an undisturbed view during the season and during the weekends in all seasons. Topol nad Medvodami, the village which is the most obvious starting point for those who want to have a short walk, and Sveti Jakob itself are very popular destinations for short trips out of Ljubljana, especially when the fog is tick in the city.  Sveti Jakob, with alltitude of 804 m is high enough to be usually above the temperature inversion.

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Topol is also sometimes called Katarina by the church of Sv. Katarina just above the village. On the way from Sv. Katarina to Sv. Jakob Ljubljana sometimes feels to be just beneath the feet but it takes some time to get from the city to the destination. It is accessible by car through Žerovnik (Ljubljana – Polhov Gradec road) or Medvode. Both will take you about 20 minutes.

Kočevje

Today Kočevje is a small sleepy town in southern Slovenia but it has witnessed quite a part of a history. Unless one is heading to explore Kolpa river from it’s source or using one of the shortest routes from central Slovenia to Kvarner bay in Croatia, Kočevje is not very likely to be on the must see list while discovering Slovenia. On the other hand, distance of 60 km from Ljubljana to Kočevje is only a short trip worth traveling for the landscape itself, just make sure that you are not leaving at rush hour of Saturday morning in the summer.

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Nature lovers and hunters would enjoy in the surrounding woods which still keep deep secrets about not so distant past. The city itself offers a great photo spot, parish church of St. Bartholomew  (Sv. Jernej) above the slow Rinža river, covered with water lilies.

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Church is one of the biggest churches in Slovenia, but not so old as majority of others, it is from 1905.

The best spot to take a shot is across the river where it makes a bend behind the church.

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There you can also see the bridge close to the front of the church,  another bridge down the river offers an opportunity to shoot in the opposite direction.

I would definitely recommend to read some short history of Kočevje.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf