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Škofja Loka – Sv. Andrej (St. Andreas)

The wider region of Škofja Loka consists of two valleys, Poljanska dolina and Selška dolina, which are both populated with some bigger villages and towns. All around and above the valleys are pretty steep hills of Škofjeloško hribovje. On their slopes and in some small and narrow valleys are countless small dispersed settlements, lone farms and small churches. A lot of those churches are built on the top of the hills or on the places which overlook the surroundings. One can not help but think of them as a kind of communication channel – not only connecting settlements in prayer but also advertise an event or even danger, as it was the case in 15th century Turkish invasion.

St. Andreas is one of them – a really small and dispersed settlement and a church with a View, only a few minutes drive from Škofja Loka.

St. Andreas can be reached through the narrow Hrastnica valley, a side valley of Poljanska dolina, which connect Škofja Loka with Polhov gradec. It is positioned on the ridge between two narrow gorges – the area is full of gorges, which are usually called “grapa”. Great views are awaiting the visitor –  of the city of Škofja Loka, of the Karavanke mountains, Kamnik – Savinja Alps and of the king of the Škofja Loka – the mighty Mt. Lubnik.

The church is Late Gothic, dating to between 1520 and 1530. The nave was vaulted in 1831. The frescos in the sanctuary, behind the altar, and one on the exterior were painted by Jernej of Loka at the time the church was built and most of the remaining decoration is from the 17th century. (wikipedia)

 

Unfortunately we have visited it just after the meadows were cut – views are much nicer with the high grass and flowers but also in the snow and early autumn the place is worth a visit.

Nothing much can be added to the description. We have continued a few hundred meters through the woods though to find some nice rural motifs – old farm utility architecture at its best.

The views from the “back entrance” were not bad either.

Check out other locations with photogenic churches and great views: St. Thomas and Križna gora.

Text and edit: Zoran Leban Trojar

 

 

Škofja Loka – Križna gora

Križna gora is a small settlement NW of Škofja Loka. It is situated on the ridge above Selška dolina valley which together with Poljanska dolina valley constitute the Škofja Loka area. The village and its church of the Holy Cross are visible from afar what is usually a good sign for the views from the spot in question and Križna gora does not dissapoint.

Sorško polje plain is almost entirely in the view and the town of Škofja Loka lies just bellow your feet – at least when the plain is not covered with fog. To the north the peaks of Kamnik Savinja Alps and Karavanke mountain ridge mark the view.

Mt. Kočna, Mt. Grintavec and Mt. Storžič are the most remarkable among these peaks – photographers and followers of @igslovenia would remember them from the photos of the famous Sveti Tomaž (St. Thomas), which in fact lies just accross the Selška dolina valley.

However, the plain and its surroundings are already visible  from the road to Križna gora, from the village itself and from the dirt road leading to the Church of Holy Cross – all you have to do is pick your view and motif – while  photographing the village and church of St. Thomas and the hills above the Selška dolina valley demand some searching and crossing the meadows which are not to be crossed in all seasons. We recommend the short trail which leads to the watter collector which can be easily spotted from the road to the church soon after you pass this idyllic vintage rural spot.

There is about 15 minutes walk from the village to the church on the top of the hill.

The best motifs differ by the season. weather, time of the day and your taste and equipment – just make sure to go around and cover all angles!

Thel church on a hill above the settlement is dedicated to the Holy Cross and was built around 1500. It contains many well-preserved frescos from 1502 that depict the legends of Saint Ulrich, to whom the church was dedicated until 1867, and of Saint Corbinian. Some of the frescos in the nave, dating to around 1530, are believed to be by Jernej of Loka. The hill with the church and a Lodge of the Hunters Society bellow the hill is a popular destination for short outings by locals. /source: wikipedia/

Križna gora offers many photo opportunities but also great views of the area per se. A trip to the village is also a great insight into the way of life in the rural villages in the Škofja Loka area and a nice trip to the mostly unspoiled nature. It is also pretty easy to adjust the lenght and the fitness level of the trip – hiking all the way from Škofja Loka, starting just before the start of the ascent or driving to the village and just hike around.

Check out other locations in the Škofja Loka area with a photogenic church and great views: St. Andreas and St. Thomas.

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar

Sveti Tomaž (St. Thomas)

Sveti Tomaž is a very small settlement in the municipality of Škofja Loka. Just like Jamnik‘s church of St. Primus and Felician has become famous among photographers in the Instagram era by its church and fabulous backdrop.

Both places are also very close to each other, some 30 minutes drive is from one point to another. Both also stand on the hill above the meadow which makes for a pretty photos just strolling around the church.

We have visited St. Thomas in early spring but it is beautiful also in the snowy winter and in the middle of autumn.

Views from the church itself are also worth considering to photograph.

Wandering around the church one should not forget that the meadows are in use by the farmers from the village so walk with care when looking for the motifs!

The settlement is really small and there is no parking place for tourists so some care is needed with that as well, especially if you would like to get a view from some distance and pass the highest farm by the dirt road above it.

Only from some distance the whole beauty of the mountain backdrop reveals.

Unfortunately you have to walk some more to the Rantovše hill to get a view like the one bellow.

You would also need a serious equipment for a shot like this although we pretty good shots from the distance with our HuaweiP30Pro when using a quality tripod. Bellow you will find a 4x zoom of the St. Thomas church as it is seen from the road Škofja Loka – Železniki less than a kilometer before the actual turn for the settlement.

There is a 20 minutes drive from Škofja Loka to St. Thomas, the last part of the road is steep, narrow and curvy so take care!

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar

 

 

 

Škofja Loka – Hribec

This is probably the best spot to photograph the Škofja Loka Castle with the whole old town – and much more! It is a small church called Sv. Križ na Hribcu – Holly Cross on the Small Hill – which itself can be spotted almost from you everywhere in the city. It is overlooking the settlement on the right bank of the Poljanska Sora river, Puštal. (By the way, there is a spot on Google maps saying it is Cerkev povišanja Sv. Križa – it is the right one, just use it if you need.) Crossing the big bridge from the Lower Square (Spodnji trg) just follow the road (be careful, it is very narrow) with the sport stadium on your left and in a few minutes you will see a small chapel by the dirt road – turn on the road and follow for the next 5 minutes to reach the church. The view on the castle opens immediately after the chapel.

There are two spots on the top to take photos – first one before the stairs leading to the church and the second the walls of the church. Bellow is an original view from the first one.

Here you can play with different compositions and enjoy.

The hill overlooking the city is called Lubnik and is very popular among the people from the city. It really marks the landscape and it is accordingly steep to reach the hut at the top.

We visited it twice but didn’t have luck with the light. But it is great spot in the morning when the rising sun lit the castle and the town from behind your back and also the best place to catch sunset just behind the castle. Dark clouds can also make very dramatic scene.

In the photo above you can spot a small saddle with some objects far behind the castle – it is a famous St. Thomas church, a mecca for photographers, just a 10 minutes drive from Škofja Loka, which together with both valleys, Poljanska and Selška, form a whole small region, a destination full of history, amazing nature and experiences.

Text and photos – all made with HuaweiP30Pro – Zoran Leban Trojar

Škofja Loka

Škofja Loka is positioned at the transition of the Sora Plain (Sorško polje) into the Škofja Loka and Polhov Gradec Hills (Škofjeloško in Polhograjsko hribovje). It guards the entrance into the Selška Valley and Poljanska Valley, two beautiful valleys with the rivers of the same name, Sora (Poljanska Sora and Selška Sora). The medieval town, which was first mentioned in 973, is build at the junction of both rivers into one.

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Small old city centre is considered as the most beautifully preserved medieval city in Slovenia. It had an interesting and rich history, which is presented in the museum at the Castle of Škofja Loka. Town Square is built on the higher river terrace, Lower Square lies just above the river, naturally the best connection between the two leads close to the church.

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The city centre is small but charming.

Castle was built in 12th century and dominates the city sights.

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One can easily spot the best places to take photos of the castle. Among them are all bridges, especially the lowest one where traffic enters the lower old town and the one close behind the main bus station. Probably the best spot is from the small church on the small hill above Puštal, called Hribec. The church is very visible from the town and only a few minutes walk away,  we have a special post about this spot.

The latest which is also a good place to shot the river and old houses above, with the popular local hill, Lubnik, in the background. It is also one of the two best spots for sunset chasing.

 

 

And the bridge itself:

Good views of the castle are also from the Grajska pot (Castle Path) path and from the square where it begins.

 

The Castle Park behind the castle is also worth exploring.

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But the best view on the castle with the whole old town beneath is from the church Cerkev povišanje Sv. Križa which lies above the Puštal, a a former separate settlement on the right bank of Poljanska Sora, now a part of the city.

But Škofja Loka is not only a city. Together with both valleys, Poljanska and Selška, form a whole small region, a destination full of history, amazing nature and experiences. Right behind the castle an alert eye can spot in the distance the famous church of Sv. Tomaž, a photographer’s Mecca.

Besides St. Thomas, Škofja Loka area offers many spots like this, pictoresque villages with even more pictoresque churces on the top of the hills, great views and unspoilt nature. Križna gora is one of them, just a few minutes drive from the city!

Read more about Škofja Loka.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

shadro21

Who? @shadro21;) My name is Denys, I’m 18 years old and I was born in Ukraine. I have been living in Slovenia for 9 years now and I really like it here. I’m a high school student at School for design and photography and I make my living as a designer.

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Why Instagram? I felt in love with nature in Slovenia soon after coming here. It is unbeliveble! There are Julian Alps on one side and Adriatic sea on the other. And there is less than 100 kilometres in beetwen!  Instagram is a great place to share my work and it makes me really happy to see that people like it.

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What can you show us? Well, I really do love nature & my home town, Škofja Loka and the entire Gorenjska Region. So – if you are planning a visit near me – let me know!

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