Kamnik is a small picturesque medieval town along the Kamniška Bistrica river underneath the Kamnik Savinja Alps. Its heyday was in the Middle Ages, when it was the capital of Carniola. Nowadays only a small old centre of the town reminds of the days of its glory. Luckily this small town is worth visiting by itself since if offers many opportunities for a good photo without any heavy equipment needed. The second factor of luck is its position close to the mountains which always attract visitors. Kamnik is also one of the most prominent towns of the region called Central Slovenia – really close to the capital but with completely different atmosphere. Just now a campaign is underway promoting Central Slovenia in which everybody can take part and win a prize. Click here to learn more about the contest and here to find out more about Kamnik!
There are three photo spots worth visiting and they are very close to each other. In fact they are all connected with the fourth spot which is also the main street leading through the old town. It is called Šutna. Entering Šutna from SW the parish Church of Mary Immaculate offers a first great view.
The Šutna Street is open for the traffic but with a little patience it is pretty easy to catch is empty. Walking along the street many details offer to the photographer’s eye and the church from behind, closing the view, is also a great sight and capture, especially in the sunset. Take note of the angels above the roofs!
But probably the best way to explore old Kamnik centre would be to turn left first just before entering the street, cross the railway and head to Zaprice Castle – a two minutes walk! The castle is a 16th century Renaissance mansion rebuilt in Baroque style now housing the rich collections of the Kamnik Intermunicipal Museum.
Particularly interesting there is the permanent collection on herdsmen’s life on the Velika planina high mountain plateau.
Behind the castle there is a fence through which opens a splendid view of the orchards and the Church of St. Nicholas.
When finished exploring the castle and it’s surroundings the next destination is probably the best known spot of Kamnik which you probably have already spotted from the Zaprice. It is called Mali Grad (The Small Castle) and it overlooks the other end of Šutna.
It is situated on the really small hill and accessible via short stairway. From this spot the best view of the other part of the old centre open before the eyes.
It gets even better if the weather is fine – the mountains in the background make a lot of difference.
The old stone wall around the Malo Grad is pretty low so climb it freely and find additional sights like this small square.
And behind the back…
Coming down from the Mali Grad there is a small open market place just across the street and a train station behind it. Find a narrow street above the station and take another three minute walk. Almost immediately a nice view of the Zaprice offers itself to the camera – a roof is of the train station.
A hundred meters up the hill is another view of the Mali Grad – but it is through the door of the private yard and the owners’s dog has no understanding of the photographer’s needs.
Cemeteries sometimes offers motifs for photographers. We went there to find out if another view of the Zaprice opens but it doesn’t.
It does from the railway station though. Many other angles can also be found wandering around the small territory. Some would also argue that Stari Grad (Old Castle) offers nice views. It does in fact but not on the old centre since the trees cover it. That would probably change in the near future – a viewpoint deck is under construction there. Until then only views of the mountains and the Kamnik Field are available. In any case – a phone wouldn’t be enough for a good photos. The Old Castle is pretty high on the hill, a 45 minute walk or 10 minutes drive is needed to reach it. In fact, the ruins of the castle. However, the sunrise can be nice and sunset even better there.
Many other places worth visiting are very close: the source of Kamniška Bistrica, Velika planina mountain pasture and Arboretum Volčji potok to name just a few. Enjoy!
Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar (@zokus_gf)