Permanent exhibition Beautiful Gorenjska

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1st FLOOR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11






















Conceptual team mag. Tatjana Eržen Dolžan, dr. Damir Globoènik, Beba Jenèiè, dr. Verena Perko, Helena Rant, mag. Monika Rogelj, mag. Marjana Žibert



External collaborators

dr. Milan Sagadin, mag. Darko Knez




dr. Verena Perko



Deputy editor-in-chief

dr. Damir Globoènik mag. Barbara Kalan



Technical editor English language revision

Claudia Marchesi



Graphic design

Željko Kovaèiæ



English translation

David Limon







Photographs Tomaž Lauko, Drago Holynski, Arne Hodaliè, Tomaž Hladnik, Željko Kovaèiæ, Mirko Kunšiè, Franc Oderlap, Franc Perdan, Janez Pukšiè, Igor Pustovrh, dr. Milan Sagadin, Marjan Smerke, Andrej Štremfelj, mag. Jože Štukl, Marko Tušek, Rafko Urankar, Nejc Zaplotnik, Marija Žerjal, Jože Dežman, mag. Tatjana Dolžan Eržen, dr. Damir Globoènik, Helena Rant, mag. Monika Rogelj, Tone Stojko, Tomaž Lunder, Andraž Gregoriè, Marko Habiè, Irena Jagodic, Jelena Justin, Jože Miheliè, Žiga Miljavec, Janez Medvešek, Marija Smrke, Silvo Kokalj, Slavko Smolej Review team Janez Bizjak, Ljuba Brajnik, Matija Jenko, dr. Milan Sagadin, dr. Andreja Valiè Zver, Majda Žontar, dr. Jože Žontar Published By Regional Museum Kranj, Marija Ogrin, Director



11 PROJECTION HALL: Good Luck, Kekec!












719(497.4Kranj)(036) 069(497.4Kranj)(036)



GORENJSKI muzej (Kranj) Beautiful Gorenjska : permanent exhibition Regional Museum Kranj, Castel Khislstein / [authors Tatjana Eržen Dolžan ... [etal.] ; English translation David Limon ; photographs Tomaž Lauko ... etal.]. - Kranj : Gorenjski muzej, 2014



CIP - The catalogue data National and University Library, Ljubljana

ISBN 978-961-6478-56-4 1. Gl. stv. nasl. 2. Dolžan Eržen, Tatjana 271799296







INTRODUCTION Gorenjska is exceptionally rich in cultural and natural heritage. It was here that the greatest Slovenian poet, Dr France Prešeren, was born. The longest Slovenian river, the Sava, begins here; and Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia as well as a symbol of the Slovenian people, is also here, in the heart of the Julian Alps. Due to its location, Gorenjska has since the earliest archaeological periods been economically and culturally a part of the South-Eastern Alps area. Ever since people first came here, its natural riches have allowed for economic development:





farming and tourism. Iron ore deposits brought about the development of iron-making, which was an important economic activity until its decline in the 20th century. Wood served as a raw material for charcoal-burning and in the construction of buildings, while the very fertile soil enabled the growing of food and the development of stock rearing. Across Gorenjska and its mountain passes ran trade


routes and with the construction in the 19th century of the Karavanke–Bohinj railway, which connected Central Europe with the Adriatic, the economy received another boost.

Through the centuries, spiritual and material life shaped the cultural heritage that was passed from one generation to another, and which nowadays is also safeguarded in museums and studied in professional institutions. The Gorenjska Museum, which is the central museum and gallery

Khislstein Castle during renovation work. (Photo H. Rant)

Memorial Museum in Kranj was given a new look, together with an accompanying exhibition. There are permanent exhibitions in the Pastoral Farming Culture Museum in Stara Fužina, at Oplen House below Mount Studor and on folk art in the Town Hall, whose Gothic corridors are decorated with the permanent Dolinar collection of statues. In the Tomaž Godec Museum in Bohinjska Bistrica there is a presentation


of 20th century history. In spite of the attraction of the permanent exhibitions, there was a gap, since Gorenjska as a whole was not presented in any single location. This is why in 2008 the announcement by the then director Barbara Ravnik about the renovation of Khislstein Castle during renovation work. (Photo H. Rant)

the Khislstein castle complex was received by the employees of the Gorenjski Museum with great enthusiasm, as well as Khislstein Castle during renovation work.

institution in Gorenjska, keeps a large proportion of the rich tangible and intangible heritage from this area and displays it in accordance with the most modern museum presentation methods. Since the establishment of our museum in 1953, a considerable number of permanent exhibitions have been presented which have been gradually, in response to public needs, replaced by others or modernised. Ten years ago we opened the permanent archaeological exhibition The Iron Thread in the Town Hall and at that time the Prešeren

(Photo Ž. Kovaèiæ)


a sense of responsibility. A new challenge lay ahead, which also provided a unique opportunity to place into the newly renovated premises a permanent exhibition of the best that the rich cultural heritage of the whole of Gorenjska has to offer. A museum project group was formed with the aim of putting together the exhibition “Beautiful Gorenjska” in accordance with the most modern methods. The long-held dream of the renovated Khislstein Castle began to be realised and now we have this indispensable guide to the “Beautiful Gorenjska” permanent exhibition, which follows the layout of the exhibition. The editing of the catalogue was taken on by Dr Verena Vidrih Perko, with the help of Dr Damir Globoènik and other colleagues.

I am certain that with the renovation of Khislstein Castle and by using modern museum approaches and acting with utmost responsibility towards the public, Gorenjska Museum 8

will become a setting for cultural events at the local, national


and international levels, thus contributing towards the preservation of our identity in Europe, of which we are an integral part.

In the spring of 2008, the Gorenjska Museum curators responded with great enthusiasm to the news of the Marija Ogrin, Director

renovation of Khislstein Castle and the opportunity to stage a new permanent exhibition there. From the very beginning, it was agreed that we would design it as a story about people, the countryside and iron-making. And as we are also the museum of the national poet Prešeren, we also wanted it to be about being Slovenian. Another goal was to ensure that the exhibition responded to the needs of our public. After careful consideration and on the basis of successful cooperation in previous years, we chose the acclaimed Zagreb architect Željko Kovaèiæ to lead the renovation. A demanding task lay ahead of us. The exhibition had to adhere to strict heritage protection requirements, as well as the architectural characteristics of the building and the


almost on a plate. But as town dwellers were just one aspect of the Gorenjska past, we dedicated the adjacent room to the story of a girl from a farm and her trousseau, using painted furniture from the rich treasury of our collections. All the other exhibition scenes were based on this core in the Blue and Green Halls. In order to satisfy local people and to draw the attention of foreigners to the beauty of Gorenjska, the story begins with a model showing the past and present of our region through texts and pictures. The story about the land that has since ancient days fed and clothed ordinary people is Photograph of the exhibition

presented in the second room. It goes back to the time when

(Photo T. Lauko)

our oldest villages first appeared. The chosen archaeological

paintings it contained. The exhibition concept thus took as its starting point the most beautiful part of the castle, the Blue Hall, with its 19th century frescoes. The hall offers a unique historical framework for the central exhibition setting featuring four important Slovenians: Žiga Zois, France Prešeren, Janez 10

Bleiweis and Jakob Aljaž. All four are connected with Kranj and Gorenjska, and without their great acts and committed endeavours there would be today no independent Slovenia.

objects bear witness to nearly three millennia of iron-making tradition, which left its mark on the modern Gorenjska economy. There follow scenes about castle and church nobility, with the stories of Pusti grad and Khislstein castles supplemented by images and sculptures from the Gorenjska churches. Next comes a walk past well-known Kranj houses, 11 where visitors can get a glimpse of life and death in old Kranj.

We focused particularly on the importance of the Slovenian language and the struggle for nationhood. The central exhibition scene consists of a temple with four columns and the “altar of the homeland”. On it, we have placed an illustrated edition of Prešeren’s poem Zdravljica (A Toast), printed in late 1944, thus emphasising the importance of Slovenian culture for the emergence of the present-day state and the existence of Slovenians. The romantically decorated Green Hall also in a sense selected its own exhibition content. Here, we have re-created a town house salon where, as an echo of the political strivings of the great men of that period, cultural life would unfold, organised by educated women. And because in the Blue Hall we encounter Lovro Toman with the Slovenian tricolour, the love story involving him and Josipina Urbanèiè of Turn Castle, who as a poetess and intellectual personified the role of the 19th century towns woman, presented itself to us

Photograph of the exhibition (Photo T. Lauko)

They also become acquainted with transport and trade. Maria Theresa’s reign brought compulsory education, and

more knowledge signified progress. The bitter stories of the

because of a complex of problems connected with the castle

Kropa blacksmiths are encapsulated in the handful of iron-

renovations and self sufficiency of the main project manager,

making money that the workers could spend only in the shop

the large attic, to our great disappointment, remains empty.

owned by their master.

The renovated rooms on the second floor are intended for

The arrival of a railway, accelerating the development of

occasional exhibitions and for the inclusion of the local

enterprise and trade, included Kranj in the general flow of

community in museum events. In one of the large rooms we will be able to hold occasional museum evenings, which have a long tradition at the Gorenjska Museum and are a popular form of conveying new knowledge to the public. We have forged close links with our visitors from the very start of the preparations and so it was not difficult to tailor the permanent exhibition to their needs. During the entire process we kept asking for visitors’ opinions and filling in the gaps where they appeared. We invited selected reviewers, who represented our museum public, for a talk. We sent them texts to read and took their comments into consideration. We would like to thank them for their contribution.


Through objects from our heritage we wished to relate happy, Photograph of the exhibition

sad and serious stories about our predecessors, their wisdom

(Photo T. Lauko)

and knowledge. This is why the exhibition is a selection of

development. This is the period when industry developed in Kranj, marking the expansion of Gorenjska’s economy in the last century. And that is the beginning of the multifaceted story

stories about the people who have lived in Gorenjska through its long history. It attests to their love of the soil and the region and their unshakable faith in the future of the Slovenian nation.

of the 20th century, which was allocated space in the castle

We hope we have managed to succeed. Do pay us a visit some

attic, among the original roof construction’s labyrinth of beams

time and judge for yourself!

and supports. Our tale ends with Slovenia’s independence. The extensive castle attic presented a great challenge. With the addition of a staircase it was changed into an attractive exhibition space for all those objects for which there was no

Dr. Verena Perko, lead curator of the permanent exhibition

room in the permanent exhibition, but which we felt it would be a shame to keep hidden in the museum’s storage depot. This is where we hoped that our visitors would be able to relax, to sit down for a moment, have a coffee from a vending machine or simply to socialise, sharing their exhibition stories. But

Kranj, 29th September 2011


Photo J. Miheliè Photo Ž. Miljavec


GORGEOUS GORENJSKA /from a song by Slavko Avsenik with lyrics by Feri Souvan/


A dedicatory stone to the Saverkna from Podkoren, early 2nd century AD (Gorenjska Museum collection, photo T. Lauko)

In 2005, a stone with a dedicatory inscription, erected by Panorama of Gorenjska Panart d.o.o., Lesce

one Steven (Stefanus in Latin) and his family in honour of the River Saverkna, was found on a heap of rubble from a cottage in Podkoren. Because of the proximity of the sources of the river in nearby Zelenci, it is thought that the name Saverkna refers to the divine forces of the sources of the present day River Sava. Two thousand years ago the Romans incorporated

16 The Gorenjska landscape that we admire today was shaped over

many millions of years. Glaciers and rushing waters carved out canyons, valleys and river beds, while lakes were also formed.

what is now the Gorenjska region into their Italian territory and made good use of the fertile fields, mineral riches and the trade routes over the mountain passes.

But the oldest traces of humans in Gorenjska date back only a few tens of thousands of years. Prehistoric settlements and burial sites of these original inhabitants have been discovered in many parts of Gorenjska. With the arrival of the Slavs, who intermixed with the indigenous people, the Slavic language prevailed. The wealth of ancient wisdom and customs was absorbed into the new culture, but the old names of rivers and mountains were retained. Importantly, the skill of iron-making, which has been present in Gorenjska for 2800 years, was also retained. Thanks to its forests, rich iron ore deposits and iron working skills, fertile fields and busy trade routes, Gorenjska (historically Upper Carniola) was economically vibrant. Its sense of regional awareness and of Slovenianness is rooted in thriftiness, a sense of attachment to the land, faith and the native language. This is why the homesteads of Gorenjska have produced so many learned people.

Janez Vajkard Valvazor, Ljubelj 1679, copper engraving. In his Topographia ducatus Carniolae modernae the Carniolan nobleman and scholar Janez Vajkard Valvazor (1641–1693) published copper engravings of many places in the then province of Carniola.


its inhabitants. But it is also a call for us to have the determination to carefully preserve what we have inherited from our forebears.

Arheološki vestnik 38, 1987

The exhibition Gorgeous Gorenjska is a tribute to the region and


Jožef Wagner, Ljubelj 1842, lithograph (Gorenjska Museum collection)

Between 1842 and 1848 the sketcher, topographer and publisher Jožef Wagner (1803–1861) from Klagenfurt had lithographs of Gorenjska printed.



Ljubelj in 2010

Gorenjska Museum collection

(Gorenjska Museum collection)

In the past, the land meant everything to people. The farm, the nearby church and castle – that was their world. The lives of the children differed little from those of the parents.

as tales about mythological giants known as Ajdi, about the Fates and fairies known as “white women”. The old settlements built after the collapse of the Roman empire were located on difficult to access heights. These settlements, such as Ajdna, Sv. Lovrenc and Gradišèe above Bašelj, Sv. Jakob above Potoèe, and Trnje near Škofja Loka, became deserted after the arrival of Slavs. In Kranj,

Between the 10th and 15th centuries, the lords divided the land into

the biggest and most important walled settlement from the

individual farms that in Gorenjska were passed on in their entirety

late Roman period, life continued as before. The early Slav

from one generation to the next. The peasant worked the given

settlers did not encroach on the town; rather, they built

land, giving a large share of the produce to the feudal lord and

new settlements around it in Gorenja Sava, Spodnji Bitenj,

performing the obligatory socage or feudal duties. Working the land

Drulovka and Mlaka near Kranj.

demanded a great deal of toil and drudgery. The feudal lord also governed the peasant's private life, among other things granting

Only when the population converted to Christianity in the

permission for marriage and deciding on inheritance. Families had

9th century did Kranj, as the seat of a large parish, become

large numbers of children, often more than ten, but due to hunger,

an administrative and religious centre. Alongside the church

illness and war very few survived. The farm was inherited by only

there was a large graveyard for people from the wider area.

one child, while the others married in the neighbourhood or went

Kranj became the centre of the Duchy of Carniola and later,

20 to work as farmhands or maids.

following the Frankish administrative reforms, the seat of government of the border province. Dr. M. Sagadin

THE SETTLEMENT OF SLAVIC NEWCOMERS IN THE GORENJSKA REGION The settlement of Slavs on the territory of the present day Gorenjska began in the second half of the 7th century AD. This can clearly be seen from the burial grounds and the rare remains of settlements, such as the one at Pristava in Bled, at Dobro Polje and at Šmartno near Cerklje. The already cultivated plots of land were very inviting for the newcomers. They erected numerous new settlements, best illustrated by Blejski kot. Occasionally, they buried their dead in the ruins of Roman villas, such as at Britof near Kranj and at Rodine.

A significant proportion of Gorenjska’s economy consisted of iron-making, which is a very old skill. On the Gorenjska hills people began searching for iron ore more than two millennia ago. At the same time they herded livestock, so iron-making has long been connected with mountain pasturing. From the very beginning, iron was a source of strength and power belonging to the ruler. The locals benefited mainly indirectly from the large quantities of worldfamous Noric iron that were produced – earning

The contacts between Slavs and the indigenous population

money through charcoal-making, mining and carting,

are attested to by the material culture, such as pottery and

which provided a solid basis for Gorenjska's

some types of jewellery, as well as by folk traditions, such



and probably had built-in stoves with a fireplace. Roughly 500 years ago, fireplaces were relocated to the entrance chamber, which is known as a smoke kitchen. The now smokefree space with a stove became the main family room. With time, houses with more than one room began to be built. The diet was simple, consisting of home-grown or gathered Iron ingots from Lesce (Gorenjska Museum collection, photo T. Lauko)

produce, and based on grains in the form of kasha or flour. The old peasant saying Eighteen times kasha, then Sunday is an illustration of this. Because of kasha (kaša in Slovenian), the places below the

In 2007, near Lesce, during the construction of the Gorenjska

mountains from Begunje to Žirovnice are known locally as Kašarija

motorway, workers came across three iron ingots – semi-

(Kashaland). Sometimes, instead of kasha, people would eat a

finished casting products dating from 2000 years ago. It is

gruel of flour and water.

almost certain that these objects were made by the ironmakers in this area and that they were intended to go to an unknown Roman centre for further processing. In antiquity, Noric iron (Ferrum NoricumI), an iron with steel-like qualities that was made in Carinthia and the present day Gorenjska, 22

was famous far and wide. The high quality of the products was made possible by local iron ore rich in manganese, as well as the special skills of the local iron-makers, who further improved the various types of pig iron by re-forging and using the most appropriate coal. The increased carbon levels in the iron from these processes made its characteristics closer to those of steel.

The fireplace in a shepherd’s dwelling in Velopolje, photographed in 1978. The fireplace was built from a wooden frame, stones and sand. This is the simplest type of preserved fireplace in Gorenjska, once typical of wooden houses. (Photographic library of the Gorenjska museum, photo D. Holynski)

The origin of the village of Rodine In Roman times, a number of villae rusticae or country villas

Smoke kitchen, hiša and monotonous food The medieval houses in these areas were wooden, consisting of a single space while the entrance was protected from rain and snow by a shed-like structure. On the other side of the roofed area in front of the entrance there was a stable.

appeared in Gorenjska. They consisted of a residential part and outbuildings, surrounded by the fields and meadows that belonged to the villa. One such villa was discovered at the village of Rodine. Later, new settlers built their homes around the remains of these villas and mixed with the indigenous population. The last to settle here, 1400 years ago, were Slavs. Graves from that time have

Smoke spread throughout the single room and escaped through

been found in Rodine, Smokuè, Doslovèe, Begunje and Moste.

the uncovered part of the thatched roof. The fireplace was the

In the 10th century Rodine became a parish centre under the

heart of a peasant home – fire provided light and warmth, and

patronage of St. Clement. At that time there were at least two

the food was cooked on it. Planned settlements, such as those in

farms in the village. This was also the time when the land began to

Bitnje or Šenèur near Kranj, were built following a unified model

be distributed by the feudal lord resulting in the system of working


land on farms of 15-20 hectares, known as hides. Over time, the number of farms increased. Each peasant received a plot of land for a house and outbuildings, while the fields and meadows were in different locations around the village. In most of Gorenjska, land was usually divided into units (gruda) of varying sizes and shapes. As the population grew over the centuries the existing land was divided into new cultivated units, while new land had to be found outside the initial nucleus, often by clearing forest. The result of these centuries of development involving inheritance and small purchases can be seen in the cadastral map produced during the land survey carried in the 19th century under Emperor Franz I.

A cart on a medieval fresco of Holy Sunday in Crngrob, which shows the washing of linen cloth. (Fresco reconstruction, Slovenian Ethnographic Museum, photo M. Habiè)

MEDIEVAL ŠKOFJA LOKA MENTIONS OF GORENJSKA VILLAGES IN WRITTEN SOURCES From the 11th to the 15th century, the Middle Ages shaped in a multitude of ways the Gorenjska landscape and its 24

economy, as well as the social structure that survived for a

Škofja Loka is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful medieval towns. Originally it was called Loka, whilst in medieval documents the following forms of the name appear: Lonca, Loka, Lack.

number of centuries. There appeared villages bearing names

In 973 the Roman-German Emperor Otto II donated the town

that are still in use. And in these villages, one-family farms

and its surroundings to the Freising Bishopric and so it gradually

known as hides appeared. In Gorenjska, the earliest records

became known as Škofja Loka (škof is the Slovenian word

in written sources are mainly from settlements in the Škofja

for bishop) or by its German equivalent Bischoflack. The Loka

Loka and Radovljica areas.

estate was the largest in Slovenia and survived until 1803.

973 Škofja Loka, Selca, Žabnica, Suha pri Škofji Loki

The administrative centre of the Loka estate was constructed

1002 Stražišèe pri Kranju

by the Freising bishops on a hill above the confluence of the

1004 Bled

Poljane Sora and Selca Sora rivers. The oldest part is the

1029 Dovje

tower-like castle on Krancelj. In the 13th century, a lower

1050 Kranjska Gora

castle in a more favourable economic and transport location

1050 Begunje, Brezje, Krnica, Želeèe in Mužje pri Bledu

was added. Below it there grew a settlement of craftsmen and

1050 Bistrica pri Tržièu, Kovor, Leše, Visoèe pri Kovorju

merchants, first mentioned in 1248 as a market settlement

1060 Preddvor

and then in 1274 as a town. The town and the castle were

1063 Koritno

surrounded by a wall with five town gates. Space within the

1065 Bohinj

walls was limited, so the townspeople built tall houses with

1075 Sebenje, Selo pri Bledu, Zasip pri Bledu, Zgoša

narrow streets in between. There was more space only on

1085 Mlino pri Bledu

what is now Mestni trg (Town Square). In the Middle Ages, townspeople made a living from crafts and trade, and


important trade route running from Styria across the Tuhinj Valley, past Kamnik and Smlednik, to the Primorska region and past Ilirska Bistrica to Rijeka. The Freising bishops relocated settlers from Bavaria, Carinthia

Gorenjska Museum collection

partly from agriculture. Škofja Loka was located next to an

and Tyrol to the Sora Plain, the Poljane Valley and the Selca Valley because around the year 1000 these areas were only sparsely populated. To provide the new farms with sufficient land, extensive woodland areas were cleared. On the Sora Plain, the settlement and the emergence of new farms that began in the 11th century ended before the late 13th century. In the two valleys, however, new villages and isolated farms


continued to appear until the late 15th century. It was at that time that Železniki became an iron-making centre.

believers would be torturing the Saviour again if they perform them on a Sunday or a holy day. Torment in hell, pictured bottom right, awaits all those who disobey. The fresco is interesting due to the depiction of medieval activities and crafts, such as hunting with a falcon, shoeing a horse, growing flax, spinning and weaving, dyeing linen, bathing, going to the inn, dancing and so on.

Fresco from the church on Križna gora, 1502; France Stele, Gotsko stensko slikarstvo, 1972

(A reconstruction of the original kept by the Škofja Loka Museum, photo J. Štukl)

the suffering Jesus. The scenes show activities with which

IN THE CLOUDS /France Prešeren/

Fresco of Holy Sunday, mid15th century, the workshop of Janez of Ljubljana, the western facade of Crngrob church.

Nine strips comprising 47 scenes are arranged around


While he serf was dependent on the feudal lord, the lord was dependent on the serf ’s labour, for the only guarantee of strength and riches was carefully tended land. Landed estates were also owned by the Church, which was deeply ensconced in the feudal system, and also controlled the spiritual life of both the lord and the serf.

Medieval estates In the late 10th century the ruler began to distribute land among the important noble families and bishoprics. In the early 13th century the most powerful were the Counts of Andechs, who were based in Kamnik but who also established the town of Kranj. The remaining land was divided between the bishoprics of Freising and Brixen, and the noble Ortenburg family. Around 1400 the Ortenburgs were at the height of their power, which was based partly on iron-making; they owned a number of

The castle was the fortified home of the lord of the manor, the

castles, including Pusti Castle above Lipnica. When the Andechs

centre of his estate and of legal and judicial power over the serfs.

and Ortenburgs counts died out, their estates and castles in

The oldest preserved castle in Slovenia is Bled, which is mentioned

Gorenjska passed to the Celje counts.

in written sources from the year 1011. Between the 11th and 16th centuries hundreds of castles and manor houses were built


in Gorenjska. The earliest castles were fortified towers built on




R A [ K I G

strategic points to guard roads, crossing points and people. The






dependent on ties of kinship, triumphs and defeats.


Pusti grad





time in Slovenia.



At the time of the Turkish incursions, churches were also places of


[kofja Loka



G R O F J E G O R I [ K I


Gornji Grad





frescoes and are among the most beautiful monuments to this

by a defensive wall.


Novi grad

Almost every village had a church. Many were painted with

refuge for the local inhabitants, so many of them were surrounded











higher feudal lord who granted him land. His power and fate were


lord of the manor was answerable to and subordinate to the


Kamnik Smlednik

SVIB Jeterbenk






Lihtenberk Osterberg



Estates in Gorenjska in the early 13th century Bled depicted on a copper engraving from Janez Vajkard Valvazor's Topographia ducatus Carniolae modernae, printed in 1679. In the early 11th century, the inhabitants of the old Slavic district of Bled were included in the Bled estate. The castle became the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the estate belonging to the Bishopric of Brixen.

(Milko Kos, Historical Institute, Scientific Research Centre, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

Pusti grad or Lipnica Castle or Waldenberg Pusti Castle is also known as as Lipnica Castle or in German


as Waldenberg. The estate was managed by the Ortenburg

The first stone castles in Gorenjska were erected in the

family, who in the early 12 century acquired the land below

11th and 12th centuries in difficult to access or naturally

the Karavanke Alps, Kamen Castle near Begunje and Pusti

protected locations. Many medieval castles appeared as the

grad near Lipnica. The first mention of the latter in historical

result of the arrival of foreign church and secular feudal lords

sources is in 1228, when it was taken over by Count Frederick

in Slovenia and are mentioned in connection with them in

of Ortenburg. His family lived here until 1418 or the death of

various documents.


Frederick III, who was responsible for the development of ironmaking in Gorenjska.


The ruins of Pusti Castle (Photo T. Hladnik)

The story of Pusti Castle The death of the last Ortenburg left its traces in the folk tradition of the Lipnica Valley. A legend tells of the count and his unfaithful wife. The cuckolded count gets to know a beautiful girl and begins living with her in Pusti Castle. When she bears him a son, his wife


Bled Castle


the castle in Stara Loka


the Brixen fortification in Kranj


Smlednik Castle


Preddvor Castle


the castle at Sora near Medvode


New Castle above Preddvor


Gradišèe above Bašelj


Gorièane Castle


Wartenberg Castle below Šmarjetna gora


Old Castle and Small Castle in Kamnik


Pusti Castle near Lipnica




Škofja Loka Castle


Kamen Castle


Jablje Castle


Strmol Castle

gets her revenge by slyly sticking a needle in the baby's head. She offers the count half an apple that she has cut with a knife poisoned on one side of its blade and eats the other half. Only when he finds his dead son does he realise what his wife has done. In his final agonies he throws her from the castle battlements and sets fire to

The Ortenburg Mining Regulations

the castle. The wife changes into a snake, which still today slithers

The Ortenburg Mining Regulations is a medieval legal document. It

through the ruins. She will be rescued by one who, as a baby, lay in

was issued in 1381 by Count Frederick of Ortenburg and is one of

a cradle made from the wood of a lime tree that grows among the

the oldest such documents in Slovenia. It was created as a result

ruins and the countess will show him where the treasure of Pusti

of the changed social and economic conditions in the 14th century

Castle is hidden.

in the Jesenice and Upper Sava River Valley area. Agriculture and


animal husbandry were badly developed there, and the feudal lords were unable to collect the same taxes as elsewhere in Gorenjska. The planned economic policy introduced by the Ortenburg family


improved conditions. Overgrown and marshy areas were settled

Frescoes in churches helped people to learn Bible stories

and turned into fertile fields. In addition, the iron smelting method

and understand religious teachings, for at this time most of

was changed: iron ore was no longer smelted in simple smelting

the population was illiterate and the mass took place in Latin,

pits near the location where it was found, into which air had to be

which they could not understand.

conducted. Instead, blast furnaces were built in the valley, using the power of water, combining furnaces, bellows and hammers. The owners had to employ large numbers of people for different tasks. The Ortenburg Mining Regulations laid the foundations for the legal regulation of relations between furnace owners, skilled craftsmen and workers. In addition, it represents the point when

The succursal church of St Leonard at Breg near Preddvor

the old fashioned iron making in higher locations above Jesenice

is famous for its medieval paintings. The frescoes in the presbytery

ended and the procedure was relocated to the valley.

and on both triumphal arch walls are among the most beautiful and best preserved medieval paintings. They were most likely painted around 1420 by two Friuli painters, whose names are unknown.


33 The Rateèe Manuscript named after its place of origin, is of historical importance to Gorenjska as it is the second oldest document in the Old Slovenian language. The Lord's Prayer, Apostles' Creed and Hail Mary are written in a mixture of Gorenjska (Upper Carniola), Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) and River Gail valley dialects. The manuscript dates from between 1362 and 1390, when Rateèe still belonged to the parish of Maria Gail, near what is now Villach in Austria. As it was discovered in Klagenfurt, it is also known as the Klagenfurt manuscript. (Provincial Archives in Klagenfurt)

Breg near Preddvor, the succursal church of St Leonard (Photo D. Globoènik)

Most of the medieval churches in the central part of Slovenia (Carniola) were painted in a similar way. The altar space was meant to symbolically represent heavenly Jerusalem on earth as described in the Book of Revelation. On the vault, there is a depiction of Christ in Glory, Christ the Judge or the Saviour, and he is surrounded by the evangelists or their symbols, or sometimes by the Church fathers. On the walls below there are depictions of the Apostles, signifying the twelve supporting pillars of Christianity. Sometimes there are also depictions of angels singing, praying or

playing musical instruments. This type of the painting of the altar

The statue of the Pieta originates from Bistrica near Tržiè. It is wooden and would once have been painted in lively colours. It was made around 1510 by an unknown master, nowadays usually referred to as the “Master of Mary from Trboje” after another statue of Mary in Trboje near Kranj.

vault became known as the Carniolan Presbytery. The manner in which the part of the church intended for believers is painted and known as Slovenian Gothic. It is characterised by the depiction on the upper part of the arch wall of the offering of Cain and Abel, whilst at the sides there is the Annunciation, and above the side altars there are usually saints or scenes from their life. Along the whole of the northern wall there is a depiction of the

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

journey and adoration of the Magi, who are shown moving towards the altar. On the northern and southern wall there are often depictions of

The eating and drinking habits of the wealthy

the Passion of the Christ, legends associated with the church’s

The diet and eating habits of the nobility were faithfully described

patrons and other saints or scenes from the life of Mary. The

in the diary of Paolo Santonino, who was secretary to the Patriarch

horrific image of the Last Judgement is painted on the western

of Aquileia.


Carinthia and Styria, visiting on the way some places in Upper

On the outside of medieval churches there was usually a portrayal

Carniola (Gorenjska). In priests' houses and monasteries he

Between 1485 and 1487 Santonino travelled in

of St Christopher looking out at passers-by. Usually, this appeared

would be given boiled or roast fowl, fish, game, beef and lamb,

looking at this image offered protection against sudden death.

and cabbage with bacon. His hosts were similarly generous with

34 on the side facing the settlement. According to popular belief,

The Velesovo Madonna on a postcard from 1920s (Gorenjska Museum collections)

The sculpture of Mary in the pilgrim church in Velesovo is the oldest in Slovenia and at the same time all that remains from the original pilgrim church. The statue, dating from the early 13th century, is said to perform miracles and has since the late 14th century been dressed in valuable clothing in liturgical colours.

Maja Šubic and Irena Romih, a depiction of a medieval meal according to Santonino. (Photo T. Lunder)

with a variety of sauces. Santonino also mentions various soups 35 desserts, fruit and cheeses, white bread and excellent wines. At larger banquets, they were served with as many as seven courses.

The threat from the Turks


The most violent Turkish attacks came in the period after 1470.

The oldest traces of a settlement in Kamnik have been found

The incursions were aimed at Carinthia, so Gorenjska (Upper

at what is known as ‘Small Castle’. The dwelling remains

Carniola) was pillaged less than the other provinces. In spite

go back to the New Stone Age, i.e. the 4th millennium BC.

of this, local farmers set up fortified encampments or refuges

In the early Middle Ages, an old Slavic settlement stood on

to which they could flee with their animals and belongings. The

the same spot and the mayor may have been based there.

building of these encampments was supervised by the feudal lords

Next to the settlement there was a cemetery with a chapel

and local princes, for defending farmers was also in their interests.

that stood on the same spot as the present day Small Castle

There were more than 30 such encampments in Gorenjska, with

chapel. From around 1000 onwards, Kamnik was the seat

that in Podbrezje being one of the smallest. Its location on a rise

of the Sempt-Ebersberg Margraves. Their estate lay north of

above level ground gave the defenders a good view to all sides.

the River Sava, between Trojane and Kokra. Kamnik enjoyed

Lighting bonfires on exposed hilltops was the quickest way of

its greatest renown under the noble Andechs family, who granted the town its rights. The townspeople of Kamnik are mentioned for the first time in a document from 1229. The Andechs ensured solid economic foundations by introducing a forced transit route through Kamnik and the Tuhinj Valley 36

which replaced the former route along Èrni graben. Kamnik was also the centre of the Carniolan Mark and acquired a mint, which minted coins for the noble Spanheim family, who acquired the Kamnik estate in 1248 and succeeded the Andechs. The main trade route between Styria and Carniola past Kamnik was controlled by two castles. Both were erected by the Bavarian Counts of Andechs. Old Castle stood on a rocky ridge, while Small Castle was built above a steep cliff. Small Castle was destroyed by an earthquake and fire in the 16th century and was not rebuilt, but a twostorey castle chapel from the 12th and 13th centuries with a beautiful Romanesque portal has been preserved.

Dr. M. Sagadin

warning of an imminent Turkish threat. The bonfire at Ljubljana Castle very quickly and effectively passed on a warning to Gorenjska, where bonfires were then lit on the hills of Šmarna Gora and Šmarjetna Gora, at St Peter's above Begunje and in Bela Peè near Rateèe. These signals were followed by the lighting of many small local bonfires on the surrounding hills, where a great 37 deal of firewood was brought by cart, while mortars were put in place and guards posted. The anti-Turk encampment in Podbrezje (Photo H. Rant)

Where Khislstein Castle now stands, as early as 1500 years ago there stood a defensive wall. This plot of land was acquired in 1256 by the Ortenburgs, who built a fort on it. When the family died out in the 15th century it passed into the ownership of the Celje counts and, after the death of the last of the line, to the Habsburgs. In the mid-16th century the fort was bought by Janž Khisl of Fužine (now part of Ljubljana) and in 1578 he rebuilt it as a residential manor house. From that time on it has been known

J. V. Valvazor: Topographia ducatus Carniolae modernae

Khislstein Castle in Kranj

JANŽ KHISL (born aroun 1530, died in1593) Janž Khisl from Fužine near Ljubljana was a successful businessman, the owner of a paper making plant and the then only glassworks in Carniola. The paper bore the watermark of the Khisl coat-of-arms. As a Protestant, Khisl supported the


publication of Slovenian Protestant hymn books. In addition, he was a benefactor to and supporter of art and science. His son Jurij also supported the Protestant Church in Carniola. After Jurij’s death in 1605, the Khisl family in Carniola died out.


/after France Prešern/ Janž Khisl’s coatof-arms. On 12 December 1561 Emperor Ferdinand I improved Khisl’s coat-of arms with a diploma, granted him a noble title and the right to use a red wax seal. (Janez Vajkard Valvazor: Opus insignium armorumque, 1687–1688, page 38)

Gorenjska Museum collections


Photo A. Hodaliè

different owners.

Photo C. Paier

as Khislstein Castle, although since 1592 it has had a number of

– Creina – Krainburg – Kranj. A medieval settlement, whose name is unknown, was followed by Antique Carnium, then medieval Creina, then Krainburg and today Kranj. The name and appearance of the modern town conceal an uninterrupted history of six millennia.

A copper engraving published in 1649 in the Topography of Austrian Provinces by Matthaüs Merian (1593-1650), is the oldest known depiction of Kranj, showing the noticeable regular pyramidlike form of the town's outline, with the central bell tower of the parish church. The copper engraving served as the basis for the coloured graphic that appeared in the Great Atlas published in 1672 in Amsterdam.

The oldest homes revealed by numerous archaeological studies in

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

Kranj, a town with four names: Carnium

the old Kranj town centre were built on a safe rocky prominence above the confluence of the Sava and Kokra rivers in the Neolithic


period. Upon the collapse of the Western Roman Empire a

instead subordinate to their feudal lord. At the time of the French

Germanic military stronghold grew up here, the name of which

occupation from 1809 to 1813, Kranj became a municipal centre

1400 years ago was first written in Latin as Carnium. When the

or mairie and in 1810, for one year, it became the home to a

Langobards and other Germanic tribes moved into Italy at the

lower secondary school in which the language of instruction was

end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th century, the original


inhabitants were joined by Slavs. Through this intermingling of the peoples and cultures the foundations of the Slovenian culture and language were laid.

In the 19th century, it was one of the smaller towns of the Austrian 41 Empire, with the German name Krainburg. In 1918, after the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, it finally

Kranj played an important role in the creation of the province of

took on the name Kranj. Use of the Slovenian name was interrupted

Carniola, as a military and administrative centre with the seat of

only by the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

the margrave. The town lay along a trade route, mentioned in 973 as Via Chreinariorum or the road of the Carniolans. Another


name for the town was Creina, which first appeared in 1060 in the

In Kranj there were many

documents of the Brixen bishops.

craftsmen supplying the

Kranj started to develop as a real medieval town in the 12th century. It is one of the oldest Slovenian towns, having been given its town privileges by the Andechs counts. It was mentioned in 1256 as civitate Chreinburch or the town of Kranj.

townspeople and those living nearby. There were millers, blacksmiths, butchers, potters, tanners,


In the 14 century the town passed into the ownership of the

tailors and others.

Habsburgs, who placed it in the hands of feudal lords, including

Around 1400 there were

the Celje counts. Until the mid-18 century, Kranj was the only

15 bakers. They were

princely town in Upper Carniola, directly subordinate to the

joined together in a

Emperor. The towns of Škofja Loka, Kamnik and Radovljica were

guild, one of the town's



Maja Šubic and Irena Romih, a depiction of a carpenter, 2011. (Photo T. Lunder)

oldest. In line with its rules, all the bread was put by the bakers into a “bread chamber” from where it was sold. In this way they tried to ensure quality and a uniform price. The aim of the guild A golden earring in the shape of a snake swallowing its tail, from the Egkh family tomb, 15th or 16th century.

was not only to turn a profit, but also to guarantee a good living for its members and to protect the socially threatened families of guild members. Carpenters were important craftsmen, engaged in the building

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

of houses, which were largely of wood and until the 18th century most were covered with wooden shingles. Carpentry tools did not change greatly from the oldest times right up to the appearance of electric tools.

Kranj townhouses The economic success of the townspeople was reflected in their

Protestants in Kranj Kranj is linked to Protestantism. Primož Trubar, a Protestant clergyman who wrote A First Reader and Catechism, the first Slovenian books, published in 1550, lived for a short while in 42 Kranj and at Brdo Castle. He was a guest of the Egkh counts, the

owners of Brdo Castle and the ossuary chapel next to the Kranj

everyday life. Townhouses were better furnished and contained a variety of kitchenware. There was usually an open hearth in the kitchen with fire-tongs for picking up pots, some of iron and tin, the rest earthenware. Dishes, plates and jugs were kept in wooden racks on the wall. Houses were lit with candles and tallow dips on simple ceramic or metal candlesticks and bases.

parish church. Kranj was also the birthplace of his wife Barbara. In the 1670s the Church of the Holy Rosary in Kranj, where the main preacher was Gašper Rokavec, became a centre of

Layer’s House

Protestantism. But due to the strength of the Catholic Church, in

The painter Leopold Layer (1752-1828) had his studio in house

1601 the Bishop of Ljubljana, Tomaž Hren, had Protestant books burned on the main square in Kranj. The only book excluded was Jurij Dalmatin's Slovenian translation of the Bible.

built in the early 19th century. His successors also worked here. The



Classicist and Baroque decoration with Biedermeier





drawn to the eminent fa-

The Egkh counts owned extensive estates around Kranj,

mily by the reliefs on the

including Brdo Castle. In the town itself, they had a house

façade. One of them is a

next to the parish church. In 1463, between their house and

bust of the artist with his

the church, on the site of an old ossuary, they built a chapel


of the Holy Mother. In front of the chapel was the family tomb

house interior is richly

with their coat-of-arms and an inscription of the year 1475.




Layer’s House (Photo D. Globoènik)


Ceramic candlesticks, cups, goblets and a plate from a potters kiln, 16th century, found between Khislstein and Lovski castles. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo R. Urankar)

Gold jewellery and a Venetian coin found in graves around the Kranj parish church, 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

During construction work in 1970, a number of painted wooden coffins from the second half of the 18th century were found in a tomb of the parish church of St Cantianus and his fellow martyrs in Kranj. The coffins are

Tin kitchenware, plates, dishes and jugs, 17th century.

painted with black and white crosses and other symbols

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

connected with death and resurrection.

The graveyard next to the Kranj parish church The oldest graveyard appeared around an early Christian church dating from the 6th century. The original town inhabitants were


44 buried there and later also Slavic incomers. The graveyard

A rosary of jet beads with two hands carved from bone was

remained in use until 1789, when subsequent burials moved to

discovered in one of the numerous graves around Kranj parish

the location of the present day Prešeren’s Grove. It is one of the

church. Rosaries of black beads were common in the 17th

most important medieval graveyards in which burials took place

century, but the beads were usually made of wood. Even the

uninterruptedly for nearly 1300 years. Extensive archaeological

crosses at the end of the rosary were usually made of black

research has shown that this was the most important graveyard in

wood. Rosaries made of jet and with hands carved from bone

Slovenia from the time of the settlement of Slavs in this region.

– a symbol of Jesus Christ – are a rare find. They used to be

Many typical Slavic and Old Slovenian jewellery items and knives

brought by pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela and we

have been found in the early graves, while the later graves, in

are assuming this is the case with the deceased in the grave

addition to the remains of clothes and some jewellery, also held

next to the parish church. The rosary probably accompanied

numerous crosses and holy medals, which indicate frequent

him as a precious holy object and a memento of the long

pilgrimages to holy places undertaken by the Kranj inhabitants.

pilgrimage to St Jacob in Santiago de Compostela.

Temple rings and finger rings are the most common jewellery items found in the graves of Old Slavic women buried in the graveyard around the Kranj parish church in the 9th and 10th centuries. This burial ground is the largest site of this kind in Slovenia. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

Mag. D. Knez

A jet rosary with hands carved from bone, 17th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)


The parish church of St Cantius, Cantianus,

could be seen. On holy days, when the wings were open,

Cantianilla and Protus

scenes from the legend about the church’s patrons could be

The parish church is not only of great cultural value but is also an important witness to the development of the town. The first church on this site was already here around the year 500. There remain only the foundations of the octagonal baptistery, which can be seen in the ossuary beside the church. In the 10th century, under the Patriarch of Aquileia, a large parish seat was established here. At this time a pre-Romanesque church was built, which was later demolished for the building of a Gothic church.


seen. the panel on the left depicts the flight of the Aquileian martyrs Cantius, Cantianus and Cantianilla, as well as their teacher Protus, and on the right is their martyrdom. The saints died a martyr’s death in a place called Aquae Gradatae (now Škocjan ob Soèi) and were highly revered on the territory of the Aquileian Patriarchate. The right panel shows a law officer dragging Cantius from the arms of his brother, while their sister Cantianilla is forced to worship an idol, depicted by the painter on a Renaissance

The Kranj church is a key example of Gothic architecture in

pillar. In the bottom left there is the beheaded teacher Protus

Slovenia. The long chancel was built at the turn of the 15th century,

and in the bottom right Sisinnius. The scene is witnessed by

while the nave with its Late Gothic ceiling and bell tower were

a large group of onlookers. The figure looking towards the

probably created between 1440 and 1460. The church became a

viewer is a self-portrait of the Master of the Kranj altar.

model for building other churches of the single chamber type, for

Above the two scenes there is tracery which at one time

example in Škofja Loka, Radovljica and Crngrob.

continued into carved arches above the gilded statues of the

The vault, supported by four octagonal pillars, is decorated with frescoes from around 1460, which have been ascribed to the Žirovnica Master. Above the central eastern door is a late 15th century bas relief depicting the Mount of Olives.

saints in the central part of the altar. The whole altar was probably over five metres tall. These precious works of art from around 1500 were lost to Kranj in 1886. In an effort to raise money to renovate the town’s churches, the two Gothic wing panels were sold for 800 florins to the Court Museum in Vienna.

THE KRANJ ALTAR Only the painted wings remain of the Late Gothic altar commissioned by Matija Operta, a Kranj priest, archdeacon of Carniola and doctor of canon law, around 1500 for the parish church. The painter who decorated the four panels is known as the Kranj Altar Master or as Vid from Kamnik, and signed himself as VF. The altar contained statues, most likely of the church’s patron saints, and could be closed with the two painted wings. On workdays, when the wings were closed, scenes depicting Christ on the Mount of Olives and the Resurrection

The wings are today on




Austrian Gallery in the Lower Belvedere in Vienna. The death of Cantius and his fellow martyrs on the wing of the late Gothic altar of the parish church, around1500 (Vienna, Österreichische Galerie, Museum mittelalterlicher Kunst)


An antiphonary from Kranj (Ljubljana Archiepiscopal Archives, photo M. Smerke)





liturgical chants from 1491. It is written in large Gothic script and richly decorated with miniature illustrations. A fair day in Kranj on a postcard from the early 20th century

Among them is the oldest colour depiction of the Kranj coat-of-arms with an eagle on a silver background. The manuscript was created by Johannes von Werd from Augsburg, probably during a visit to 48

Carniola. The Book of Morals of St Gregory the Great consists of writings interpreting the Old Testament book of Job. It represents one of the most important examples of Gothic illustrated manuscripts created at the request of a patron in Slovenian lands. The manuscripts were created in 1410 at the behest of the Kranj priest




The Book of Morals of St Gregory the Great (Ljubljana Archiepiscopal Archives, photo M. Smerke)


(Gorenjska Museum collections)

Kranj was a meeting point of trade routes and the economic centre of Upper Carniola, with weekly markets and annual fairs. 49 From 1839 onwards the town had five annual fairs. The first A document from 1650 with which Emperor Ferdinand granted the right to a new annual livestock fair in Kranj. (Gorenjska Museum collection, photo. D. Holynski)

was St Mark's on 25th April, then 1st August, St Tilen's on 21st September, then 28 October and finally St Martin's on 11 th

Town hall


November. The fairs attracted people from across the Austrian Empire. The weekly grain market was the largest in Carniola and Inner Austria.

Today's town hall came about through the fusion of two older buildings: the old town hall and a mansion house on the right. On the ground floor of the original town hall is a Late Gothic

As early as the 13th century tolls were charged in Kranj for all the goods those passed through the town or were sold there. Both buyers and sellers had to pay a toll on the grain, livestock, cloth, linen, salt and small goods sold at weekly markets and annual fairs. These tolls covered taxes; the wages of the town administration and courts; and maintenance of buildings, bridges and roads.

ÂŤpillared hallÂŤ from the early 16th century. This once served as a town warehouse for goods; in front of it was an open porch, where townspeople gathered to discuss various matters. The mansion house is one of the most important examples of 17th century architecture in Slovenia. The interior Renaissance hall has two inlaid doors showing the year 1638. The second floor of the mansion was damaged in the large fire that struck the town in 1811. In 1921 the mansion was bought and renovated by the municipality, and combined with the neighbouring old town hall.


51 The market hand with a sword as a symbol of justice that from the 15th century onwards hung from the Town Hall in Kranj. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

THE MARKET HAND The gloved hand represents the ruler who granted fairs to the town and the sword the market judiciary that ensured order at the fair, so that all could conduct business undisturbed. The hand in Kranj was hung in a ceremonial fashion, accompanied by the ringing of bells on the eve of each annual fair, and was then festively taken down again at the end. During weekly markets, the hand was not hung.

Town hall (Photo D. Globoènik)

Brixen bishops. Documents from 1221 mention the name of

The tollman's house Among the most interesting Gothic-Renaissance buildings in

the town as Creinburg (‘burg’ means a fortified settlement).

Kranj is the tollman's house, which was first mentioned in 1527.

The town moat is first mentioned in 1404 and the wall

The building is a good example of an early form of townhouse with

appears in historical writings before the mid-15th century.

an overhanging first floor supported by a stone pillar. The façade

Historical sources from 1483 mention the northern or upper

is decorated with restored paintings from the first half of the 16


town gate. The town walls and moats took on their final shape

century. The house got its name from the toll collectors who lived

in connection with the defence against Turkish raids, when in

in it in the 18th century.

1478 Duke Frederick III ordered the additional fortification of castles and towns in Carniola. A large Renaissance fortress was built as part of the Kranj town wall on Pungart hill, a tower within the Khislstein Castle complex, another tower at Škrlovec and a new line of defence walls on the north side of the town. The fortress on Pungart hill was demolished in 1879. The final shape of the town’s defence walls can clearly be seen from the oldest depiction of Kranj by Merian from 1649. The added parts have the characteristics of Renaissance fortifications that show the increased role of artillery in warfare. This is reflected in the slanting ground floor of the fortification, the stone bulge that separates the ground floor from the first floor, the thicker walls and their The tollman's house (Photo D. Globoènik)

modest height. Ramparts had brick or stone walls on both sides and were reinforced with moats. The northern wall, still preserved between the street known as Reginèeva and the Jelen Hotel, was ten metres thick. The lower part of the wall, which had a moat nine metres wide and four metres deep plus a drawbridge was on the square known as Maistrov trg.

THE KRANJ MEDIEVAL DEFENCE WALLS The oldest rampart in Kranj appeared over 2700 years ago, in the early Iron Age. Upon the arrival of the Romans 2000 years ago, a new defence wall was built. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, just before the arrival of Slavs in the 6th century, Carnium was surrounded by an even stronger defence wall with towers. In the same place there appeared the later medieval wall, first mentioned between 1065 and 1077 in connection with the Carniolan stronghold of the

The town wall with a moat and the quarries for millstones on the location of the old JelenHotel, destroyed during construction of a new building in 2011 (Photo M. Sagadin)


which dominates the northern part of the town on Merian’s 1649 depiction. The Špital defence tower was positioned outside the town and, judging by the building method, is older than the Renaissance fortifications from 1478. Within the scope of the new defence wall, it functioned as a pre-fortification that protected access to the drawbridge in front of the northern town gate. Dr. M. Sagadin

The medieval road along the Kokra Valley connected Carniola and Carinthia. J. V. Valvazor: Die Ehre des Herzogthums Crain

The foundations of a large entrance tower were also found,



From the 13th century onwards, on the initiative of the feudal lords, the first towns with town rights appeared in Upper Carniola (Gorenjska). The status of a town brought with it a great deal of prestige and was granted by the provincial ruler. A town had the right to a wall. It became the centre of the judicial district and an economic centre first written mentions in sources of the oldest towns in Upper Carniola are: 1256





Škofja Loka



I’LL GO A-WANDERING WITH YOU /Slovenian folk song/

for the wider area. The inhabitants of towns were free. The The tourist bus that in 1911 ran from the railway station in Bohinjska Bistrica to the lake three times a day. (Gorenjska Museum collections)


Since prehistoric times, many paths have run across Gorenjska’s mountain passes and along its river valleys, connecting the Mediterranean with Central Europe and the Baltic with the Balkans. Life alongside such routes and involvement in long-distance trade led to the people of Gorenjska becoming well-informed and prudent. Passing trade offered a living to many in Gorenjska. Beside busy roads appeared inns with large stables; where the gradient was steep, farmers offered extra draught horses; in the villages there were blacksmiths, saddlers, wheelwrights and road menders. The traffic also provided a living for collectors of bridge and road tolls. Thanks to their skills, craft products or produce, many locals became directly involved in long-distance trade. Three hundred years ago goods carriers from Kropa or Bohinj 56 needed up to three weeks to make their way to the Friuli region

(now in Italy). On the way there they would carry nails, wood and charcoal, and on the way back wine. They could transport up to 150 kilos of nails on a single horse. Carters from the villages below Mount Stol and from Jezersko would take a week to transport a ton and a half of timber to Trieste on their heavy wagons. The path alongside the River Sava from Kranj up to Rateèe took three days on foot. Such trade contacts brought news, skills and experience, while the money earned made a significant contribution to a better life.

A belt bag that belonged to Lorenz Pezhar, a wealthy farmer and innkeeper, occasionally also livestock dealer, second half of the 19th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

With the coming of the railway in 1870, the settlements along the tracks developed rapidly, while places further away began to stagnate.

Manual carrying of goods Wooden carriers were used to carry firewood, tools and goods for sale. With a large carrier placed on a padded ring on the head, up to a hundred kilos of goods could be carried. This was the only method that could be used to carry goods up the steep paths to Alpine dairy farms. In the winter sledges were used to bring down iron ore, charcoal, wood and hay from mountain meadows. In deep snow, snowshoes would be worn and in icy conditions crampons. Skis were not used in Upper Carniola until soldiers brought them during the First World War.

With a large carrier placed on the head up to one hundred kilos of goods could be carried. (Gorenjska Museum collections)


WOODEN TRANSPORT CONTAINERS Wood lost its primacy for storage containers less than fifty years ago and was replaced by plastic. In the past, liquids

Carts were most often pulled by oxen, which were slower but cheaper than horses. Cart horses for long distance transport were bred in Jezersko, around Kranj and Radovljica, and elsewhere in the area.

and other goods were transported in barrels and other

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

carriers transported food for themselves – lard, sausage or

vessels. Carriers who transported nails from the ironworks in Kropa or Železniki to Italy carried their goods in barrels. It is thought that they transported nails to Italy and wine back home in the same barrels. Butter was transported from Bohinj to Trieste by cart in tall vessels made from small wooden panels that were narrower at the bottom and closed with a wooden lid at the top. Smaller vessels were used for lard. And in the smallest vessels, only ten centimetres high, just cottage cheese. Water was carried in low barrels with shoulder straps, while wine was transported in small barrels with a more triangular shape. They were made by barrel makers as an additional activity to farming, particularly in


Bohinj and the Selca Valley, where in 1902 a cooperative was founded that had around 130 members.

Carting or furmanstvo Carting was a very important additional activity in this area for two hundred years. First to Trieste, after 1850 to Ljubljana, and after 1870 to railway stations in Kranj and elsewhere there travelled long lines of heavy carts pulled by a pair or four of horses. The

A wayside shrine in Martuljk, photographed by J. Ravnik.

carter's life was described in a novel by the writer Janez Jalen. Wax horses as a votive offering, Štefanja Gora, 19th century. The great economic importance of carting is shown by the age-old tradition of blessing horses on St Stephen's day, when owners carried round the altar holy images and wooden or wax horses. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo J. Pukšiè)

(Ilustrirani Slovenec, 1926)

Wayside shrines A



feature are



shrines at crossroads, at entrances to settlements and in their centres, beside churches, alongside passes and





protect the passers-by or to serve as signposts. Often, they would mark the border between two parishes. In addition, they symbolised the wealth of the households that erected them.

Gorenjska Museum collections

marked the site of a murder or an accident or were erected to

Roads built for motorised traffic Due to an increase in motorised traffic the road between Ljubljana and Bled was modernised before World War One. The new road was at that time the only surfaced road in Slovenia. It was built by the successful firm owned by Josip Slavec of Kranj. The section of the road on the Gaštej incline which bridges the railway line was


from a construction point of view the most demanding part of the whole road.


/France Prešeren/

The Gaštej incline in Kranj, 1937 Photo Marko Aljanèiè, from the cycle Krompir (Potatoes), circa1980

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

After 1750, influenced by the new

workers were obliged to buy fo-

philosophy and scientific ideas of the

odstuffs in the employer's shop

Enlightenment, the Austrian Empress

and drink in his inn. But in spite

Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II

of this slave-like relationship

shaped a state with a powerful army and

there was no shortage of willing

effective taxation. Their reforms influenced

workers, because by working in

every aspect of life.

the iron-making trade they were excused the long military

Although the Empress tried to tackle economic and cultural


backwardness, everyday life did not markedly improve. The lives

Iron foundry money with which workers were paid and which could be used only in the owner's shop. (Iron Forging Museum in Kropa, photo T. Lauko)

of families were marked by bad harvests, fires, epidemics and high child mortality. Priests and teachers in particular tried to encourage new ways of farming and the cultivation of new crops. To this end, the first farming associations were formed. In 18th century Upper Carniola, there were successful foundries with more than 2,000 workers, producing more than 10,000 tons of raw iron per year. They also forged semi-finished products, nails and


tools. The export of grain, linen cloth, horsehair sieves, iron and 62 iron products grew. Wholesale merchants appeared in addition to

small farm shops.

Old postcards show that many overgrown areas around Gorenjska villages were once fields. In the 18 century every th

bit of cultivated land offered the chance of producing food, Economic development was greatly dependent on the improve-

of which there was a great shortage. The soil was worked

ment of roads, especially to Kokra and Ljubelj. Roads were also

using iron tools with wooden handles, and even ploughs were

important to the postal service, which was improved by new post

wooden with iron ploughshares. Various hoes, picks, spades,

stages; the first two were in Kranj and Tržiè.

forks, axes and ploughshares were forged by town and village blacksmiths from Antique times onwards. From the end of the Middle Ages, nails and iron rods for export, as well as

Iron foundries

farming tools, were produced in centres such as Kropa. The town of Tržiè was renowned for its workshops producing

In Kropa, Kamna Gorica, Železniki, Bohinj and Radovna, iron

scythes and sickles. In the late 19th century two factories

produced from local ore was hand forged into more than a hundred

developed there: in 1881 a factory producing scythes,

kinds of nails, mainly for the Italian market. In Tržiè excellent steel

sickles and spades, owned by Karl Globoènik, and in 1883 a

was produced and farming implements, especially scythes.

factory making scythes and sickles owned by Kajetan Ahaèiè.

Gorenjska iron products also include chains and window meshes.

The Tržiè manufacture of farming tools was the largest in

Most owners of foundries and forges provided accommodation for

Upper Carniola and most products were exported to Italy and

their employees in their own homes. Workers were paid with

the Balkans.

special coins marked with the owner's initials. In this way the


Slate pencils and writing tablet, still in use in the 20th century.

Diet From the New World, as America was then called, there came the

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

potato and corn (maize), which became established only under


the pressure of Maria Theresa's reforms. Potatoes and corn

In 1774 a state decree was issued on the introduction of schooling for children aged 6 to 12. Its primary goal was that children learn German, because of military service which required the understanding of German commands. At the same time,

offered a much larger harvest than cereal crops, thus helping to alleviate hunger. New farming methods included three-year crop rotation: every third year clover was sown, which brought better harvests and animal husbandry.

knowledge of the language was expected to improve contacts between the authorities and the people. An educated farmer would be more economically successful and would therefore pay more taxes. In country parishes single class technical schools were set up. Only a few pupils from these went on to continue their education in the schools that were gradually established in towns.

Potatoes The first few baskets of potatoes were grown at the castle farm at Brdo in 1787 and five years later a bushel of corn was planted for the first time. That it took so long for the potato to be accepted was due to general ignorance. For instance, some people were poisoned after eating the leaves and stems, rather than the underground tubers. Farmers began sowing corn, which spread

The postal service 64 The oldest post stage in Upper Carniola was beside the road from

Ljubljana to Graz, at Podpeè near Lukovica. In the 18th century the

to these areas from Turkey, which is why it is in Gorenjska usually called turšca. In the Upper Sava Valley corn is also known under the name sirk and potatoes as èompe.

postal service was nationalised. The postal messenger was done away

A statue of Empress Maria Theresa, erected in 2008 in Šenèur, in honour of her efforts to encourage farmers to grow potatoes. The area around Šenèur was until recently well known for its production of high quality potatoes.

with and a regular service was established between Ljubljana and Klagenfurt, and later between Ljubljana and Villach. The main post stage was in Kranj, with others in Tržiè, at

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo M. Rogelj)

Otok near Podvin, at Sava near Jesenice and in Podkoren.

Portrait of postal officer Lovrenc Razinger with a postillion’s hat and a horn, postage stamps from Razinger’s post stage in Podkoren and a letter, 19th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)


Food cupboard, Golnik area, mid-19th century (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

Food cupboards began to be used in farmhouses in the second half of the 18th century and normally had only one key. This tells us about the times of hunger when there was barely enough food to survive on and parents told their children that the locked up bread was «asleep«.

The recipe for Rumford's soup, as it appears on the board from Stražišèe: In Stražišèe near Kranj there is preserved a board with a recipe for Rumford's soup, which is a reminder of the last famine affecting these lands, in 1816. The soup was named after its inventor, the American-born Benjamin Thomson, Count Rumford (1753-1814). In 1847, the recipe was published by Dr Janez Bleiweis in his journal for farmers and craftsmen Kmetijske in rokodelske novice. Recipe for soup for 24 people: water 20 pounds*and 16 lots**; vinegar 26½ lots; salt 11 lots; potatoes 5 pounds and 10 lots; peas 1 pound and 26 lots; barley 1 pound and 14 lots; bread 1 pound and 20 lots (*1 Viennese pound is 0.56 kg, **1 lot is approximately 0.02 kg)

The family of the Kranj entrepreneur Konrad Pleiweis, late 19th century (Gorenjska Museum collections)

Rumford's soup

KAMNIK The Habsburg court and the provincial princes granted the town of Kamnik numerous rights. The memory of these is preserved by the Book of Privileges of the Town of Kamnik from 1528. The townspeople of Kamnik had tenancy of various tax revenues in the town, permission to elect a judge from their own ranks and the right that they could only be judged by the town judge. They were also


granted the right to cut wood in the forests around Kamniška Bistrica. This right was at first a personal one, but later became tied to the ownership of a house in the town. Both the woods and the town were owned by the provincial prince. During the reign of Maria Theresa, the town became the owner of the Bistrica forests. the land tax they had paid. The ownership of the forests led to the formation of the class of burghers. In the second half of the 19th century, membership of this class represented being part of a tradition rather than bourgeois wealth. The people of Kamnik demanded equality in the distribution of firewood and wood and in 1886 achieved this right. At that time, economic conditions in the town were changing. Burghers were mostly craftsmen, handymen, traders, sometimes farmers, who could no longer make money in the town. Many a burgher house was thus abandoned; they were bought by newcomers, entrepreneurs and officials working at the district prefecture.

Sievemakers from Stražišèe near Kranj, Dom in svet, 1903

Townspeople were allocated firewood and timber on the basis of


IS COMING NEARER /France Prešeren/

In the 19th century, Upper Carniola was dramatically affected by the arrival of the railway, the harbinger of progress, announcing a new industrial age. Distances were reduced and the new era brought with it radical changes in ways of thinking and living, altering relations and communication among people.

Sieve-making From the 16th century until the mid-20th century the villages between Kranj and Škofja Loka were the largest centres of sievemaking in Europe. Using naturally coloured horsehair, sievemakers wove mesh on special looms. Over 200 different meshes were produced with checked and striped patterns. Most were sold by locals to other European countries and even to Russia, North Africa, Asia Minor and America. The rest were bought by craftsmen making wooden wares, who attached them to frames and then sold them around Slovenian-speaking areas and neighbouring countries. As early as the 19th century, the sieves made here also appeared at international craft fairs and industrial

The 19 century began with a brief French occupation. Upper th


Carniola became a part of the Illyrian Provinces, which encompassed the territory from western Carinthia and a part of eastern Tyrol including Lienz to southern Dalmatia. This period has lodged itself in the common memory particularly because of the introduction of Slovenian in schools and high taxation. 68

In the first half of the 19th century, rich Carniolan merchants founded the first small industrial companies, among which were

Because of their colourful patterns, and the tools and knowledge involved in making them, sieves represent a valuable part of Slovenian and European heritage. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

the manufacturers of woollen blankets, Valentin and Konrad Pleiweis, and the leatherworks belonging to Karl Florian and later Jakob Pollak. In 1849, the Southern Railway connected Ljubljana to Vienna and was later extended to Trieste, while the section from Ljubljana past Kranj and Jesenice to Tarvisio was built in 1870. Cheaper raw materials and industrial products were brought by train, which accelerated economic development and consumption. However,


within a few years it also caused the collapse of home crafts and

Around Škofja Loka the weaving of linen was such a common

iron foundries that were not close to the railway. Iron-making was

home craft that in 1486 Paolo Santonino, the secretary to

preserved in Jesenice, where the Carniolan Industrial Company

the Aquileia Patriarch, wrote in his diary that in these places

modernised the workshops. Craftsmen who were losing the battle

both men and women spin in the winter. Peasants usually

with imported industrial goods became involved in trade, re-selling

traded the homemade linen themselves and also exported it;

products they used to make themselves. Due to the arrival of the

some was dyed for home use. Dyers from Škofja Loka, Tržiè

railway, the trade in timber flourished even more in the mid-19th

and Radovljica, who joined the dyers’ guild in Ljubljana, are


first mentioned in 1673. In the 19th century, various patterns

were hand-printed onto the linen, from which scarves and

and Omersa. In 1864, Franc Omersa moved to Kranj from

aprons were made. Towards the end of the 19 century,

Žužemberk. He was one of the first to open a small shop offering

linen-making declined because of the cheaper imported

mixed goods: ironware, groceries, glassware, porcelain, paints

cotton and so the dyeing craft also receded, completely

and varnishes. His daughter Ivana married Franc Berjak, who took

disappearing in the early 20 century. Nowadays, one of the

over the shop in 1911.



rare preserved dye works is Pirc’s Mangle in Kranj, while this craft is also presented in the Škofja Loka and Tržiè museums.

bought the mill by the bridge on the River Sava from Leopold

The display window of the shop in Kranj belonging to Franc Berjak, who succeeded Franc Omersa from the 19th century. The photograph of Berjak’s shop, which stood in the square Glavni trg in Kranj, was created in the 1930s.

Jugovic. Majdiè’s son Vinko extended and modernised the mill so

(Photographic library of the Gorenjska Museum)

The Majdiè family business Peter Majdiè from Jarše came to Kranj in the 1870s, when he

that it became one of the biggest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He imported grain from Vojvodina and Russia, exporting his products to many European countries and even further afield. In 70 the 1890s he produced electricity for his own needs. In the first


decade of the 20th century Vinko bought a steam mill in Zagreb and his brother Peter bought a rolling mill in Celje. After World

Beehive panels are painted wooden panels that were used as

War One, the Majdiè family gave up milling and enlarged its power

decorative front covers for the simple beehives popular in

plant, from where it supplied electricity to the newly emerging

this area. The practice of beehive decoration reached its

industry in Kranj.

peak in the 19th century. Initially, beehives were decorated only in the wider Kranj and Radovljica areas, but then the custom spread to Carin-

An advertisement for Vinko Majdiè’s rolling mill in Kranj, early 20th century





Savinja Valley.

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

Kranj merchants During the construction of the railway in Upper Carniola, a number of traders relocated to the towns. There were many small shops selling a wide range of goods. The best known Kranj merchant families were: Sajovic, Pirc, Killer, Roos, Pollak, Krisper, Marenèiè

The more than 600 different images to be found on beehive panels attest to the rich artistic creativity of the rural population (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)


Forests brought wealth to the region, as timber sold for a good price. As early as the 18th century, masts were supplied to shipyards in Trieste and Rijeka. Owners of ironworks also owned large areas of forest, as wood was needed for the production of

Gorenjska Museum collections

The timber trade

iron. When ironworks became less successful, their owners in the wider Radovljica, Bled, Tržiè and Kokra area became involved in the timber trade. The largest owners of forests and sawmills were the Born family from Tržiè and the Fuchs family from Jezersko, as well as the Carniolan Industrial Company. In the late 19th century, the latter sold its extensive forests on the Pokljuka, Jelovica and Mežakla plateaus to the state and they later became the property of the Church fund. The early 20th century saw the establishment of two large local timber merchants, Franc Dolenc and Ivan Heinrihar, who within two decades took over most of the timber trade in Upper Carniola.

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

8 Gorenjskia Museum collections


Kranj, showing the railway station, on a postcard from the early 20th century.


The 19th century in Europe was marked by

administration, in which Slovenians could realise their national

national movements across the continent.

and economic interests.

In contrast to larger European nations, the Slovenians desire for their own state was

Baron Žiga Zois

realised only in 1991.

(Trieste, 23 November 1747 – Ljubljana, 10 November 1819)

The Habsburgs, one of the most important European ruling families, ruled over Slovenian lands for over 600 years. In Carniola, they achieved control after the Celje counts died out in the mid15th century. In the early 16th century the whole Slovenian ethnic territory was under their authority. In the mid-15th century, the Habsburgs took on the title of Holy Roman Emperor, retaining it until 1806. There followed a half-century long period of the Austrian Empire, which in 1867 became the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many nations lived in the Habsburg monarchy. The inability to resolve national issues after 1848 halted the monarchy’s development and in 1918 resulted in its collapse.

Baron Žiga Zois was a successful businessman and ironworks owner in Ljubljana and Upper Carniola. He was a mineral collector and the mineral zoisite was named after him. His collection was the foundation of the Carniolan Provincial Museum, the first museum in Slovenia, opened in Ljubljana in 1831. Zois was also a mentor of and benefactor to many Slovenian literary figures and scientists. He got Anton Tomaž Linhart interested in writing drama and history, and Valentin Vodnik in poetry and journalism. He also supported Blaž Kumerdej's educational reforms and enabled Jernej Kopitar to study linguistics. Zois was also the initiator of the first climb to the top of Mount Triglav in 1778.

74 A sense of Slovenian national awareness became established

between the reforms introduced by Empress Maria Theresa and the revolutionary year of 1848. Between 1867 and 1871, through general gatherings or 'camps', this awareness spread among all Slovenians. In the central Slovenian land of Carniola, the term Carniolan was increasingly replaced by the term Slovenian. After the March revolution in 1848, the Slovenians created their first political programme, United Slovenia, which signified a turning point in national development. The programme was formulated by Slovenian intellectuals living in Vienna who were

Coffee and tea set with the initials of the members of the Zois family, first half of the 19th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

members of the Slovenian Society. They demanded the political unification of all Slovenian lands within the Habsburg monarchy and the use of the Slovenian language in public life. In June,

Dr. France Prešeren

general elections for the national assembly were held throughout

(Vrba, 3 December 1800 – Kranj, 8 February 1849)

the Empire. The right to vote was granted to all men over 24 who were either craftsmen or owned land. The proponents of United

The lawyer France Prešeren is famed as the greatest Slovenian

Slovenia were elected. Another new development was the

poet. The height of his creativity is represented by A Wreath of

establishment of municipalities as the basic unit of political

Sonnets, Sonnets of Unhappiness, Ghazals and The Baptism at

newspaper, or journal for farmers and craftsmen, Kmetijske in

Prešeren’s Zdravljica (A Toast), published by the Regional Committee of the Liberation Front for Gorenjska and printed at the Trilof print worksin Davèa in 1944, on the centenary of the first publication.

rokodelske novice. Bleiweis also wrote numerous essays on veterinary practice, medicine and agriculture.

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

the Savica. The poems

Jakob Aljaž

were published in the

(Zavrh pri Smledniku, 6 July 1845 – Dovje, 3 May 1927)

collection Poetry in 1847. The poem A Toast was

The priest Jakob Aljaž is renowned as a composer and a writer

published in 1844 and

about mountains, who bought the summit of Mount Triglav for five

its seventh stanza now forms the words of the Slovenian national

goldinars and erected a modest shelter there, today known as

anthem. In 1830, Prešeren and the poets Miha Kastelic, Matija

Aljaž’s Tower. He did this in order to prevent the mountain

Èop and Andrej Smole established the Slovenian poetry almanac

becoming the property of the German-Austrian mountaineering

Kranjska èbelica (Carniolan Bee).

society. He was the composer of the song Oh Triglav my home, which was sung for the first time in 1896 on the occasion of the opening of the Kredarica hostel.


Dr. Janez Bleiweis


(Kranj, 19 November 1808 – Ljubljana, 29 November 1881) Due to his multi-faceted activities as a veterinarian, doctor, politi-

A silver goldinar (Foto T. Lauko)

cian and newspaper editor, Dr Janez Bleiweis from Kranj was named “the father of the Slovenian nation” on his 70th birthday. Between 1842 and 1881 he led the Carniolan Farmers’ Association, which guided agricultural development and strove for technical education for farmers. In 1843 he became the editor ofthe then



Dr Janez Bleiweis’s medals from the second half of the 19th century and the diploma he received upon being granted an aristocratic title in 1881. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

The summit of Mount Triglav with Aljaž’s Tower, postcard, late 19th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

Janez Puhar, Self-portrait, around 1850, photograph on glass, the original is lost. (National Museum of Slovenia)

Dr. Lovro Toman (Kamna Gorica, 10 August 1827 – Vienna, 15 August 1870)

Janez Puhar (Kranj, 26 August 1814 – Kranj, 7 August 1864) Janez Puhar was the first Slovenian photographer and the inventor of photography on glass. In 1840 he started to use the daguerreotype process, in which the image appears on a silver-plated surface. Two years later he invented a new procedure, based on the evaporation of sulphur,

Dr Lovro Toman was a lawyer, politician and poet. He had a legal practice in Radovljica. In 1861 he was elected to the Carniolan provincial assembly and became a provincial

Lovro Toman

deputy in Vienna. He was among the

(National University Library Ljubljana)

founders of the main Slovenian Society and in 1865 became its chairman. He published his first collection of poems in 1849 under the title Voices of the Homeland.

for creating photographs on glass. He did this five years before the officially recognised inventor, the Frenchman Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Only six of Puhar’s original photographs, referred to as puharotypes, have survived. 78


Ignacij Borštnik (Cerklje na Gorenjskem, 1 July 1858 – Ljubljana, 23 September 1919) Ignacij Borštnik was a theatre actor, director and educator, a poet and playwright, as well as the founder of artistic theatre in Slovenia. On Slovenian and Croatian stages he played over 400 roles. After his retirement, he taught acting in Ljubljana.

Matija Èop (Žirovnica, 26 January 1797 – Tomaèevo, 6 July 1835) Matija Èop was a linguist, literary historian, teacher and librarian.

Ignacij Borštnik

He was a close friend and mentor to France Prešeren. After Èop’s

(National Theatre Museum of Slovenia)





sonnet to him, which he selfpublished in 1836 together with The Baptism at the Savica. In the struggle




language, a decisive role was played by Èop’s thesis, written in

The main annual theatre festival

German, Slowenischer ABC-Krieg

in Maribor is named after him, as

(Slovenian Alphabet War). This

well as the main festival award,

was his contribution to the battle

the Borštnik Ring, which is

which led to Gaj’s Latin alphabet,

awarded for lifetime achievement

which is still in use, becoming the

in the Slovenian theatre.


Matija Èop (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo I. Pustovrh)

frescoes. He is also said to have painted chests, beehive panels and paintings on glass. He was considered one of the most popular Slovenian painters in the 19th century. His best known work is the famous image of Mary Help of Christians, which he painted in the early 19th century for the chapel of the church in Brezje. After miraculous healings in Brezje in 1864, Layer’s painting became the most revered Slovenian religious image.

FROM A PROVINCIAL TO A NATIONAL FLAG Before 1848, Slovenians did not have their own national flag as the Slovenian ethnic territory was split into a number of lands or provinces. Each had its own coat-of-arms and a flag in the same colours. On the Carniolan coat-of-arms, white and blue prevailed, with the addition of some red. Around 1830, following the widespread establishment of tricolours, a white, blue and red flag became the Carniolan provincial


flag. In 1848 the Carniolan tricolour became the symbol of the struggle for a united Slovenia. Students in Vienna and Graz adopted it as the Slovenian national flag and on 11 May Leopold Layer, Ark of the Covenant, early 19th century. In front of the Ark of the Covenant in the holy tent stand Moses the leader of the Jews and his brother Aaron the priest. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

Leopold Layer (Kranj, 20. november 1752–Kranj, 12. april 1828)

1848 brought it to Ljubljana, where on 7 April 1848 it was unfurled by Lovro Toman and friends. In September of the same year it was decided in Vienna that white, blue and red were the colours of Carniola and thus also of the Sloveneian national flag. Over the next century and a half, the flag remained the Slovenian national symbol, including within Yugoslavia. On 24th June 1991 it was redesigned with a new coat-of-arms in

Leopold Layer was a Late Baroque painter. He is the best known

the top left corner and proclaimed as the national flag of the

of the older Carniolan artists. He took over the family painting

Republic of Slovenia. The Carniolan provincial flag thus

workshop in Kranj after the death of his father Marko Layer. He

became the Slovenian national flag. Similarly, in the second

was assisted in his work by his two brothers Valentin (1763–

half of the 19th century, the townspeople created the

1810) and Anton (born 1765). In addition to church paintings

Slovenian national dress on the basis of the garments worn

comissioned by people from Upper Carniola, Styria, Lower

for Sunday best by farmers in Upper Carniola.

Carniola and Carinthia, Leopold Layer also painted portraits and


Reading rooms and reading societies During the first half of the 1860s, the Slovenian national movement gradually grew. Reading rooms played an important part in the strengthening of Slovenian national awareness and the use of the Slovenian language among townspeople. They were established in most Slovenian towns and market towns. The local townspeople, patriotic intelligentsia and rural men of note gathered in them. The first reading room in Upper Carniola – the seventh in Slovenia – was founded in Škofja Loka in 1862. This encouraged the Kranj townspeople to ceremonially open their reading room on 16 August 1863. In 1866 a reading room was also founded in

Maksim Gaspari, Gorenjska wedding, 1937 (Upper Sava Valley Museum, Jesenice, photo S. Kokalj)

Early societies in Upper Carniola



creation of new reading rooms. Even the Liberal Party of the time did not pay a great deal of attention to cultural and educational societies. New societies began forming again in the 1880s. A few reading societies were established in Upper Carniola, which contributed to the education of their members and organised cultural and entertainment events.

Hlebar house, with the year 1506, Srednji vrh above Martuljk (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo J. Medvešek)

There followed years of Austrian pressure that stopped the


BE MINE, BE MINE /Slovenian folk song/

In Gorenjska, there were farmsteads of different sizes, some belonging to well-established owners of large farms, some to cottagers with a little land and there were also tenants who owned none. Marriage, children and a home of her own were the dream of every girl. But only a farmer’s daughter could marry a farmer’s son: poorer girls went to a rich farm only as hired labour.

The oldest embroidery from Gorenjska homes bear witness to the taste of the time and to a source of wealth, as it was made by professional embroiders. Sheets used for special days, windingsheets and pillow cases were embroidered using a cross stitch, from which a carnation emerged in the early 20th century as the Slovenian national motif. Embroidery was taught to girls in primary school as an compulsory subject or within the family, and carried on at least until marriage. The most commonly made items were embroidered napkins for God’s corner (a shrine within the house) and for covering items taken to be blessed at Easter, and decorative bedding.

Marriages were usually arranged. Together with the bride, the farm also obtained her dowry, consisting of either money or property, and a trousseau involving a painted chest, embroidery and bedding made from homespun linen. A good housekeeper was important to the success of a farm. She had to take care of a large family. She allocated the children and maids work in the stable, the garden and the fields, and she worked with them 84 herself. The young bride took over the running of the household

Farm furniture Until the early 19th century, farm houses contained very little furniture: benches, a table, a special table with a trough for kneading dough, a chair, a cradle, a bed or two, a cupboard for storing foodstuffs and decorated chests. The corner with a cross in it above the table was decorated with paintings on glass and 85

from her mother-in-law. She bore children for the next generation at the farm – the new labour force. Death in childbirth was common. Almost everything was produced at home. The housewife’s success was measured by the money she earned through selling eggs, dairy products, vegetables and fruit to pay taxes, buy land and sometimes even to send at least one son to be educated.

A cradle from 1856 is decorated in the classical style and originates either in Dovje or Mojstrana. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

embroidery. Only in the second half of the 19th century did

Embroidery from Gorenjska This embroidered napkin for covering the food basket taken to be blessed for Easter is from 1841. It was embroidered with the then fashionable petite fleur motif. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lunder)

wardrobes and chests of drawers become more widespread. Beds had a mattress filled with straw, corn husks, hay or even beech leaves, and covered with a homespun linen sheet. Eiderdowns were used as blankets. They were made from colourful material, yarn and old rags. Special scissor-like clasps were used to prevent the cover from slipping off. Women gave birth on beds covered with straw, without any bedding. Chests were used for storing clothing, utensils and foodstuffs. They were made by carpenters in Škofja Loka, around Kranj and Radovljica, in Bohinj and in the Upper Sava Valley. The oldest

chests were decorated with drawings, while in the late 18th century

painted chest that the wife brought as part of her trousseau

they began to be decorated with typical floral and religious

stood in one of the two main rooms, while other chests were

images. In the 19

century, furniture painting became very

in the entrance chamber or the attic. Pots and other

popular and other furniture items and even the door leading to the

kitchenware were kept on hanging racks and spoons in

room were painted in the same way.

carved wooden boxes hung on the wall next to the table. In


the entrance chamber, i.e. the kitchen, there was a cupboard with many drawers and shelves, in which bread and other

THE INTERIOR OF A FARM HOUSE Farm houses in Gorenjska seem very similar because they all have a combination of brick walls with a wooden balcony but in fact the isolated farms in Jezersko or Srednji Vrh and those on the Kranj plain, the Radovljica plain or in Bohinj are very different from each other. On the ground floor, the ground

foodstuffs needed for daily cooking were locked away. Wealthier homes had other rooms and more painted chests, a cradle and perhaps another bed and cupboard. In the Upper Sava Valley, the main roomlooked very colourful due to the painted furniture, the painted door to the second room and the painted doors of the wall cupboards.

plan of which was repeated on the first floor, there was always the central living area, which was accessed via the entrance chamber with a “smoke kitchen”. Most houses also


The Rateèe costume

had an extra room next to the main one and beside the

In Rateèe, near the tri-state border with Austria and Italy, the old

entrance chamber a storage or living area. Some houses had

Rateèe costume is still worn on special days. Women pass on

barns in which produce and cured meat was stored in chests,

these costumes from generation to generation and keep them 87

on shelves or hung from wooden posts. In the 19th century

carefully folded in decora-

there was more furniture in the houses than before, but still

ted chests as a family

very little compared to today. The main room usually

treasure. In the 19th century,

contained a stove with a bread oven, covered in clay tiles,

the Rateèe women also

which had benches around it and a simple bed on top of the

wore the costume when

stove. In the opposite corner there was a table with a carved

they got married. Accesso-

chair for the man of the house and a bench with no back.

ries such as colourful scar-

Along the whole length of both external walls there were

ves and bows bring this

wide benches on which the members of the family often

costume very close to the

slept. Above them between the windows there was at least

Slovenian national costume. Carefully folded Rateèe costume in a chest. (Photo D. Eržen)

one wall cupboard. The bed may have been in this room or a separate one. The farmer and his wife slept in the bed, sometimes also the grandparents. Babies lay in cradles, in

Homespun linen

some places in the kneading-trough, while other children

In Gorenjska homes, material was woven both for home use and

slept anywhere, the older ones even in the barn or in the

for sale. Flax was grown for different kinds of linen and sheep


were shorn for woollen cloth and knitting wool. Another type of

The main items of furniture were chests in which were kept

homemade material was sackcloth, a mixture of wool and flax.

clothes, footwear, linen, grain, dried fruit and legumes. The

from it by selling from house to house.




Škofja Loka there was a lot of cloth woven for sale abroad. In Begunje woollen cloth was made,




stockings were made in Tržiè and the villages below Mount Stol.

Crockery Until the 20th century, earthenware and wooden dishes were used in rural areas. The best known potters were in Ljubno and in the villages around Komenda. While Ljubno pottery was common from the Middle Ages until the late 19th century, the Komenda 88 pottery has been known for only the last two centuries.

The bed from Podkoren, made in 1846, was decorated by the local carpenter Janez Kajžnik. Popular superstition dictated that the bed had to be neatly made during the day, otherwise an evil spirit, illness or even (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo J. Jeras) death might get into it. On holidays, beautifully embroidered sheets with lace edging were used and a number of embroidered pillows with tassels. The bed always had to be positioned in such a way that the occupant’s feet were not pointing at the door because it was believed that only a dead person’s feet pointed that way. Most people slept on benches, on the stove or in chests, and children often in drawers.

10 Porcelain formed an obligatory part of a living room in town (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo J. Pukšiè)

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

men, some even made a living

Ana Merk, nee Omersa, the first woman cyclist in Kranj. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo I. Jagodic)

Weaving was often done by Spinning wheels began to be used in the late Middle Ages. Carved distaffs decorated with hearts and the wheel of life made a suitable love gift.


/after France Prešern/

Most urban inhabitants in 19th century Upper Carniola were craftsmen, merchants and the educated. The most economically successful families created the cultural and

Portrait of a townswoman, 19th century, oil on canvas (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

social pulse of the town. Town women were brought up so as to contribute to their husband’s success and reputation through their accomplishments and appearance. Marriages among townspeople were usually arranged. Through them, families preserved and increased their assets and reputation. Girls attended girls’ schools, where in addition to writing and arithmetic they learned handicrafts. They knew how to play the piano and speak a number of foreign languages, as well as learning about art. With regard to their dress, they followed

The fine art from Prešeren’s time and environment is mostly

foreign, cosmopolitan fashion.

represented by unambitious salon or church works that

In urban homes, the salon was the place where guests were 90


received, music was played and the family received the outside world. In the middle of the century, Biedermeier furniture, wall clocks and Persian carpets prevailed in the homes of the richest. The walls were covered with paintings of romantic landscapes and family portraits; towards the end of the 19th century family photographs also became very fashionable. A piano was an

satisfied the average taste of the commissioners. Painters mainly painted portraits and religious compositions. For townspeople they produced individual or group portraits, landscapes, less frequently also genre or history paintings. The period was mostly marked by the popularity of the portrait, as this allowed for the glorification of the new patrons from the young up-and-coming bourgeoisie, who were the most usual purchasers of works of art.

obligatory item in the salon. Townspeople decorated their homes with images that suited Feldmaršal von Günzl with his wife in the salon of their house in Preddvor, late 19th century

their ideals. With family portraits they emphasised the visible

(private archive)

for future generations. Biedermeier portraits were typical of

role of the individual and family, while preserving a memory the first half of the 19th century. The portrayed person was idealised while the painted background served as a backdrop. Only the wealthier social classes, i.e. the nobility and rich townspeople, could afford a painted portrait. But with the introduction of photographs, portraits became accessible to all social classes. In the last quarter of the 19th century, cheap photography meant that farmers and workers were able to afford photographic portraits.


Silverware held a special place: a candlestick, a dish for pastries and fruit, and a vase with a Secessionist pattern. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

Although townspeople followed cosmopolitan fashions, until the mid-19th century middle-class women wore silk skirts with a bodice, the style of which resembled that worn by women in rural areas. (S. Košak-Blumer: Sto narodnih nošna Slovenskem, 2009, page 26)

93 A glass cabinet from Turn Castle near Preddvor, 18th century, in which ceramic and porcelain vessels, as well as decorative items, glass and silverware were kept. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)

The obligatory inventory of a town home included various functional items made of glass, such as vases, containers for spirits, wicker bottles, carafes, glasses and candlesticks, most often from Czech glass factories. (Gorenjska Museum collections, phfoto T. Lauko)

The letter written by Josipina Urbanèiè Turnograjska to her fiancé Dr. Lovro Toman



(Manuscript collection, National University Library, Ljubljana)

Lovro’s letter to Josipina (Manuscript collection, National University Library, Ljubljana)

94 The projection hall will be further enhanced by an exhibition of selected posters related to film themes. The Gorenjska Museum can boast of an excellent collection of posters, many of which are connected with film, such as the one inviting people to go and see the film Sreèno Kekec! (Good Luck, Kekec!)

JOSIPINA URBANÈIÈ TURNOGRAJSKA (Preddvor, 1833 – Gradec, 1854)

A room in the former tower in Khislstein Castle has been turned

was a writer, poet and composer. She received her extensive

into a projection hall where visitors will be able to view Slovenian

education at home. Among her teachers was Lovro Pintar,

films connected with Gorenjska and its people.

who helped her grow to love the Slovenian language. She

The decision to dedicate one of the exhibition rooms to live

was also a pianist, composing piano pieces and melodies for Slovenian songs. In 1850 she became engaged to the lawyer, politician and poet Lovro Toman. Prior to the wedding they wrote approximately 1000 letters to each other. In addition to their emotions, they also exchanged many thoughts and opinions on the turbulent life of the times. In 1853 they married and moved to Graz because of Toman’s work. Josipina died there only a year later, soon after giving birth.

(Foto D. Holynski)

pictures was dictated by our rich film history and the many film directors, cameramen, actors and other film workers who originate from Gorenjska or have a strong connection with it. In addition, there are individual films that deal with themes from Gorenjska or show the region and places in it. Thus, for example, in 1931 the first Slovenian feature film, V Kraljestvu Zlatoroga (In the Kingdom of the Golden Horn), directed by Janko Ravnik, was made in Gorenjska. This was followed a year later by Metod Badjura's Triglavske strmine (The Steep Slopes of Triglav). The

film after World War Two, Na svoji zemlji (On Their Own Land), was originally from Gorenjska. Moreover, the films about the children's character Kekec were shot in Gorenjska. The films made by director Boštjan Hladnik, who was born in Kranj, belong among the Slovenian classics. And Milena Zupanèiè, the leading

Gorenjska Museum collections

director France Štiglic, who in 1948 directed the first Slovenian

actress in the film Cvetje v jeseni (Blossoms in Autumn) is also from this region. Documentary films showing snippets of Gorenjska life are also of great value. Velièan Bešter and Janko Balantiè Resman were



among those who marked the period between the two world wars. Short films have been preserved from the post-war socialist period, which show the production process in various factories in


Gorenjska and visits by high representatives of the then political authorities. The film showing the first landing of a plane at Brnik airport in the 1960s is undoubtedly very interesting to many who still remember the event, as well as younger people.

/after France Prešern/

These recordings are mostly kept by the Republic of Slovenia Archives and are very rarely shown to a wider public due to their great value and complex preservation requirements. Our aim is to supplement the permanent exhibition about Gorenjska with copies of selected films. In addition, Gorenjska Museum holds a number of valuable film recordings and copies that are definitely worth seeing. These include films connected with the poet France Prešeren, such as the copy of the documentary film made by Božidar Jakac in 1939 on the occasion of the opening of the house where Prešeren was born in Vrba. Our idea of a small “cinematheque” of Gorenjska film is a way of enriching the permanent exhibition Beautiful Gorenjska with a new element. After having a look at the exhibition, visitors will be able to enjoy some film entertainment that will also enable them to further deepen their knowledge about an important part of film creativity. PHoto M. Kunšiè


The oldest photograph of Kranj, 1860s (Photo Ch. Paier)

In the 20 century a person’s life probably

Economic and technological progress changed the landscape and

differed completely from that of their father.

the way of life.


The father, born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, would have been a farmer. His son commuted to his factory shift by bike. His granddaughter, who worked in an office, travelled to work on a special workers’ bus. Now in the 21st century, his greatgranddaughter, who has a university degree,

Gorenjska declined. It continued only in the newly built plant in Jesenice, which in the 20th century became the largest industrial centre in Gorenjska. In Tržiè, shoemaking and timber industries were established. The textile industry also became important, first in Tržiè and then in the 1920s in Kranj. Between the two wars, increasing numbers of locals went into business; some became

has been looking for some time for regular

owners of small factories, while most of the larger companies


were still in the hands of foreign investors. The growing number of

The Gorenjska landscape also experienced considerable and rapid change in the 20th century. The region belonged to different states at different times; consequently, the political, social and economic systems changed and the development of the region increasingly became a part of global events. During World War

factories required ever more workers, increasingly including 99 young women, who worked on spinning and weaving machines. These workers mainly came from what used to be completely agricultural settlements around the industrial centres of Jesenice, Tržiè and Kranj. With the start of World War Two and during the German

and was of vital importance for supply. The life of the civilian

occupation, the main goal of the occupying forces was to make

population had to adapt to war conditions. After the war,

Gorenjska German and annex it to the German Reich. Many

Gorenjska finally entered the modern industrial era. In both the

intellectuals and their families were exiled. Resistance against the

first and second Yugoslavia, it was one of the most important

Nazi aggression in the form of armed conflict began in Gorenjska

regions in the country. At the end of the century there began an

in late July 1941. Partisans disabled the enemy through sabotage

often painful search for a transition to the new post-industrial era.

and small skirmishes. The Germans shot collaborators and

(Photo A. Hodaliè)

One, Gorenjska was a military area behind the Soèa (Isonzo) Front

Kranj in 2008


In the closing decades of the 19th century, iron-making in

hostages in retaliation for the deaths of their soldiers. After World War Two, development in the region depended chiefly on industry, in which over half the population was employed. Immediately after the war, the Jesenice steelworks became one of the most important factories in Yugoslavia and the whole of



Oh, the golden age now begins for the Carniolan muses! /France Prešeren/

Gorenjska played a very important economic role. In the 60s, the textile industry was becoming increasingly obsolete. The leading

At the turn of the 20th century, most people in Gorenjska worked

role was taken by the electronics and tyre industries, based in

on the land. After the decline of iron foundries, industry began to

Kranj. A few of the most successful companies, such as Iskra,

develop only in Jesenice and Tržiè. The Karavanke–Bohinj railway

became internationally established through investment in the

line that was built then connected the Jesenice steel works with

development of their own products and brands. But most

the port of Trieste and its hinterland. In Tržiè, the production of

companies continued to follow the political orientation towards

textiles, cardboard and shoes began. The factory owners were

the building of large factories and the large-scale employment of

mainly foreigners, who wielded a great deal of political power in

workers. In search of better earnings, large numbers of people

the town. In 1911, the local businessman Peter Kozina opened a

migrated to Gorenjska from less developed regions in Slovenia

shoe factory which later became the company Peko.

and other Yugoslav republics. The growth of towns and population was not controlled. Factories were built on fertile agricultural land around the towns; industrialisation reached even remote, formerly 100 exclusively agricultural areas. Farming was marginalised, and

agricultural land was devalued. A building craze spread across the whole region, involving badly thought-out incursions into traditional settlement patterns and the natural heritage. Extensive residential areas grew in former suburbs, mainly providing accommodation for immigrant workers. Towns became ethnically very diverse. Villages acquired a new urban appearance. The way of life in town and village became increasingly similar, while centuries-old traditions began to disappear. The importance of tourism grew. Foreign visitors were particularly attracted by the countryside and gems such as Bled, Bohinj and Kranjska Gora. In the early 21st century, Gorenjska's towns and villages are once

Around Domžale, many companies employing around a thousand workers in total grew from the old straw hat making craft and made a million straw hats a year, which were sold in Europe and America. In the late 19th century, a cotton spinning and weaving mill was established in Tržiè, owned by Glanzmann&Gassner. Tržiè became one of the first Slovenian centres of the textile industry. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

Small farms could no longer provide a living for whole families. Many people left to find work in North America and European mining centres. Crafts and trading in handmade products died out

more looking to redefine their identity by drawing upon the disappearing traditions and natural wealth. Some places in Gorenjska hold a special place in Slovenia’s history and literature. Particularly after 1991 and the proclamation of an independent state, they became important in the formation of Slovenian identity and the strengthening of national consciousness. This is a major reason why Gorenjska is the best known Slovenian region.

Thanks to its steelworks, Jesenice was in the early 20th century the most developed part of Gorenjska. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

due to cheaper industrial products. In order to improve the position of farmers, cooperative savings and lending banks were founded, as well as dairy and machinery cooperatives.



… and you will flow full of blood. /Simon /Simon Gregorčič/ Gregorčič/


When the Soèa (Isonzo) Front opened in World War One,

The Karavanke–Bohinj railway line linked Central Europe and

Gorenjska became a key military rear area that was of vital

the Adriatic. The Upper Carniolan section ran from Klagenfurt

importance for supply lines, and a strict military regime was thus

to Jesenice and then via Bohinj to Gorizia and Trieste. The

enforced. Large quantities of military equipment and material

complex construction work took place between 1900 and

arrived on trains. Particularly during preparations for the 12th

1906. Numerous bridges and tunnels had to be built, among

Battle of the Soèa in the autumn of 1917, military deliveries

them the Karavanke tunnel between Rosenbach and Hrušica,

brought other transport to a complete standstill. Thousands of

which is 7975 metres long, and the Bohinj tunnel between

soldiers representing all the nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian

Bohinjska Bistrica and Podbrdo, 6336 metres long.

Empire came to Gorenjska. From there, they were sent to the front and then returned for medical treatment or rest. Schools, monasteries and other large buildings were turned into military


hospitals, workshops and warehouses.

Entrance to the Bohinj tunnel before World War One

The civilian population had to take part in supplying the military. In addition, many refugees fled here from Primorska, along the

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

coast. As men were conscripted, women were left to run the

During construction, many workers of different nationalities settled in Bohinjska Bistrica. The Bohinj tunnel was formally opened on 19 July 1906. The railway line to Primorska helped Bohinj to become a tourist centre, joining the two already established and popular Gorenjska resorts of Bled and Kamnik.

The furniture used in the room rented to tourists by the Budkoviè family in Bohinjska Bistrica in the early 20th century. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

The terminal of the military railway in Bohinjska Bistrica in the summer of 1916, from where the Austro-Hungarian army supplied its soldiers fighting on Mount Krn and the surrounding mountains. Bohinj was the immediate rear area of the Soèa (Isonzo) front. (Small Military Museum in Bohinjska Bistrica)

economy by themselves. There were shortages of everything and prices went up, so a rationing system was introduced. But what made people most aware of the war was the news from the front about casualties and the many wounded who returned.

A monument in Mojstrana with the names of the dead and the missing. Slovenian men and boys fought on all the European fronts. In memory of those who did not return, many monuments have been erected around Gorenjska. (Photo J. Justin)

The 12 German (Silesian) division in Kranj prior to departure for Kobarid where it took part in the breakthrough in October 1917.

Josip Pogaènik, knight, (Podnart 1866 – Podnart, 1932), a photograph of the monument in Podnart. Josip Pogaènik was a politician, government minister, diplomat and businessman. Between 31 October and 1st December 1918 he was the head of the first Slovenian government.


(National Museum of Contemporary History)

The Russian Chapel was built in 1916 by Russian prisoners of war in memory of their comrades who died in an avalanche while building the road across the Vršiè Pass.

(Photo J. Dežman)

(Photo M. Žerjal, private archive of Z. Zupaniè Slavec)

Rudolf Maister - Vojanov (Kamnik, 1874 – Unec, 1934), general and poet, on 1st November 1918 took over the military command of Lower Styria and on behalf of the National Council established the first regular Slovenian army, leading the decisive battles for the northern border. (The Album of Slovenian Literati, 1928)


IVAN FRANKE (Dobje pri Poljanah, 1841–Ljubljana, 1927)



Grab money in heaps, grew up in Cerklje in

buy castle keeps.

Gorenjska. He studied

/France Prešeren/

painting in Vienna and Venice. In 1873

The Slovenian part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was economically

he set off on a jour-

the most developed. Jesenice, where 5000 workers were

ney around China,

employed, was one of the strongest industrial centres and in

where he produced

1929 became a town. Tržiè, with its rich textile, leather and

numerous sketches

shoemaking tradition became a town in 1926.




as well as portraits.

The largest factory, employing 1200 people, was the Cotton

Between 1878 and

Spinning and Weaving Mill. The workers there were paid better

1889 he taught draw-

than in other parts of Gorenjska; the factory owner even built

ing at Kranj grammar

homes for them.

school and appeared as a singer and director in the Kranj 106

Reading Room. In 1882, the Central Vienna commission appointed him the state conservator for the whole of Carniola. After 1889, he lived in Ljubljana with his family. Franke’s artistic output is extensive, encompassing landscapes, portraits and religious paintings. He belonged to the circle of Realists. His early work consists mainly of altar images based on paintings in Venice. He painted in the church in Predoslje, the Ursuline church in Škofja Loka, the Franciscan church in Ljubljana, the church in Bukovšèica, etc. Upon his arrival in Kranj he began to focus on landscape. In Ljubljana he was attracted by the town surroundings and Tivoli Park. He produced four different versions of paintings and drawings based on Prešeren’s poem The River Man.

THE INDUSTRIALISATION OF KAMNIK With the dawn of industrialisation, Kamnik flourished. The railway line, completed in 1891, contributed a great deal to economic development in the Kamnik area. Even in the mid19th century, there were already a gunpowder mill, cement works and brickworks. The gunpowder mill was operational until quite recently. In addition to explosives, after World War Two the factory also processed non-ferrous metal and plastic materials. In 1896, the Czech engineer Špalek opened a workshop making locks and door hinges. After World War One the workshop grew into a factory making metal products and in 1922 it acquired the name it has retained until now – Titan. It produced pipe fittings, furniture locks, scales, weights and kitchen equipment. The factory continued its work after World War Two and the production of locks, for which the company is best known, has continued to this day.

The Kranj entrepreneur Franjo Sirc (1891–1950) owned a textile factory in Stražišèe. When the war broke out, the factory was seized by the Nazi authorities. In the new Yugoslav state, Sirc was sentenced to ten years forced labour. He died while serving his sentence

In 1878, the Schnabl family took over a ceramics workshop in Kamnik and began making the widely renowned “Carniolan jugs” and other kitchenware of white clay. After the war and until recently the tradition of making decorated jugs was continued by the company Eti Svit.

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

The greatest economic progress was experienced by Kranj. The local authorities made use of the favourable economic conditions in the newly founded state in which new markets appeared. Within a very short time, Kranj became the second most important textile centre in Slovenia. Czech and Polish industrialists, assisted by local businessmen, built large textile factories: Jugoèeška began in 1924, followed by Intex, Tekstilindus and Jugobruna. In addition, 108

there was also the largest Yugoslav rubber factory, Vulkan, later renamed Semperit. Many locally owned businesses were also established. In Radovljica and the surrounding area there were knitting plants, in Lesce there was a factory making chains, and in Kropa the metallurgical cooperative Plamen. In Kamnik, the Titan factory produced locks, scales, weights, kitchen equipment and connecting parts used in plumbing. The factory continued functioning after World War Two. In Domžale, the production of straw hats continued in the Univerzale


closed its doors in 2003.

Sample books of the materials made prior to World War Two in the Jugoèeška and Jugobruna factories. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)


In a factory in Kranj owned by the industrialist and wholesaler Ivan Savnik underwear and other garments were made. The products under the brand name ISKA were successfully marketed around the whole of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

Numerous workers were able to find work in the new factories, particularly young women. They came from the surrounding villages and this was their first encounter with factory work. In order to get a job, they were supposed to be at least 15 years old, but some were younger. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

with a swimming area, shops and the Kazino entertainment

DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN BLED Bled was a well known tourist resort even before World War One. The Swiss Arnold Rikli, who opened a spa there in the mid-19th century, made the greatest contribution to this.

centre. Due to over-ambitious and badly planned investments, Kenda experienced financial ruin a few years before World War Two. Holidays in Bled were enjoyed mainly by aristocrats, rich bourgeoisie and high officials. Staying in Bled for a few weeks

Between the two wars, Bled became well established as a

was at that time a matter of prestige. After World War Two,

resort and the most sophisticated of all tourist destinations

when elite tourism was considered inappropriate, Bled

in Yugoslavia. The royal family spent summers in their Bled

became oriented towards mass tourism. Many old hotel

residence and many important political and diplomatic

buildings and guest houses were knocked down and modern

meetings took place there.

hotels were built in their place, often to the detriment of the

The locals demonstrated their entrepreneurial flair in the way

natural environment and local tradition.

they embraced work in tourism. They built and renovated guest houses, holiday villas and hotels, and created parks and promenades. They kept the town clean and tidy, ensured

The new Grand Hotel Toplice on a postcard from the 1930s.

that there were plenty of sports and social events, including international rowing and chess competitions, and published 110

promotional materials. In 1937, there were 17 hotels, 11

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

guest houses and five restaurants, while rooms were also let in private houses. Bled was visited by over 20,000 people a year, more than half of them foreigners, the most numerous being Austrian, German, Czech and English. Local entrepreneurs Jula Molnar and Ivan Kenda made a great contribution to the development of Bled as a tourist resort. They both embarked on big building projects. Jula

Valentin Hodnik Triglav (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

Molnar bought the respected Louisenbad Hotel, situated on the shore of Lake Bled, and renamed it the Grand Hotel Toplice. In 1931, she enlarged and completely renovated the building. The hotel was considered one of the most modern in Yugoslavia. Next to the hotel, Jula Molnar built the Toplice cafe, which became the centre of Bled social life; she also promoted the construction of the Bled golf course. The old Mallner Hotel was bought in 1917 by the businessman Ivan Kenda, who also owned Bled Castle, the lake, the swimming

VALENTIN HODNIK (Stara FuŞina, 1896–Bohinjska Bistrica, 1935)

area by the lake and a number of guest houses. He renamed

Hodnik was born into a farming family. When attending the

the hotel Park Hotel and constructed a new building, together

Ljubljana crafts school he was greatly influenced by a


teacher there, the sculptor Alojzij Repiè. At the start of World War One he was conscripted, but soon discharged due to illness. He returned home, where he painted and photographed Austrian soldiers in Bohinj. His subsequent work was greatly influenced by Slovenian Impressionists and artists within the Vesna Society. He continued his education



Better sleep in the darkness of the grave, than in bright sunlight be a slave. /France Prešeren/

at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb under Professors


Kovaèeviæ and Vanka, focusing on figure drawing. Due to

The Nazi occupation of Gorenjska was followed by a process of

financial difficulties he continued his artistic work at home.

Germanisation. German became the official language and the

He was most attracted to landscapes, particularly Lake

names of people and places were Germanised. All Slovenian

Bohinj, the mountain slopes of Pršivec, Komarèa, Konjski vrh

schools and institutions were closed, all societies were dismantled

and Vogel, the Savica waterfall and Mount Triglav. In 1926,

their assets seized, as well as those belonging to the Church and

he built a house in Ukanc. Initially, he depicted mountains

to exiles. Racial tests determined that most inhabitants of

very realistically in his paintings, adding an atmospheric tone

Gorenjska were suitable for inclusion in the Reich. In July 1941,

and a soft modulation of rocks and mountain peaks. Later he

around 2300 people were exiled to Serbia and Croatia, including

began to use his characteristic, slightly stylised formulation

most of the priests and patriotic intellectuals. Between March

of rocks. Some paintings reflect hardness and radiate a

1942 and mid-1944 approximately 4200 relatives of hostages

special expressive power, while others subtly depict the

and Partisans who had been shot were deported to Germany from

silence of Mount Triglav, Lake Bohinj or the lonely profession

an assembly camp in Gorièane. Gorenjska was the region in which

of Alpine herdsmen. His humorous drawings, depicting life

people most determinedly resisted the German takeover. Among

along the shores of Lake Bohinj, are also well known.

the 2200 Slovenian Partisans in 1941, 1250 were operating in Gorenjska. This is where in late July 1941 first Partisan attacks signalled the start of Slovenian armed resistance. Partisans carried out many mostly small attacks on German garrisons and institutions. In retaliation the Germans punished the civilian population. The first village to be burnt down due to the Partisans killing some civilian officials was Rašica below Mount Šmarna gora in September 1941.

In September 1942, the Nazis granted the Gorenjska people German citizenship until revocation and in the early 1943 began mobilisation into the German army. Many of those mobilised deserted and joined the Partisans. From the autumn of 1944, Partisan authorities were already administering the Gorenjska liberated areas. The Partisans took revenge on those collaborating with the occupiers and anti-communists.

In 1944, the Gorenjska Home Guard took action against the Partisan movement by constantly patrolling and ambushing Partisans across a considerable part of Gorenjska, thus hindering Partisan access to the general population. At the end of the war, the members of the Home Guard retreated to Carinthia, but the British returned them to Slovenia, where most of them were killed without trial.


Friedrich Rainer (Šentvid na Glini,1903– Yugoslavija, 1947?), from November 1941 in charge of German civilian administration in Gorenjska. He implemented violent policies against the Partisan movement, including internment, hostage shooting and the burning of villages.

Ive Šubic, Column in the Snow, 1962, oil on canvas

(Gorenjska Museum collections)

(Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

IVE ŠUBIC (Hotovlje near Poljanah, 1922–Poljane, 1989) Between 1940 and 1941, he studied painting at the Zagreb

On 22 August 1941 Franc Seško from Bukovica was shot as a hostage in a forest near Smlednik. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

Academy of Art and between 1945 and 1948 at the Fine Art Academy in Ljubljana, where he undertook advanced studies in 1950 under Professor Gabriel Stupica. Šubic painted figures and landscapes, as well as still lifes. In his depictions of Partisans and farm life he combined elements of Realism with others from Expressionism, Cubism and Primitivism. In addition, he was also involved in graphic art, illustration, monumental murals and mosaics, such as the Monument to the Battle of Dražgoše in Dražgoše in 1971.

The camp uniform and a small knife used by Franc Mravlja from Kranj in Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was imprisoned from June 1942 until the end of the war. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo T. Lauko)


THE GESTAPO PRISON IN BEGUNJE IN GORENJSKA A mansion in Begunje held one of the bloodiest Gestapo prisons in Slovenia, used mainly for Partisans and their collaborators. The prisoners were tortured in the most inhumane manner, sent on to concentration camps or shot as hostages. Shocking inscriptions by those condemned to death have been preserved on the cell walls. During the war, the Germans shot 1270 people in Gorenjska, of whom 849 were imprisoned in Begunje. In order to frighten the general population, posters with the names of those who had been shot were posted in public places. After the war, the mansion was used as a concentration camp and, until the early 50s, a women’s prison; among those held there were female political prisoners. All the prisoners in the Gestapo prison in Begunje were listed in a book of records, including their subsequent destiny. Many prisoners were sent on to concentration camps or shot as hostages. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

Men mobilised into the German army leaving for the railway station in Kranj, early 1943. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

A group of Gorenjska Partisans from the Prešeren Brigade in the summer of 1943 (Gorenjska Museum collections)

On the night between the 26th and 27th June 1942 the Partisans from the Cankar Battalion of the Gorenjska detachment burnt down the railway and road bridge in Moste near Žirovnica, the most successful such attack. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

VICTIMS OF WAR AND REVOLUTION Of the 180,000 people living in occupied Gorenjska, which included the Litija area, by the end of 1945 over 15,000

LjuboRavnikar, Hunger Strike, 1934, ink drawing (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

were Partisans, over 9000 were mobilised into the German army, and around 4000 were Home Guards, Gestapo spies among the Partisans, workplace security men, armed police officers and Gestapo officers. Nearly 7000 people were exiled to Serbia or Germany, many others were sent to the Ljubljana region, and over 10,000 became prisoners and internees. Due to mobilisation, internment, exile and flight around a fifth of the population were driven from their homes. Among Slovenian regions Gorenjska suffered the second highest number of deaths. Of approximately 97,500 currently registered victims of war and revolution in Slovenia, Gorenjska’s share is 13,344, i.e. 13.7 percent of all Slovenian victims and 7.3 percent of the Gorenjska population. They 118

included 4592 Partisans and 741 Partisan activists or sympathisers, while out of 2631 civilian victims, around

LJUBO RAVNIKAR (Ljubljana, 1905–Kranj, 1973)

1300 were killed by the Partisans. Of those mobilised into

At the secondary modern school he studied drawing under

the German army, 1774 died. Among the Home Guard

the painters Peter Žmitek and Gojmir Anton Kos. He studied

members there were 1731 victims, all but 50 of whom were

for a while at the Vienna Academy and with the Viennese

killed after the war.

portraitist Hans Schachinger. Ravnikar returned to Ljubljana

(According to data from the Institute of Contemporary History, September 2011)

in 1929. He focused on oil and watercolour paintings and illustrations; he also produced postcards with social themes, posters and diplomas. He worked with the Workers’ Stage, producing sketches for their performances, which places him among the founders of modern Slovenian set design. In 1937, he published a portfolio of linocuts, Mirror, in which he

The return of the Home Guard and civilians from Carinthia to Kranj on 30 May 1945. Nearly all were killed around Škofja Loka and Koèevje. (Gorenjska Museum collections)

tried to critically depict the social reality at the time. In 1938, he joined the Gruda artistic group founded by young artists following the example of the Zagreb Zemlja. Landscape became his main genre. In April 1941 he was interned in Italy, where he created an extensive collection of landscapes and documentary images. In 1944/1945, he returned home with the “overseas”


brigade of the Yugoslav Army. He documented his journey with an extensive series of watercolours and drawings. Between 1946 and 1958, he taught drawing and the history



exhibition in Prešeren House in Kranj was the first staged by

Who can cast light on the dark night that plagues our soul.

the newly founded museum. In Rome in 1956, he created a

/France Prešeren/

of art at the grammar school in Kranj. His independent

series of watercolours “From a Journey around Italy”, later he also painted in Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean, including Egypt. In the 60s, there appeared the cycle of watercolours “Old Kranj” and others of the steel works in

During the first decade after World War Two, in Gorenjska as



elsewhere, revolutionary interventions involving confiscation and

Expressionism, Symbolism and Social Realism. In 1961 and

waves of nationalisation destroyed private business and

1965 he received the Prešeren Award, granted by the Town

agriculture. The companies that had existed before the war were

of Kranj.

combined and transformed into state companies, later referred to





as social property. Class war divided society into a privileged communist party elite and the rest, who suffered discrimination. Gorenjska was shaped by this development of industry at any 120

price. Industrialisation thus reached formerly remote agricultural areas such as the Selca Valley. The introduction of mass production involving conveyor belts and the building of huge production halls demanded mass immigration of workers from the less developed parts of Yugoslavia, while many people from Gorenjska sought work and a better life in Germany and elsewhere in the West. There followed the rapid construction of concrete blocks of flats, sadly often on the most fertile land. Farming was devalued and farmers sought a better income in factories. The Iskra and Sava factories, with their long experience, reached beyond the boundaries of Gorenjska and became established in the West. Top achievements by Gorenjska sportsmen such as Bojan Križaj and Nejc Zaplotnik contributed to the international establishment of local brands Elan and Alpina. People from rural areas commuted to work in nearby factories. They used their earnings and loans to build new houses, usually in their own garden or meadow. Villages began to spread to fields. The last wooden cottages disappeared and the rural areas lost their old agricultural appearance.

A worker at an open-hearth furnace at Jesenice steelworks in the Fifties. The largest number of workers, around 7000, was employed at the Jesenice steelworks in the early 1980s. (Photo S. Smolej)

Workers leaving the Iskra factory at the end of their daily shift at 14.00, Kranj 1960 (Photo F. Perdan)

In 1966 a modern industrial area appeared in Labore on the outskirts of Kranj, the new Sava factory. (Gorenjska Museum collections)



In both towns and villages the old is giving way to the new. (Photo T. Dolžan Eržen)

ISKRA TELEPHONES Blocks of flats, “dormitory estates”, within a few decades completely altered the appearance of Gorenjska towns. (Photo D. Holynski)

The company Iskra, founded in 1946, became over subsequent decades one of the leading companies in the electronics industry in Yugoslavia. Iskra’s main products were meters, telephone switchboards and telephones, electric hand tools and until 1971, cinema sound equipment. The products were mostly developed by Iskra’s technical experts and designers. In addition to meters, the best known

product was telephones. Iskra produced its first inductor telephone in 1949. Initially, they were made under foreign licence, such as the automatic ATA 11 appliance. In the mid 60s, telephones developed by in-house engineers began to be made. Gradually designs improved and the ATA 30 and the ATA 20 appeared. In 1976, the first completely electronic appliance in the world, the ETA 80, began to be mass produced. This was followed in 1979 by what is now considered a cult telephone appliance – the ETA 80. It was made with either a dial or a key pad (the ETA 85). Iskra’s phones


about a completely new design of

telephones around the world and there appeared many copies. The appearance of the phone was a great achievement by Davorin Savnik, who won many awards for it Janez Marenèiè, Promenade, 1955

at home and abroad. People became fond of this phone and gave it a nickname fitipaldi. In the 80s, many improvements were made in Iskra and it was among the first companies in

JANEZ MARENÈIÈ (Kranj, 1914 – Jesenice, 2007)

the world to develop a digital telephone switchboard, the SI 124

2000 system. By 1989, just before the collapse of this large

(Slovenian Photography Room, Gorenjska Museum collections)

company, five million telephones had rolled off its conveyor

Among the most important Slovenian photographers of the


20th century. He became involved in photography in the The ETA 85 telephone made Iskra phones famous around the world. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo D. Holynski)

1930s. In 1935, he joined the Ljubljana Photo Club. in his early work, genre photographs and landscapes prevail. During World War Two he accompanied the units of the IX Corps in Primorska as a photographer. The negatives have been lost, but on the basis of the four preserved photographs, depicting a Partisan camp and night watch on the Trnovski gozd plateau, he made enlargements using the paper negative technique, and these are considered the artistic photographic evidence of the war. After the war, he focused on photographic interpretations of genre themes and landscapes. Upon his initiative a photo club was founded in Kranj in 1949. He became the central figure, mentor and main representative of the “Kranj circle” or the “Kranj photography school”. With fellow members such as Mirko Križnar, Tone Marèan, Miro Kelbel and Janez Murovec he produced photographs of


contrasting, ascetic motifs on snow covered surfaces, which the reviewers described as “the Kranj photographic style”. In the 1950s Marenèiè discovered the aerial view of landscape. These photographs, taken from elevated viewpoints, are considered the summit of Marenèiè’s photographic expression. With carefully selected framing and an emphasis



There we shall find a way, where our sons choose freely their faith and laws. /France Prešeren/

on the compositional lines of force and flatness, he produced an abstract ornament which seemingly continued out of shot. In the 1990s, he was also involved in colour photography.

After the collapse of communism, the political and economic crisis in Yugoslavia reached its peak. At a plebiscite on 23

In 1970, he received the Gorenjska Prešeren Award. On his

December 1990, 88.5 percent voted in favour of an independent

ninetieth birthday he was awarded a Golden Order for

Slovenia. On 25 June 1991, Slovenia was the first of the former

Service, and he also received the Janez Puhar Award for his

Yugoslav republics to declare independence. There followed an

life’s work. Just before his death in 2007, he was made an

armed intervention by the Yugoslav People’s Army at border

Honorary Citizen of the Municipality of Kranj.

crossings and Brnik Airport. After a ten-day war for independence, Slovenia took control over its territory. The realisation of the dream of an independent state was accompanied by economic privatisation and the loss of former markets. Many companies in


Gorenjska found themselves in crisis and thousands of people lost their jobs. Gradually, private enterprise began to grow, together with widespread greed and desire for a quick profit. In June 1991, two weeks before the Republic of Slovenia’s declaration of independence, mountain rescuers on top of Mount Triglav raised the Slovenian flag which at that time had no coat of arms. (Photo M. Kunšiè)

Membership of the European Union and NATO, the introduction of the Euro and unreserved adoption of everything foreign faced us with a dilemma: what would enable our survival – economic prudence, inventiveness, wisdom, goodness, thriftiness? These are the values that have been a part of Gorenjska tradition for a thousand years, as well as the foundations of Slovenianness. Members of the Slovenian militia and Territorial Defence putting up new signs at the Ljubelj border crossing, 1 July 1991. (Photo M. Kunšiè)


Slovenia was the first of the new European Union members to take on the presidency over the EU in the first half of 2008. All the political and diplomatic events connected with the presidency took place in Brdo near Kranj, including a meeting between the European leaders and the President of the United States. (Photo M. Kunšiè, archives of the State Protocol Services of the Republic of Slovenia, Brdo)

France Buèar (Bohinjska Bistrica, 1923), lawyer and politician. In 1976 he was forcefully removed from the University. He was among the leaders of the democratisation process and of efforts towards Slovenian independence, and on 9 May 1990, he became the chairman of the first democratically elected Slovenian Parliament. (National Museum of Contemporary History, photo T. Stojko)


Poster of the Slovenian Farmers’ Association before the 1990 elections Ivan Oman (Zminec pri Škofji Loki, 1923), farmer and politician. In May 1988 he became the leader of the Slovenian Farmers’ Association, the first new political party in postwar Yugoslavia. When the United Democratic Opposition of Slovenia (DEMOS) was established, Oman became its vice-president. In 1990, he was elected a member of the Presidency of the Republic of Slovenia. (Gorenjska Museum collections, photo I. Pustovrh)

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION It was my great honour to accept the invitation and to take part in setting up the permanent exhibition ‘Beautiful Gorenjska’ on behalf of Verena Perko, curator-in-chief. We had successfully worked together on two other projects, ‘Iron General Janez Slapar (Pristava pri Tržièu, 1949). Between 1988 and 1990, he commanded the Gorenjska Territorial Defence. During the war for independence and until 1993 he was the commanding officer of the republic headquarters of the Territorial Defence. He became the first general in independent Slovenia. (National Museum of Contemporary History, photo T. Stojko)


Thread’ and ‘Carnium Golden Age’, but ‘Prelepa Gorenjska’ offered the opportunity to meet other curators as well. The themes of this exhibition are complex and cover long periods of time, from archaeological eras to the present. The narrative and the context are closely linked with Gorenjska, Kranj, castle Khislstein, and ironworking. We also added at least seven layers of museological presentation. Classical and architectural displays are placed 131 within the setting of the exhibition, such as the medieval

France Tomšiè (Šmarca pri Kamniku, 1937 – Kamnik, 2010), engineer, politician, trade union activist. In December 1987 he organised a strike in the company Litostroj. He proposed the setting up of an initiative committee of the Social Democratic Association of Slovenia, an opposition party whose first president he became in 1989. Between 1990 and 1997 he was the leader of Neodvisnost, the first democratic trade union. (National Museum of Contemporary History, photo T. Stojko)

townhouses of Kranj and the pillars of the imaginative temple of Slovenian identity. The windows of the castle building and one of the niches in the wall also serve as frames for the displays. The niche, for example, presents a window from France Berjak’s store. The setting of the exhibition is enriched with jewellery and ceiling paintings from the parish church of St. Cantianus and companions. Human figures with exhibition objects are placed between classical pedestals. The original attic construction is also used as an element of the exhibition. The narrative is underlined by the symbolic use of colours, lights and sounds. Such a complex and demanding project as the realisation of the permanent exhibition ‘Beautiful Gorenjska’ was could not have been carried out without the expertise, sympathetic understanding and assistance of Branko Filipiè, manager of the RPS Company and his team. Željko Kovaèiæ, 2012






Authors mag. Tatjana Eržen Dolžan, dr. Damir Globoènik, Beba Jenèiè, dr. Verena Perko, Helena Rant, mag. Monika Rogelj, mag. Marjana Žibert Head of permanent exhibition dr. Verena Perko, Beba Jenèiè Head of museological concept dr. Verena Perko Head of pedagogical program Magda Zore Renovation project manager mag. Barbara Ravnik Exhibition and graphic design Željko Kovaèiæ Sound spaces Boštjan Perovšek, SAETA - Institute for Cultural and Promotional Activities Exhibition produced by Lesnina inženiring D.D; RPS, Ljubljana Light and sound system Miran Brumat Proof reading Judita Babnik English translation David Limon Photographs Tomaž Lauko, Drago Holynski, Arne Hodaliè, Tomaž Hladnik, Mirko Kunšiè, Franc Oderlap, Franc Perdan, Janez Pukšiè, Igor Pustovrh, dr. Milan Sagadin, Marjan Smerke, Andrej Štremfelj, mag. Jože Štukl, Marko Tušek, Rafko Urankar, Nejc Zaplotnik, Maruša Žerjal, Jože Dežman, mag. Tatjana Dolžan Eržen, dr. Damir Globoènik, Helena Rant, dr. Zvonka Zupaniè Slavec, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije, Arhiv Republike Slovenije, Mali vojni muzej, Bohinj in Jelena Justin. Conservation and restoration works Marjanca Jegliè, Zdenka Kramar mag. Irena Jeras Dimovska Exhibition reviews dr. Aleksandra Berberih Slana, Muzej narodne revolucije Maribor Mirjana Koren, Pokrajinski muzej Maribor, Mojca Šifrer Bulovec, Loški muzej, Škofja Loka mag. Zora Torkar in Janja Železnikar, Medobèinski muzej Kamnik


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