Where to Go on a Trip? Metlika

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The Heart of the Southern Wine Region

Metlika is one of the three main towns in Bela Krajina and has approximately 3,500 residents (around 8,500 in the entire municipality). In addition to the picturesque town itself, visitors can enjoy several interesting attractions. You’ll likely first be drawn to the castle by the river, which houses the Bela Krajina Museum. Firefighting enthusiasts will also be thrilled to visit Metlika, as the Slovenian Firefighting Museum was established here in 1969.

Firefighting has long been an important part of Slovenian culture. The three Gothic churches in the nearby village of Rosalnice are also well-known landmarks that have attracted pilgrims for centuries. Metlika was officially recognized as a town in the 15th century, a century after the area and the Kolpa River became significant as the Carniolan/Croatian border. The region of Bela Krajina has been inhabited since prehistoric times and has experienced many turbulent periods over the years. Metlika suffered severe Turkish invasions and was burned to the ground by fire in 1705. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the town and the entire region became known for their crafts and trade. Culturally, Metlika seems to be a blend of agricultural traditions and crafts with a dose of contemporary music.

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Discover the Charms of Metlika

Metlika, one of the three main towns in the Bela Krajina region, offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With approximately 3,500 residents in the town and around 8,500 in the entire municipality, Metlika is a quaint yet vibrant destination.

Attractions in Metlika

  1. Metlika Castle and Bela Krajina Museum:
    • Metlika Castle: Situated by the river, the castle is home to the Bela Krajina Museum. This museum offers a comprehensive overview of life in the region from prehistoric times to the present day. The exhibits are organized chronologically, starting with Neolithic tools and progressing to the challenging periods of World War II. The museum also highlights the region’s history during the Ottoman invasions and its status as a free partisan territory during the later years of World War II.
    • Tourist Information Center and Wine Cellar: Located within the castle, visitors can find information about local attractions and enjoy wine tastings in the cellar.
  2. Slovenian Firefighting Museum:
    • Established in 1969, this museum showcases the history and significance of firefighting in Slovenia. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in this vital aspect of Slovenian culture.
  3. Gothic Churches in Rosalnice:
    • The three Gothic churches in the nearby village of Rosalnice are well-known landmarks that have attracted pilgrims for centuries. They are an excellent example of the region’s rich religious heritage.

Events and Festivals

  • Vinska Vigred:
    • One of Slovenia’s largest wine festivals, Vinska Vigred, takes place every third weekend in May. This three-day event in the old town center of Metlika attracts thousands of visitors. Originally started as a wine fair, it has grown into a comprehensive cultural festival with music, folklore performances, and stalls showcasing traditional crafts and local wines. With over 300 different wine varieties to try, accompanied by delicious local food like roasted lamb, piglets, and freshly baked Belokranjska pogača, it’s a celebration not to be missed.

Exploring More of Bela Krajina

  • Other Cultural Sites:
    • The museum in Metlika also manages other cultural collections in the region, including the Kambič Gallery in Metlika, the Museum House in Semič, the Municipal Museum Collection in Črnomelj, and the Oton Župančič Memorial House in Vinica. Each of these sites offers unique insights into the region’s history and cultural heritage.

Whether you’re a history buff, a wine enthusiast, or simply looking for a charming getaway, Metlika and the surrounding Bela Krajina region offer a wealth of experiences to enjoy.

BELA KRAJINA MUSEUM AND METLIKA CASTLE

The Bela Krajina Museum provides an excellent overview of life in the region, from prehistory to the time when the museum was opened. The museum is mostly organized chronologically, with the oldest artifacts being basic tools used in the Neolithic era. The newest part of the permanent exhibition covers the difficult wartime period and World War II. From this section, you can learn how Bela Krajina became a free partisan territory in the last years of the war, which was an entirely unknown phenomenon in Europe at the time. Other rooms are dedicated to the almost 200 years of constant threat of invasion by the Ottoman Turks in the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle also houses the Metlika Tourist Information Center, a space for temporary exhibitions, and a wine cellar. The museum manages several other cultural collections located throughout the region, including the Kambič Gallery in Metlika, the Museum House in Semič, the Municipal Museum Collection in Črnomelj, and the Oton Župančič Memorial House in Vinica.

Trg Svobode 4, tel. +386 (0)7 306 33 70, [email protected], www.belokranjski-muzej.si.

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VINSKA VIGRED

In a region famous for its wine, the Vinska Vigred festival is held annually. It is one of the largest wine events in Slovenia, attracting thousands of visitors to the old town center of Metlika every third weekend in May for three days. The event was first held over 35 years ago, starting as a simple wine fair for showcasing and tasting local wines, and has since grown into a multifaceted cultural festival. Nowadays, the festival features three separate stages for music, folklore, and other performances, as well as various stalls presenting traditional crafts, art, and of course, plenty of wine. With more than 300 different varieties available, be cautious if you plan to try them all! Don’t worry if the drinks make you hungry; there is plenty of delicious food available, including roasted lamb, piglets, and, of course, lots of freshly baked Belokranjska pogača.

www.metlika-turizem.si, www.vinska-vigred.si.

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