VRHNIKA: Birthplace of the Slovene Kafka


Some 20km from Ljubljana we find the attractive little town of Vrhnika. Known as Nauportus in Roman times, it blossomed as a strategically important fort, remains of which can still be found near the cemetery.

The area nearby is scattered with the remains of a Roman defensive wall system from the second half of the 3rd century, as the town was a key point of protection for the heart of the empire.

The birthplace of the Slovene Kafka, Ivan Cankar, Vrhnika reached its peak in the early 18th century, proudly sitting as one of the wealthiest towns in all of Carniola. A period of decline followed, but its geographical position meant it was never ignored for too long. Cute villages, the Ljubljana moors and a mass of archaeological finds from as far back as the Paleolithic era surround it, as well as the vast Technical Museum of Slovenia, a must-see for the technically minded.

TECHNICAL MUSEUM OF SLOVENIA: It might not be the easiest to get to, but for the technically minded this museum 20km from Ljubljana in Bistra near Vrhnika is worth every step on the journey. The sheer variety of exhibitions on display is astounding; covering the history of printing in Slovenia, agriculture, fishing, hunting, forestry, woodwork, electricity, textiles and of course motor vehicles, there is something for everyone here. A new permanent exhibition focuses on the first century of motoring in the country, containing within the oldest preserved car in Slovenia, dating back to 1906. On Sundays there are children’s workshops, Tesla’s experiments, as well as demonstrations and much more, allowing children and adults alike the chance to truly feel the technological spirit of the past. The museum has recently renovated its permanent exhibitions, including one of the classic vehicles primarily used by the former Yugoslav President Tito, and another covering the History of the Textile Industry in Slovenia, while an intriguing temporary exhibition titled All About Sound will be on display until 3 Dec 2017. Info: Bistra 6, 1353 Borovnica, +386 (0)1 750 66 70, [email protected], www.tms.si.

 IVAN CANKAR MEMORIAL HOUSE: The most translated of all Slovene authors, Ivan Cankar rose from poor beginnings to become arguably the most important writer to come out of the nation. His work defended the oppressed and attacked the oppressors, causing much controversy in the late 19th century. His first published work was so controversial that the Bishop of Ljubljana actually bought all available copies and had them burned. His first-hand experiences of poverty added elements of realism and sympathy to his work, focusing as it did on alienation, unrequited love and war. Vhrnika was the town of his birth, and the house in which he was born now plays host to a memorial room in his honour. Guided tours are available by prior appointment. Info: Na Klancu 1, 1360 Vrhnika, +386 (0)1 755 10 54, [email protected], www.visitvrhnika.si.