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KUNGOTA: The land of churches and wine

The region of Kungota lies in the western part of the Slovenian Hills close to the Austrian border. A land of beautiful valleys, hills and low ridges covering some 49 square kilometers, Kungota’s towns and villages are home to around 5,000 people in total.

 

The municipal holiday is split into four separate parts, the first is celebrated as Jurjevanje in Jurij ob Pesnici in April, the second is the Flowers and Pastry Festival in Zgornja Kungota in June, in July, Spodnja Kungota hosts the third part, known as the Klopotec Festival and the final holiday, the socalled Rural Holiday, takes place in Svečina during the last weekend of September and is famed for attracting a joyous and boisterous crowd. Kungota’s rippled landscape is perfect for nature lovers. Hiking and cycle trails can be found in abundance, featuring picturesque stops at hospitable inns, wine cellars, tourist farms and lookout points. It’s an absolute must to explore the breathtaking scenery and enjoy the local cultural and architectural heritage.

CHURCHES GALORE: The Church of St Kunigunde in Zgornja Kungota sits on top of a hill above the village with a gorgeous view over two valleys. First mentioned in 1391, little is known of the original building. The current church dates from the 18th century when the northern and southern chapels were added. The interior is richly decorated with Baroque paintings and the high altar is dedicated to St. Kunigunde. The altar painting in a gilded frame depicts the test of this venerated imperial saint. It shows the holy Empress Kunigunda in her Rococo attire on her way over a red carpet towards flaming irons, where she would prove her innocence.

Close to the church is Hiša vseh generacij, a combined arts and community centre with numerous activities to choose from. Everyone can find something of interest, be it socializing, workshops or recreation. The Church of St Kunigunde in Spodnja Kungota was once part of Admont Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Austria. It’s most likely that the lords of Dobrenje from the castle/manor on the hill above the church made the construction possible. The 18th-century church houses three altars with the high altar adorned with statues of St Kunigunde, St Barbara and St Catherine. On the way to the church one passes by an original wine press dating from 1870.

Church of St George in Jurij ob Pesnici was first mentioned in 1383. The current building is an example of the regional Gothic architecture dating from the beginning of the 16th century. The church consists of a nave, presbytery and bell tower and was renovated in 1855. The parish church of St Andrew in Svečina is listed as an important element of the local heritage and was first mentioned in 1195. A square bell tower with a steep tin roof connects to a rectangle nave, which ends in a semi-circular presbytery of the same width and height as the nave. The present form of the church stems from the 16th century when it was rebuilt after a Turkish raid. Extensive renovation work took place sometime after 1730 when the nave was enlarged and closed with the semi-circular presbytery. During this period the northern chapel and the oratory on the southern side were also added. The 19th century saw additional construction works. On the church wall is a plaque dedicated to Andrej Perlach (1490-1551) who was born in Svečina. He was a mathematician, astronomer and doctor as well as a four-term Dean and Chancellor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Vienna.

 

HILLS, CASTLES & MANORS: At 510m, Plački vrh is a recommended hill on the Austrian border sporting a 28m wooden lookout tower. In good weather, visitors can enjoy fantastic views that stretches as far as Austria, Prekmurje and even Croatia. The tower includes display panels describing the various sights that can be seen from it.

A castle in Svečina once stood on a slope to the north of the centre of the village. Probably surrounded by defensive walls, it was burned down by the Ottomans in 1532. In 1629, a manor house was built on the site. Featuring a square base and four square towers of equal height at each corner, the manor house is now home to several exhibitions.
THE Slovenia Book present’s Slovenia’s Top 100 Destinations, tons of interviews and Top 10 lists, hundreds of amazing photos and lots more! Click for more info.

THE Slovenia Book present’s Slovenia’s Top 100 Destinations, tons of interviews and Top 10 lists, hundreds of amazing photos and lots more! Click for more info.

WINE: The Wine Museum Kebl is housed in a 200-year-old vineyard cottage surrounded by timeless forests close to the Austrian border. Antique equipment, various tools and a wine press are on display. The ethnological collection reveals the various details of the people who lived and worked here in previous centuries.

The statue of St. George in Špičnik was erected in 1848 to commemorate the abolition of the corvée, a form of unpaid mandatory labour. From here it’s possible to enjoy a unique view of a renowned hallmark of Kungota, a heart-shaped part of the road that winds among the vineyards. The Heart Among the Vineyards as it’s known is said to be the perfect illustration of the people, who are grown into this land and who are as persistent as the wine they take care of with such love.

Set in an amphitheater of vineyards, the Gaube farmhouse is on the famous heart-shaped wine road through Špičnik. It’s here a family makes its home as it has done for five generations, working with love and perseverance to produce its fine wines. In 2016, Gaube acquired the title of world champion for its wine at the international Vino Ljubljana festival, and the vineyard is proud to share its traditions, its wine and its local gastronomic delicacies with its visitors who are welcome from Thursday to Sunday between 13:00 and 19:00 or at any other time by prior arrangement.

Indeed, Kungota is famous for its wine, a subject so big that an entire holiday could be built around visiting the region’s vineyards and sampling its local varieties. Among the many others are Izletniški turizem Dreisiebner, Vinotoč Elšnik, Hiša vina Doppler, Kmetija Kren, Vinogradništvo Kren, Vinogradništvo Jamnik, Vinogradništvo Jamšek, Vinogradništvo Jarc, Vinogradništvo Leber, Vinogradništvo Mukenauer, Družinska kmetija Leber – Vračko, Vinogradništvo in sadjarstvo Vdovič, Vinogradništvo Šerbinek – Kušter, Družinska kmetija Gornik, Kmetija Pliberšek, Vino Valdhuber, Vino Falot, Turistična kmetija Vrezner Milena, Hiša Denk, Gostišče Vračko and Gostišče Arzenšek to name but a few.

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